14:1 "Then I looked, and there before. . ."
"and I was and behold" is "kai eidon, kai idou" These words introduce a new and dramatic part of the vision just as in 4:1 and 6:2 "the Lamb, standing" important because it emphasizes his established authority compared to the rising beast. "Standing" "estos" means "being established" "standing firm," "holding one's own ground." This Lamb appears in Revelation as: slain 5:6; 13:8 Glorified 5:8, 12-13 Exalted 7:9-10 Redeemer 7:14 Shepherd 7:17 Lord of Lords and King of Kings 17:14 This is the fulfillment of Psalm 2: “I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.” Zion in Psalm 48:2 is “Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. Like the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King.” This scene is on earth. Jesus is installed as the king of the earth. Hebrews 12:22-24 describes Mt. Zion, the abode of God in heaven Mount Zion may refer to: the hilly area in southeast Jerusalem The temple mount The whole city of Jerusalem The whole land of Judah in postexilic days The whole Israelite nation The place where the Messiah would gather to himself a great dcompany of the redeemed as in: Psalm 48:1 Isaiah 11:9-12 Isaiah 24:23 Joel 2:32 Obadiah 17, 21 Micah 4:1, 7 Zechariah 14:4, 10 If the Lamb is not standing in Jerusalem on Mt. Zion then: Why are we to be impressed if at this point in the book if he is standing in heaven The mark of God was meaningless Why does a voice come out of heaven later in verse 2 This 144,000 is not: the church The tribulation saints Histories greatest believers Members of some cult They are 144,000 Jewish believers that have: endured the dangers of the tribulation Defied the dragon, beast and fasle prophet Preached the gospel of Christ even when it was deadly They will survive to meet Christ on Mt. Zion when he returns. They will live into the Millennium as evangelist of the coming generations They will be the literal living fulfillment of Psalm 91:5-16 "written" is perfect tense indicating the continuing result of the authoritative writing. This written name is in contrast to the end of chapter 13 when the beast's name was put on his followers.
14:2 Those singing in heaven most likely include the believers martyred on the earth during the tribulation. Many had been converted by the 144,000. Both groups, the martyred and the 144,000 have been: A) Redeemed from mankind B) Delivered by God from mankind- -one group delivered from men by death -one group delivered by divine protection POINT: God's deliverance is sure. The method in this case may be martyrdom into his presence or divine protection in midst of the battle on the earth. These 144,000 are supernaturally protected to continue as witnesses on the earth. They will harass the AC's kingdom by proclaiming the truth. They will defy the FP's wishes by resisting the mark of the beast and yet survive. They will be a sign that Jesus' ultimate victory is secure when nothing in this world can stop them. The heavenly scene and the singing of the song may relate back to the beginning of the vision in chapter 5:9-10 where a new song was sung by the 24 elders. Here the song is sung before the four living creatures and before the 24 elders.
14:4 KJ It is these who have
not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste; it is these who follow
the Lamb wherever he goes; these have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits
for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless.
Darby 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: and in their mouths was no
lie found; [for] they are blameless.
New English Translation These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from humanity as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, and no lie was found on their lips; they are blameless.
Wycliffe Translation These it ben, that ben not defoulid with wymmen; for thei ben virgyns. These suen the lomb, whidir euer he schal go; these ben bouyt of alle men, the firste fruytis to God, and to the lomb; and in the mouth of hem lesyng is not foundun; for thei ben with out wem bifor the trone of God. outoi eisin oi meta gunaikwn ouk emolunqhsan parqenoi gar eisin
These are those who with women
where not defiled celibates for they are
emolunqhsan aorist passive indicative means to defile, to soil, to stain parqenoV means virgin, "It seems best to take this description of chastity in a figurative sense indicating that they have kept themselves pure from all defiling relationships with the pagan world system. They have resisted the seduction of the great harlot, Rome, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication (Mounce)" quoted from the Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament Walvoord says, "This description is not explained in the context but has been taken variously as referring to necessary abstinence from marriage in the critical days of the tribulation when a normal marital life for a person true to God is impossible, or as referring to spiritual purity, that is, they are not defiled by love of the world or compromise with evil, but keep themselves pure in a world situation which is morally filthy." Israel is called "the virgin the daughter of Zion" in 2 Kings 19:21; Isaiah 37:22. Israel is called "virgin of Israel in Jeremiah 18:13; 31:4, 21; Amos 5:2 2 Corinthians 11:2 refers to both men and women in reference to the church: "I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him." The concept of keeping oneself from being defiled can not scripturally refer to avoiding marriage and sexual activity with in that marriage. "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure (amiantoV -"undefiled"), for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." Hebrews 13:4 "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron; They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:1-5 The point of the
14:4 is that they will be dedicated to God. This means they will not worship the beast nor engage in immoral activities. It does not teach that these people are not or can not be married. These men are morally pure preachers in the midst of a very corrupt and immoral kingdom. They will meet the Lord on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem at the end of the tribulation. They will go into the millennium with their natural bodies since they have not died yet.
