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
[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
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
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
[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
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
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