Keys to Revelation, Chapter 14
AUTHOR: Capoccia, Tony
PUBLISHED ON: May 12, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies

                        Keys to Revelation – Chapter 14

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York
International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 14:1  Then I looked, and there        [I looked] – In bold contrast John
before me was the Lamb, standing on      sees the gentle and pure Lamb rather
Mount Zion, and with him 144,000          than the ugly and evil dragon and
who had his name and his Father’s        beasts of chapter 13.
name written on their foreheads.         
                                          [the Lamb] – The Lamb of God, Jesus

                                          [standing on Mount Zion] – We saw in
                                          REV 13:1 that Satan was standing on
                                          on the shifting sands of the seashore
                                          but here the King of the Universe is
                                          standing on Mount Zion!           

                                          [Mount Zion] – A sacred place known
                                          for its divine deliverance (see JOEL

                                          [144,000] – These are the same group
                                          of Jewish born believers found in
                                          REV 7.  They were evangelists that
                                          were ordained by God to carry the
                                          message of Salvation throughout the
                                          Tribulation Period. 

                                          [written on their foreheads] – The
                                          followers of the Antichrist have a
                                          “mark” on their forehead or right
                                          hand (REV 13:16).  But the followers
                                          of the Pure and True God have the
                                          name of the Lamb and of the Father on
                                          their foreheads to display the fact
                                          that the 144,000 belong to both the
                                          Father and the Son.

                                          All believers will have inscribed on
                                          them the Name of the Father and the
                                          New Name of Christ according to REV
                                          3:12.  Just like a woman takes the
                                          name of her husband as part of her
                                          name so we will take the name of our
                                          God as a permanent part of our new

REV 14:2  And I heard a sound from        [sound from heaven] – John’s point of
heaven like the roar of rushing          reference seems to be the earth with
waters and like a loud peal of            the 144,000 standing on Mount Zion.
thunder. The sound I heard was like      The sound from heaven is very loud
that of harpists playing their            and sounded like harps playing. The
harps.                                    harpists could be angels or fellow
                                          saints in heaven.

REV 14:3  And they sang a new song        [they sang] – The 144,000 Jewish
before the throne and before the          Evangelists standing on Mount Zion.
four living creatures and the
elders. No one could learn the song      [new song] – There are numerous OT
except the 144,000 who had been          references to the redeemed singing
redeemed from the earth.                  a new song (PSA 33:3; 40:3; 96:1;
                                          144:9; 149:1; ISA 42:10).  The new
                                          song is like the new name (REV 2:17)
                                          that is known only to its hearer. 
                                          The unbeliever with the old nature of
                                          sin cannot learn the new song because
                                          it is a song of redemption and

                                          [learn the song] – The only persons
                                          could learn the song are those who
                                          have been redeemed from the earth.
                                          In this verse the 144,000 are in view
                                          and contrasted with the unsaved of
                                          the earth. 

REV 14:4  These are those who did        [These] – The 144,000
not defile themselves with women,
for they kept themselves pure. They      [not defile themselves with women] –
follow the Lamb wherever he goes.        This is not to mean that they were
They were purchased from among men        not married, for marriage does not
and offered as firstfruits to God        defile anyone.  These 144,000 men
and the Lamb.                            led pure lives and did not yield to
                                          the seductions of the world.  In our
                                          age, sexual immorality is rampant,
                                          but in the Tribulation Period it will
                                          be much worse (REV 9:21).

                                          [firstfruits] – After the Rapture
                                          there were only Unbelievers on the
                                          earth.  Then God called 144,000 Jews
                                          and gave them the faith to believe.
                                          These were the firstfruits in that
                                          they were the first of the many that
                                          would be converted during these last
                                          seven years before the Millennium.

REV 14:5  No lie was found in their      [No lie] – Someone has said, “after
mouths; they are blameless.              purity truthfulness is the most
                                          distinctive mark of the followers of

REV 14:6  Then I saw another angel        [another angel] – In addition to the
flying in midair, and he had the          angels already seen (REV 8:2; 8:3;
eternal gospel to proclaim to those      10:1).
who live on the earth–to every
nation, tribe, language and people.      [flying in midair] – Like the eagle
                                          in REV 8:13 it flies in mid-air to be
                                          seen and heard by all who dwell on
                                          the earth.  No one on the earth will
                                          have an excuse for not hearing the
                                          gospel message since God has an angel
                                          broadcasting it from the heavens.