14:4 "did not defile themselves with women" May mean: 1) They were male virgins and where not married 2) They were separated to God 3) They may have been married but where not defiled by women outside of marriage 4) Women represent the world system that the 144,000 were not defiled by The sexual perversion of the beast kingdom will be immense. The 144,000 remained sexually pure during a time of unbelievable preversion "follow the lamb" means "follow" as "to follow after, to be a disciple of someone." "purchases" is " 'agorazw" in the aor. passive indicative and means "to buy at the market place, to purchase, to redeem" "firstfruits" The firstfruits of a field or a flock to God so that the rest of the crop could be used for secular purposes. (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15) 14:5 "blameless" is "unblemished" meaning not spoiled by any flaw.
14:6 Angels are God’s messengers: Gave Mosaic Law, spoke to individuals, gather the lost for judgment, gather the elect of glory These three angels speak: the gospel Judgment Damnation The next event will be the rapid release of the bowls Midheaven refers to the point in the sky where the sun reaches the high point of noon. This is the most visible place to be seen The eternal gospel here is to "fear God and give him glory" because: 1) The hour of judgment has come, 2) He is the creator. This is the beginning point of the gospel: Recognize the creator The gospel is called: the gospel of the kingdom The gospel of Jesus Christ The gospel of God The gospel of the grace of God The gospel of the glory of Christ The gospel of salvation The gospel of peace The glorious gospel Eternal gospel means it is the one established before time and preached in all ages. This is the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 Fear God means to recognize and live understanding: his holiness His sovereignty His judgment of sin Psalm 111:10 Proverbs 23:17 Proverbs 24:21 1 Peter 2:17 Matthew 10:28 14:8 "Babylon" was the ancient city in Mesopotamia that had become the political and religious capital of world empires (Assyria, Babylon, Persia, even Greece when they conquered). This power was centered in Rome in John's day. The second angel pronounces judgment. The second angel quickly responds since few listen to the first angel Babylon’s fall is certain and is spoken as if final Literal Greek: "which of the wine of the anger of the fornication of her has made to drink all the nations" "anger" is "thumos" meanings anger, burning anger" "fornication is "porneias" and means "immorality, illicit sexual activity"
14:10 The idea is that one can not drink the cup of the beast without drinking the cup of the Lord’s wrath. “full strength” is “kekerasmenou akratou” means “mixed unmixed” “Kekerasmenou” is the word used of preparing wine by adding spices; it came to mean “properly mixed.” “akratou” means full strength, unmixed, undiluted, not diluted with water. Those who worship the beast will drink of God’s wrath unmixed with God’s mercy and grace. “wrath” is “horga” /hor-gay/ and means wrath, anger. It is different than another word used so far of God’s wrath, “thumos”. “thumos” refers to the white heat of God’s anger. “horga” refers to the settled felling of righteous indignation.
