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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

Revelation 14

 

 

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Introduction

Christ and The Dragon. Chapters 12-14. (Genesis 3:15)

This is the fourth parallel section, and we again return to the First Coming of Christ. "And I will place hostility between you and the woman and between your children [IDARO] and her children [IDARO]; he will crush your head, and you will strike at his heel." [ Genesis 3:15. Zamenhof]


Verses 1-5

The Lamb standing on Mount Zion. "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion" (Psalm 125:1) Compare Hebrews 12:22; and see note on Revelation 7:9. 144,000. This is clearly a symbolic number. Note that they are all: men (males); unmarried; virgins; faultless. The voice John hears sing the new song is theirs. It sounded like: the roar of a waterfall; a loud peal of thunder; harpists playing. It is a new song that omits the trivial and the trite. It sings of a NEW EXPERIENCE! This song is about the new experience of those who have been "bought for God" (Revelation 5:9). Only those who have been set free by the imputed righteousness of Christ (Romans 8:4) can understand the meaning of this. They have chosen to follow Christ and have kept themselves pure from sin (James 1:27). Therefore only those who have been REDEEMED from earth can learn this new song! [Avoid taking Revelation 14:4 a literally! Read what Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:1-5.] From the rest of mankind. They were bought for God out of the rest of the people. The first fruits are for God, and Satan takes all the other. The Harvest of the Earth is pictured in the last part of this chapter.


Verse 6-7

Then I saw another angel. The three angels of this section belong together. Their mission is to warn of impending doom, and to call mankind to "fear God and praise his greatness!" This is one mission, because the warning is also a call. God wants all mankind to turn to him! Fear God. All mankind is ALREADY LOST! No one can escape, who continues in unbelief! The Good News is that God has acted in history through Christ, and that all can now turn to him and be saved!


Verse 8

A second angel. The angel identifies Babylon, the third of Satan's agents. Babylon symbolizes the world as a center of anti-christian seduction [the glamour, glitter, romance, etc, which leads many to "sell their soul" because they are in love with this present world (2 Timothy 4:10)]. Babylon is described more completely in chapters 17-19. She has fallen! So certain is the destruction of Babylon, that the angel uses the "historic future" to speak of the event as though it had already happened! This is a warning to all who love this world! The "strong wine of her immoral lust" brings only death! The Good News is that Jesus offers a way to escape the Wrath of Judgment!


Verses 9-11

Whoever worships the beast and its image. "If your choice is to worship Satan, you must expect to share his doom." Since hell is a place of spirits, symbolic language is used to describe the TORMENT that is really indescribable! The fact that never-ending punishment will be the fate of those who hate the Lord and persecute his church, should help strengthen the believer to go on being faithful to the Lord. [It often looks like the Devil has it all on his side, and that he is winning. But you cannot sin and get away with it! "Pay-day" will come! If you keep the faith, you CANNOT lose!]


Verse 12-13

Happy are the dead! One of the "beatitudes" of Revelation. [See note on Revelation 19:9.] Those who endure are HAPPY! [Happy: no word exactly translates MAKARIOS. It shows extreme happiness!] "Suffering Christian, you may have it hard now, but don't let it discourage you!" "And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble" (2 Corinthians 4:17).


Verse 14

Then I looked. We come again to the Final Judgment. We see a two-part harvest. Who looked like a man. This is Jesus. Compare note on Revelation 1:13. He wears a crown of gold, not thorns. The cloud symbolizes judgment. The sharp sickle in his hand symbolizes harvest.


Verse 15-16

Use your sickle. This is Christ's harvest. Those symbolized by this are the first-fruits [the 144,000 mentioned in the first section of this chapter] of earth. Swung his sickle on the earth. The first harvest is all the redeemed, that Isaiah, all who have reached out through faith to seize the sacrifice of Christ and make themselves part of it. [See notes on Acts 2:37-38.] Compare Matthew 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. The Church Militant becomes the Church Triumphant! See notes on Revelation 7:9.


Verses 17-20

17-20. Then I saw another angel. This, angel destroys all the unbelievers of earth. [This does not mean annihilation.] He shouted in a loud voice. Still another angel shouts to the destroying angel. These are God's orders: "Use your sickle." Cut the grapes from the vine. The vine symbolizes the great crowds of evil men who repudiate God. The grapes symbolize the individual unbelievers. The grapes were squeezed out. These who would not believe are crushed in the winepress of God's wrath. The blood comes out in a flood 200 miles long and about five feet deep to show the completeness of God's JUDGMENT of the earth. [I understand both harvests to take place at the same time. Compare Matthew 13:36-43; Matthew 25:31-33.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 14:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-14.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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