                                          [eternal gospel] – It has never
                                          changed throughout time, for the
                                          Gospel has called mankind to fear, 
                                          honor, and worship the Creator.  The
                                          NT Gospel showed that the only way
                                          it was possible to fear God and to
                                          honor and worship Him was through the
                                          free gift of faith, along with true
                                          repentance, and submission to the
                                          Lordship of Jesus Christ — the Sweet
                                          God of the Universe.

REV 14:7  He said in a loud voice,        [He said in a loud voice] – The angel
“Fear God and give him glory,            is flying in the sky and cannot be
because the hour of his judgment          stopped by the evil forces of the
has come. Worship him who made the        world because God is showing mercy
heavens, the earth, the sea and the      and grace by offering, the rebellious
springs of water.”                        of the earth, an opportunity to make
                                          peace with God, rather than receive
                                          the full force of His judgments.

                                          [Worship Him who made] – COL 1:16 
                                          “For by Him all things were created:
                                          things in heaven and on earth,
                                          visible and invisible, whether
                                          thrones or powers or rulers or
                                          authorities; all things were created
                                          by Him and for Him.”  The Him of
                                          course is the Lord Jesus Christ.

REV 14:8  A second angel followed        [followed] – The second angel
and said, “Fallen! Fallen is              followed the first and thus likewise
Babylon the Great, which made all        flew in midair.
the nations drink the maddening
wine of her adulteries.”                  [Fallen is Babylon] – The idea is
                                          that Babylon’s fall is still future
                                          but it is so certain to happen that
                                          the angel can announce it as fallen,
                                          because no power can stop the fall
                                          of Babylon.

                                          Babylon is the  name for the world
                                          system that at this time is headed
                                          by the city of Rome (See 1PE 5:13).
                                          The ancient city of Babylon was the
                                          religious and political capital of
                                          of a world empire, renowned for its
                                          luxury and moral corruption.  Above
                                          all it was the great enemy of the
                                          people of God.  For the early church
                                          the city of Rome was a contemporary

                                          [adulteries] – Primarily speaking of
                                          the influence that Rome and the world
                                          system has had on making mankind be
                                          “unfaithful” to the true God.  The
                                          last world empire was the Roman
                                          Empire and even though it fell, it
                                          has left a tremendous influence on
                                          world that earned it the title of
                                          Babylon the Great.

REV 14:9  A third angel followed          [If anyone worships] – Can you
them and said in a loud voice: “If        imagine being on earth and seeing all
anyone worships the beast and his        these mighty angels flying in midair
image and receives his mark on the        giving warnings of coming judgments?
forehead or on the hand,                  The majority of mankind will not
                                          respond to the message of the angels.

REV 14:10  he, too, will drink of        [be tormented] – This is a direct
the wine of God’s fury, which has        reference to the Lake of Fire, also
been poured full strength into the        known as the Lake of Burning Sulfur
cup of his wrath. He will be              (REV 20:10-15).  God is very clear
tormented with burning sulfur in          about the fact that those who fail
the presence of the holy angels and      to receive His Grace will receive
of the Lamb.                              His Wrath.  The torments are real
                                          and forever.

                                          [in the presence] – The King over
                                          Hell (Lake of Fire) is the Lord Jesus
                                          Christ.  Satan is only one of the
                                          prisoners there.  Jesus and His
                                          angels can and will observe the
                                          torments being levied there. 

REV 14:11  And the smoke of their        [for ever and ever] – To understand
torment rises for ever and ever.          what eternity is, then think of the
There is no rest day or night for        fact, that when a person has been in
those who worship the beast and his      Hell suffering torment and agony
image, or for anyone who receives        (LUK 16:24) for 10,000 years, that at
the mark of his name.”                    the end of the 10,000 years he has
                                          just as much eternity left as he had
                                          when he started.  There is never any
                                          parole boards for those in Hell.   