14:11 “basanismou outwn eiV aiwnaV aiwnwn anabainei” “torment of them unto ages of ages goes up” “torment” is torturing pain, suffering “goes up” is present indicative active and means to go up, to ascen. The present tense connected with the temporal designation “forever” indicates a continual unbroken action.” “rest” “anarausin” means stopping, resting, ceasing, relief. The word was used in the papyri with the idea of relief from public duties; the word contains the idea of temporary rest as a preparation for future toil . Hell: Isaiah 66:24, Daniel 12:2; Matt 3:12; 2 Thess.1:9; Matt. 18:8; 25:41, 46; Mk9:43, 48; Chapter 14 is a comparison of the ultimate end of the 7 years with the detailed reign of the beast in chapter 13. Although much of the book of Revelation flows in chronological order, this chapter appears to jump ahead chronologically to give the reader a contrast with the oppressive chapter 13. This fulfills the basic purpose of the book which is to encourage and give the believer hope. Seven short oracles of the end of the age 1) Lamb and 144,000 The godly remnant that greet the Lord on his return 2) Proclamation of the eternal gospel Testimony is given to the Gentile nations and Israel 3) Fallen Babylon and its maddening wine The final fall of man’s empire; the Christ-less kingdoms 4) Eternal Hell for the beast worshippers The awful eternal doom of the beast worshippers 5) Rest for the dead The blessed eternal state of those martyred for the Lord 6) The Lord and the Sickle: The Grain Harvest The harvest of the righteous 7) The angel and his Sickle: The Grape Harvest The slaughter of men So, here in this chapter we have the full outline of God’s activities in the final days of the tribulation crisis. 7:2-4, "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." The seal appears to protect the 144,000 while the earth is being destroyed by the seals, the trumpets, the plagues and the terror of the beast. 13:16-18, The number or name of the beast is placed on those loyal to the anti-christ so that they can be identified and are free to buy and sell. The 144,000 bear the name of their God and the beast worshippers bear the name of the one to whom they have sworn loyalty. It will be simple in the day of judgment to determine who has sided with Christ and who has opposed him. Chapter 14 begins with a contrast to chapter 13. Chapter 13 ends with the fear and mark of the beast. Chapter 14 moves the reader to the end of the 7 years (or, the end of the 42 months of terror) with the anti-christ. Here we see the Lord having returned to the earth. Not only that but all of the 144,000 that he had sealed for protection standing with him on the earth. 2 Esdras 2:42-47, 42: "I, Ezra, saw on Mount Zion a great multitude, which I could not number, and they all were praising the Lord with songs. 43: In their midst was a young man of great stature, taller than any of the others, and on the head of each of them he placed a crown, but he was more exalted than they. And I was held spellbound. 44: Then I asked an angel, "Who are these, my lord?" 45: He answered and said to me, "These are they who have put off mortal clothing and have put on the immortal, and they have confessed the name of God; now they are being crowned, and receive palms." 46: Then I said to the angel, "Who is that young man who places crowns on them and puts palms in their hands?" 47: He answered and said to me, "He is the Son of God, whom they confessed in the world." So I began to praise those who had stood valiantly for the name of the Lord. 48: Then the angel said to me, "Go, tell my people how great and many are the wonders of the Lord God which you have seen." The book today termed 2 Esdras is not in the Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox canon. It was written too late to be included in the Septuagint, but it was in an appendix to the Vulgate, and it is also found among the Apocrypha in the King James Version and Revised Standard Version. Daniel J. Harrington writes: "The work known as 2 Esdras is in fact three separate compositions. In them Ezra functions not as the architect of Israel's return from exile but rather as a prophet and a visionary. In 2 Esdras 1-2 (also known as 5 Ezra) Ezra prophesies about God's rejection of Israel as God's people and its replacement by the Church. This is a Christian work composed in Greek in the mid-second century C.E. In 2 Esdras 3-14 (also known as 4 Ezra) Ezra engages in dialogue about the meaning of Israel's sufferings and is granted visions that reveal what God is going to do in the near future on Israel's behalf. This is a Jewish work written in Hebrew around 100 C.E. The material contained in 2 Esdras 15-16 (also known as 6 Ezra) consists of oracles of doom against the enemies of God's people (the Church) and advice on how those enduring persecution should behave. This is a Christian work composed in Greek in the third century C.E." (Invitation to the Apocrypha, p. 185) Michael E. Stone writes: "We can be more confident about the circumstances of the composition of 4 Ezra. The book stems from the last decade of the first century A.D. and was composed in reaction to the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Its primary concern, therefore, is to understand that traumatic event. To do this the book charts