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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Revelation 14

 

 

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Introduction

Die In the Lord
- Revelation Fourteen -

Revelation Fourteen allows us to take another look at the Lamb of God and at the righteous judgment of God. These are two great forces for righteousness. Revelation Thirteen pictured two forces for evil, the sea beast (the civil persecuting power of Rome), and the land beast (emperor worship). We are again reminded that God"s faithful people will be victorious.

In Revelation Fourteen the Lamb appears with the 144,000. This number represents the redeemed of all ages. The angels warn against accepting the mark of the beast through giving in to Rome. The Lamb or the Son of God appears with a sickle to harvest the earth. This is a picture of God"s wrath coming on the disobedient. They are taken to a winepress outside of the city. So much blood pours out that for two hundred miles, it is as deep as a horse"s bridle. In contrast "the dead which die in the Lord rest from their labors; and their works do follow them." (Revelation 14:13)


Verses 1-4

The Lamb on mount Zion - Revelation 14:1-5 : The Lamb is the Christ of God. It is through Him that salvation is possible. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) Our robes are made white in the blood of the Lamb. "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7:14)

Mount Zion is symbolic for Jerusalem. "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." (Psalms 48:1-2) Later this same expression was used to picture the church. "But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect." (Hebrews 12:22-23) God is still with His church in Zion; therefore the faithful have nothing to fear.

The 144,000 represent all the saved. (Revelation 7:1-8) These have left the earthly life and are with God in Heaven. Satan had put a mark on the forehead of those that belonged to him. The 144,000 have the "Father"s name written in their foreheads." John hears a voice from heaven with the rhythm of many waters, the volume of great thunders and the melody of harpers harping with their harps. The redeemed also sung a new song. (Revelation 5:9-10)

These people are spiritually pure and faithful to God. (Revelation 14:4-5) They lovingly follow the Lamb in complete obedience. "These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." The first fruits belong to God! The first fruits and the 144,000 are the same people. These are the ones separated to God for His service. All others will be separated for judgment and wrath. "In their mouth was found no guile." They are not guilty of teaching untruths.


Verses 6-11

The angel and their messages - Revelation 14:6-11 : Three of God"s headline statements are found in this section. We have already learned that God"s people are victorious. Now we hear it in BOLD headline type statements.

Statement one says "the faithful win." It makes sense to worship God and not the beast. Statement two says, "Babylon is fallen." Satan"s city has lost the battle. Statement three says "those that worship the emperor face judgment." These "drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture." "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." Those that serve Satan will be separated from God forever.


Verses 12-16

The blessedness of those that die in the Lord - Revelation 14:12-16 : The fourth headline statement has to do with those that have kept the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. This statement says, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." "Blessed are those who meet death in spiritual union with Jesus Christ." The faithful are blessed, they rest and their works follow them.

To be "in Christ," is to be in spiritual union with Him. The Bible teaches that we are baptized into Christ. (Romans 6:3-5, Galatians 3:26-27) No one can die in the Lord who has not been baptized "into Christ." To be in Christ is to be in His spiritual body, the church. Therefore it is false to believe that one could go to heaven without being a faithful member of the church. We must remember that the same obedience that puts us in Christ put us in His spiritual body. No one can die in the Lord without first being in the Lord.

This text provides a wonderful picture of God"s judgment on the righteousness. It is like gathering ripe grain into the barn. "Going home" for the Christian is a very peaceful time. There is "a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man." It is like gathering the ripe grain into the barn. It is a time of joy and victory.


Verses 17-20

The great winepress of God"s wrath - Revelation 14:17-20 : The second picture of God"s judgment is very sad. It is a picture of the judgment of the wicked. This is the same judgment as the first but we are merely looking at a different group of people. Look at some of the symbols: (1) Fire, (2) Winepress of the wrath of God, (3) Trodden without the city, and (4) Blood came out of the winepress.

This judgment pictured destruction because of iniquity or evil. God used the picture of grapes being crushed to show His punishment of the wicked. It is outside of Zion or a judgment on the non-Christians. The extreme amount of blood that was pictured was not literal but was used to picture the horrible judgment awaiting the wicked.

Judgment is coming. "And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." Are you ready for the righteous, revealing judgment of the Almighty? At judgment your works will follow you. Christianity must be much more than talk. It must be marked by our good works done in the name of the Lord and for His glory.

The wonderful blessing awaiting the faithful and the horrible punishment awaiting the wicked should move us to obey the gospel and serve God faithfully.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 14:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/revelation-14.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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