REV 14:12  This calls for patient        [patient endurance] – The pressure to
endurance on the part of the saints      take the mark of the beast will be
who obey God’s commandments and          great, for no one can buy or sell nor
remain faithful to Jesus.                secure a job without the mark.  To be
                                          a Christian will be extremely costly
                                          for the individual and his family.
                                          But Our Lord Jesus will empower His
                                          believers during that time with a
                                          special grace, much like the dying
                                          grace given to Stephen during his
                                          stoning (ACT 7:55).

REV 14:13  Then I heard a voice          [who die…from now on] – These are
from heaven say, “Write: Blessed          the Tribulation Martyrs that will be
are the dead who die in the Lord          killed for their love of Jesus and
from now on.” “Yes,” says the            their refusal to receive the mark and
Spirit, “they will rest from their        to worship the beast. 
labor, for their deeds will follow
them.”                                    [deeds will follow] – Their testimony
                                          will not be forgotten, but will be
                                          rewarded in heaven by their Savior
                                          Jesus Christ.

REV 14:14  I looked, and there            [like a son of man] – This is the
before me was a white cloud, and          Exalted Lord Jesus Christ whom Daniel
seated on the cloud was one “like a      had prophesied, “coming with the
son of man” with a crown of gold on      clouds of heaven” (DAN 7:13).  Jesus
his head and a sharp sickle in his        used the term “Son of Man” of Himself
hand.                                    in MAT 8:20.

                                          [crown of gold] – The golden crown
                                          or wreath given to a victor and this
                                          designates Jesus Christ as the One
                                          who has conquered and thereby won the
                                          right to act in judgment.

REV 14:15  Then another angel came        [another angel] – Not in reference to
out of the temple and called in a        “one like a son of man,” but rather
loud voice to him who was sitting        to the continuing series of angelic
on the cloud, “Take your sickle and      beings carrying out the will of God.
reap, because the time to reap has
come, for the harvest of the earth        [out of the temple] – A reference to
is ripe.”                                the immediate presence of God the

                                          [Take your sickle] – This angel came
                                          directly from the presence of God the
                                          Father with a message for the Savior
                                          to begin to reap the harvest of the
                                          earth, for sin has run its full
                                          course.  There is no problem with an
                                          angel giving a message to Jesus, for
                                          it is a command direct from God the

REV 14:16  So he who was seated on        [earth was harvested] – Most likely
the cloud swung his sickle over the      Jesus harvested the remaining Saints
earth, and the earth was harvested.      from the earth (the wheat).

REV 14:17  Another angel came out        [another angel] – An angel of wrath
of the temple in heaven, and he too      whom God has called for this moment.
had a sharp sickle.                      He too will do some harvesting, but
                                          will bring in the tares.

REV 14:18  Still another angel, who      [charge of the fire] – His special
had charge of the fire, came from        task as assigned by the Lord.  Could
the altar and called in a loud            fires of judgment from heaven to
voice to him who had the sharp            earth or the fires of Hell. 
sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and
gather the clusters of grapes from        [grapes from the earth’s vine] – The
the earth’s vine, because its            context of the next verses infer that
grapes are ripe.”                        this is a harvest of the wicked. The
                                          time is most likely the judgment of
                                          the nations outside the city of

REV 14:19  The angel swung his
sickle on the earth, gathered its
grapes and threw them into the
great winepress of God’s wrath. 

REV 14:20  They were trampled in          [blood flowed…1,600 stadia] – The
the winepress outside the city, and      distance would approximate 200 miles.
blood flowed out of the press,            The literal meaning would be a divine
rising as high as the horses’            bloodbath of judgment.  God crushes
bridles for a distance of 1,600          the wicked so that their blood would
stadia.                                  be up to the bridles of the horses
                                          and would extend for 200 miles.  This
                                          would be a real lake of human blood.

                                          Some people do not believe that this
                                          is literal, but God has spoken very
                                          specifically here and has the power
                                          to bring the necessary numbers in the
                                          area for a judgment that would crush
                                          their bodies to ensure a lake of

Tony Capoccia
Box 130
Shreveport, LA 71110
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