Ezra's development from distress to consolation. This development is paralleled by his growth as a visionary until, by the end of the sixth vision, he is designated a prophet. Full consolation has also brought full prophetic status. Thus another major concern of the book, the restoration of the tradition of secrets concerning the eschaton, or end-time, is made possible by Ezra's consolation." (Harper's Bible Commentary, pp. 776-777) Marjorie L. Kimbrough writes: "While Ezra is talking to the woman and imploring her to shake off her great sadness, her face begins to shine and flash like lightning. When she cries out, the earth shakes, and Ezra is frightened. Then the woman disappears and in her place Ezra sees a city being built, and he cries out in fear for the angel Uriel (10:25-28). The angel comes to him and tells him to 'stand up like a man' and abandon his fear. Uriel explains that the woman represents Jerusalem; her barrenness represents the many years during which there was no temple of offering to God; the years of care given to the son represent the years of Jewish residence in Jerusalem; her son's death represents the destruction that befell Jerusalem; and Ezra's compassion for her allowed him to see the brilliance of the New Jerusalem, the Holy City, representing the hope that awaits those who accept the commands of God (10:29-54)." (Stories Between the Testaments, pp. 122-123) Mount Zion is the place where the Messiah would gather to himself a great company of the redeemed: Psalm 2 Psalm 48:1 Isaiah 11:9-12 Isaiah 24:23 Joel 2:32 Obadiah 17, 21 Micah 4:1,7 Zechariah 14:4, 10 2 Esdras 13:29-35 29: Behold, the days are coming when the Most High will deliver those who are on the earth. 30: And bewilderment of mind shall come over those who dwell on the earth. 31: And they shall plan to make war against one another, city against city, place against place, people against people, and kingdom against kingdom. 32: And when these things come to pass and the signs occur which I showed you before, then my Son will be revealed, whom you saw as a man coming up from the sea. 33: And when all the nations hear his voice, every man shall leave his own land and the warfare that they have against one another; 34: and an innumerable multitude shall be gathered together, as you saw, desiring to come and conquer him. 35: But he shall stand on the top of Mount Zion. 36: And Zion will come and be made manifest to all people, prepared and built, as you saw the mountain carved out without hands. 37: And he, my Son, will reprove the assembled nations for their ungodliness (this was symbolized by the storm), 38: and will reproach them to their face with their evil thoughts and the torments with which they are to be tortured (which were symbolized by the flames), and will destroy them without effort by the law (which was symbolized by the fire). 39: And as for your seeing him gather to himself another multitude that was peaceable, 40: these are the ten tribes which were led away from their own land into captivity in the days of King Hoshea, whom Shalmaneser the king of the Assyrians led captive; he took them across the river, and they were taken into another land. Mounce says, "The mountain in John's vision, however, is not on earth. It is the heavenly Mount Zion (Heb.12:22), the Jerusalem that is above (Gal. 4:26). . .the entire scene is one of praise before the throne of heaven. . . .(the 144,000) are better understood as the entire body of the redeemed. . . The repetition of the number is not to ensure an exact identification between the two groups but to point out that not one has been lost. , in fact, the number 144,000 of chapter 14 corresponds with the innumerable multitude found in the second vision of chapter 7. " Wolvoord says, "Preferable is the view that this is a prophetic vision of the ultimate triumph of the Lamb following His second coming, when He joins the 144,000 on Mount Zion at the beginning of His millennial reign." Walter Scott says the 144,000 are not the same as the 144,000 in chapter 7. Without giving any reason or scriptural support he says that the 144,000 of chapter 14 are all from the tribe of Judah. The 144,000 of chapter 7 and 14 are the same group. Chapter 7 shows them at the beginning of the tribulation and chapter 14 at the end of the seven years triumphant and ready to begin the millennial reign.
14:12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus (NAS)
14:13 "Then I heard a voice from
This is the fifth time a voice has spoken from heaven. The point is this is very important and a divine pronouncement. "Blessed" is makarios and refers to spiritual joy, bliss, fulfillment, and satisfaction." "who die in the Lord from now on" What does "from now on" refer to? a) the end of the tribulation b) the midpoint of the tribulation c) from the time the readers originally heard John's letter? Since the saints have just been encouraged to obey God and remain faithful to Jesus Christ in the midst of the beast's kingdom the time reference "from now on" refers to the time the AC begins to persecute the believers. Blessed are those who die in the Lord at the hand of the beast. Those who receive favor from the beast are not blessed, even though they may appear to be blessed. Believers may suffer martyrdom but are blessed upon their death.
