Revelation 14

There shall be preserved during the great Tribulation period a great company out of Israel, who will follow the Lamb and give glory to Him at whatever cost. There will be also a multitude of Gentiles redeemed by their acceptance of the everlasting Gospel, but at the cost of martyrdom. Woe to those who worship the beast and receive his mark, for they shall be tormented in hell forever.

1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; 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.

19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Revelation 14:1-8 – ​The Lamb’s Chosen Worshipers

   The blessed ones with whom this chapter opens are only the first-fruit sheaf from the great harvest field. Think of it! If one sheaf consists of 144,000, what will be the entire number of the saved? The characteristics attributed to them may be realized by us all now and here. We must bear the name, that is, the nature and character of Jesus, in our faces; we must be pure in heart and life; and we must go wherever He goes. If to Gethsemane, we must follow Him; if to Calvary, we must take up our cross and go thither; if to Heaven, we shall be with Him there also. It is thought by some that this first-fruit sheaf represents the dear children who have died in early life and have become the Savior’s body-guard and close associates. It may be so, but more likely it stands for the possessors of the child-heart.
   In majestic procession, one after another, strong angels are seen issuing from the heavenly portals, with their sublime announcements. Notice the phrase, the everlasting gospel, (Revelation 14:6). In other words, the gospel of the grace of God is no expedient brought in to patch up a program which has been seriously spoiled; it is as old as eternity and brings to men eternal joy, and peace, and hope. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Revelation 14:4—The firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

​   What a word is here! The apostle points to the radiant throng, grouped around Christ as his bodyguard of personal attendants. We had just beheld in the previous chapter the mighty legions mustering under the prince of darkness, and which furnish a strange contrast to this galaxy of strength and beauty. And as we wonder and admire, we are told that they are but as the firstfruit sheaf of the mighty harvest to be reaped from the earth.
   By examining the firstfruit sheaf, we are able to tell the nature and quality of all the other sheaves that stand in the harvest-field under the golden autumn light. It is by studying the characteristics of these happy and holy spirits that we may learn what we shall be, and what the whole body of the elect shall be one day. Let us consider their number, their character, and their occupation.
   Their number.—“With him a hundred forty and four thousand” (v. 1). But if this vast multitude is only a sheaf, what will not the entire harvest be but a multitude which none shall be able to compute?
   Their character.—Stamped indelibly with the name of God and of the Lamb; singing a new song, which only redeemed hearts can learn and redeemed lips utter; virgin souls, clad in stainless purity, with no lie in their mouths, and no blemish in their lives; purchased from among men to follow the Lamb. Such are they before the throne.
   Their occupation.—Adoration: they sing a new song. Loyal obedience and companionship: they follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They cannot claim aught to themselves. Their whole story is told in the announcement that they were purchased—purchased by the blood of the Lamb they love. —Our Daily Homily

Revelation 14:9-20 – ​The Winepress of God’s Wrath

   We cannot understand the torment of those who are depicted in Revelation 14:9-12, except it be the remorse at having refused the love of the Lamb of God. Even Christ Himself cannot save a soul from its self-condemnation. Note the emphasis of Revelation 14:13. The voice which pronounces the blessedness of the departed is from heaven. The emphasis is on the word henceforth. There is no pause in their onward progress, no dim and shadowy existence, no cessation in thought. From henceforth, that is, from the moment of death, they are blessed who die in the Lord; and this announcement is endorsed by the emphatic Yea of the Spirit. It is a great matter to have that affirmation to our words, whether we preach or teach. What could better authenticate them than that deep co-witness to God’s Word in the heart or in the Church? See Acts 5:32 and Hebrews 2:4.
   This harvest scene surely stands for the blessed revivals which have from time to time visited the world, and may especially be reckoned on in the last days of the present dispensation. Only when the harvest is gathered in will the vintage of woe and wrath commence. To which ingathering do we belong? —Through the Bible Day by Day

Revelation 14:16 – ​Jesus Christ always uses expressions with regard to His people, which impute their death to Him alone. You will recollect the expression in the Revelation – “Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest on the earth is ripe.” But when He begins to reap, not the vintage, which represents the wicked that were to be crushed, but the harvest which represents the godly; then it is said, “He that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle.” He did not leave it to His angels, He did it Himself. (Spurgeon)