14:13 " 'Yes', says the Spirit,
'they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.' "
This is one of two places where the Spirit speaks directly in Revelation. Also, Revelation 22:17, "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' " The Spirit also speaks directly in: Acts 13:2, "The Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' " Hebrews 3:7, "So as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,. . .' " Hebrews 10:15, "The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 'This is the covenant I will make with them after that time says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.' " "rest" is future middle indicative of anapauomai and means to have relief, to cease, to rest. "labor" is kopoV and means toil, labor, hard work which produces weariness. "Their deeds will follow them" indicating the believer enters heaven without the assistance of their deeds. But, since their deeds follow them into heaven the deeds become the basis for their rewards. Hebrews 6:10 2 Timothy 4:7-8 1 Corinthians 3:12-14
GOD'S FINAL JUDGMENT ON THE EARTH
14:14-16 The Grain Harvest The son of man is seen coming to judge the earth. Daniel 7:13-14 is a vision of the Son of Man coming with the clouds. The clouds are the divine glory. The fact that here in Revelation the man is seen sitting on the clouds with a sickle indicates he is ready and waiting for judgment. "Crown" is the stefanos "Another angel" this is the fourth angel in this chapter. The first three announced judgment was coming. The fourth releases the judgment. The Son of Man can now execute the judgment with the authority the Father has given him. John 5:22, "Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. . .he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. . .By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." Acts 10:42, "He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead." Acts 17:31, "For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." The word used for "ripe" in verse 15 is exeranqe and means "to become dry or withered." Wolvoord says the word has a bad connotation to it implying that judgment is long overdue. The picture is of dry withered fruit that is worthless. MacArthur says, "the verb translated 'is ripe' actually means 'dried up, withered, overripe or rotten.' The grain (the earth) pictured here has passed the point of any usefulness and is fit only to be 'gathered up and burned with fire.' " But, the Linguistic Key says, "the word indicates perfect ripeness. The angel leaves the temple with the message from God to begin the judgment. Some consider this the release of the final bowls which are the judgment of the earth. The bowls are not to cause repentance but to bring the final judgment. The grape harvest would then be Armageddon. Some consider this to be the harvest of the righteous and the grape judgment to be the harvest of the unbelievers.
14:17-20 The Grape Harvest This is mentioned in the OT with similar imagery: Isaiah 63:1-6 Joel 3:12-13 This is the winepress judgment. The angel does the harvest and the Son of Man tramples the grapes in the winepress. An angel comes out of the temple with a sickle. (this is the fifth angel of this chapter) Another angel (sixth angel of chapter) comes from the altar and gives the command to begin the second harvest. The fact that this angel comes from the altar of burnt incense indicates this action (judgment) is associated with prayer Psalm 141:2, "May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice." The word "ripe" is the aorist active indicative of akmozw and means to be ripe, to be in the prime, to be at the peak. "stadia" is stadion and measures about 670 feet so that the distance here would be approximately 184 miles. When Jerusalem was taken by Titus, Josephus says that the Roman soldiers slew all they met and made the whole city run down with blood to such a degree that the fire of many houses was quenched with these men's blood. The first sickle swung by the Son of Man (grain harvest) could be the bowl judgments. The angel with the second sickle (grape harvest) would then be Armageddon where all the survivors of the first harvest show up for the battle of Armageddon to be trampled in the winepress of the Lord. The winepress outside the city would make the place of this winepress Armageddon. A large plain in northern Israel west of the Sea of Galilee. It is sixty miles north of Jerusalem. The scene of this battle will extend south through Israel all the way to Bozrah in Edom . The distance from Bozrah up to the valley of Megiddo is about 180 miles. The blood will flow in streams to the lowest point which is the dead sea. Daniel 11:45 Zechariah 14:1-4, the battle is outside of Jerusalem Isaiah 63:1, the Lord returns from Bozrah Joel 3:12-14- “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness! Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” Matthew 3:11-12— “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” The battle of Armageddon is really not a battle. It is the Lord’s slaughter of men. Hebrews 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blesssed are all who take refuge in him.” This is the wrath of the Lamb. Some see a distinction between Jesus and God in the OT. Not here!!