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Bible Commentaries

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
Revelation 14

 

 

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Verses 1-20

Chapter14

And I looked, and, lo, there was a Lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father"s name written in their foreheads ( Revelation 14:1 ).

Now back in chapter seven, we remember that these one hundred and forty-four thousand were sealed of God in their foreheads. And the angel was commanded not to hurt the earth until those could be sealed. And he saw them being sealed in their foreheads, the one hundred and forty-four thousand. That is twelve thousand from each of the tribes. So, there is no reason at all not to believe that these one hundred and forty-four thousand are the same group that we saw back in chapter seven sealed in their foreheads. Now here we are told what the seal is. The seal is the name of the Father written in their foreheads.

And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters ( Revelation 14:2 ),

Jesus is in chapter one, as He spoke, His voice was as many waters.

the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 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 eaRuth ( Revelation 14:2-3 ).

Now, they are there and they are singing an exclusive song. They have an exclusive relationship with the Lord. They were sealed and they were preserved during a portion of the great tribulation period. And so they have that special relationship with God and they can sing of that special relationship.

In the same token we the church have a special relationship and we have our own song that no one can sing, except the church. Our song is the song of redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ, and we find it back in chapter five. And they sang a new song saying, "Worthy is the Lamb to take the scroll and loose the seals, for he was slain, and has redeemed us by his blood out of all the nations, tongues, tribes and people, and has made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign with him upon the earth"( Revelation 5:13 ). That is a song exclusive for the church. The one hundred and forty-four thousand cannot sing that song. They have got their own.

We find the martyred saints have their own song in chapter seven. The poor angels are left out of all of these songs. They can only join the chorus. "Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory, and honor, and power, and dominion, and authority and might and all". They can join the chorus, but they can"t sing the verse. That is ours, the worthiness of the Lamb who has redeemed us by his blood. It is a song of redemption belonging to the church.

Now, these have their own songs. We can"t join in, but we can listen as they declare the greatness of God and the preservation during the time of great tribulation.

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 [that is out of this Great Tribulation period] ( Revelation 14:4 ).

Now there are several groups that seek to identify themselves as the one hundred and forty-four thousand. Jehovah witnesses have sought to identify themselves as the one hundred and forty-four thousand. Herbert W. Armstrong seeks to identify himself as the one hundred and forty-four thousand with his followers. And several groups have sought this identity, but very out of sorts to then follow through and make it possible for Herbert Armstrong.

He then embraces the anglo-Israel, British-Israel concept that the supposed lost tribes are actually the European nations. And those of the tribe of Dan came to Denmark, and Denmark is literally Dan"s mark. So, the people are called Danish or Dan-ish. And the word "ish" in Hebrew is man. So, you have Dan"s man. The Danish people are the tribe of Dan. I would not receive much comfort out of that if I were a Dane, because they are the one tribe that is not sealed of the one hundred and forty-four thousand. There are Engl-ish, and Swed-ish. Now I don"t know which tribe is Swede. They say the "ish" at the end of the name is meaning man in Hebrew, so that makes them of that tribe. I think he is of the tribe Foolish.

"Virgins following the Lamb whithersoever he goes". Now it could be that the parable of the ten virgins fits in here some place. They followed the Lamb whithersoever he goes.

In the oriental weddings, or what they call oriental, the Mid-eastern, they have a big celebration. Usually the wedding feast would go on for several days, but then the groom would finally take off and get the bride and come for her and then they would put them in this carrier and carry them around town. The bride never knew exactly when he was coming during this period of time, so she had to always be ready. And she would be there with all of her unmarried girl friends waiting excitedly for these guys to come up the street with the groom. He is now coming for his bride. We know he is coming. Don"t exactly know when. As they would then bear the bride and groom through the streets, the virgins, the bridesmaids, would all follow after. It was just a part of the whole ceremony. They were not the bride, but they followed the bride and the groom.

So, these one hundred and forty-four thousand are not the bride of Christ. The church is the bride of Christ quite obviously in chapter nineteen. But these are virgins, which do follow the procession. They follow the Lamb being the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb out of the Great Tribulation period.

And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God ( Revelation 14:5 ).

You say, "Oh, lucky". No, you are too. Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. When the Lord presents you before the Father, He is going to present you faultless. You say, "Impossible". Yes, that is what Jesus said, "With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible" ( Matthew 19:26 ). Peter said, "Who can be saved then?"( Matthew 19:25 ). It is glorious to realize that the Lord is presenting me faultless before the Father. Before the throne of God, I will be presented faultless for I will be in Christ.

Now, these appear faultless before the throne of God also speaking of that redemptive work of Jesus even in their lives.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those that dwell upon the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people ( Revelation 14:6 ).

A local television station recently was advertising that they were going to put this little angel up in the sky. And their satellite, that they had raised so much money for, was this angel that was going to fly through carrying the everlasting gospel. Their own satellite up there. Unfortunately, it got lost in its orbit. And they haven"t been able to find that angel. Let"s hope it is not a fallen angel.

I think that this is not a satellite launched from the space shuttle, made by RCA or Hughes, but I believe that this is an actual angelic being. Now the interesting thing to me is that he has the everlasting gospel to preach to those that dwell upon the earth, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Now what did Jesus say would have to happen before the end could come? "And the gospel of the kingdom must be preached to all nations and then shall the end come" ( Matthew 24:14 ). But interestingly enough, Jesus was talking about this same period of time, the last period of time during the Great Tribulation. It is all in context with the Great Tribulation. And the gospel shall be preached as a witness to all nations.

Now, the church has taken that as a challenge and they said that Jesus can"t come again until we have preached the gospel to every nation. Now, I believe that we should seek to preach the gospel to every nation, but I do not believe that our failure to do so is hindering the return of Jesus Christ. Because I believe that that particular, "and the gospel shall be preached as a witness to all nations" is a reference to this angel that flies through the midst of heaven declaring the everlasting gospel to all the nations, kindreds and people.

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 the heaven, and eaRuth ( Revelation 14:7 ),

Now, men foolishly are worshipping the heavens. They are worshipping the earth. They are worshipping, as Paul said, "the creature more than the creator"( Romans 1:25 ). Worship the God who made the heavens. That is the rational thing to do. It is irrational to worship creation. Creation testifies of a creator. The evolutionist worships creation because they did not want to retain God in their mind. God gives them over to reprobate minds. "Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools" ( Romans 1:22 ), because they worship and serve the creature more than the creator who is blessed forever more.

So, in the proclaiming of the everlasting gospel they are given words of wisdom to worship Him who has made the heaven and earth.

and the sea, [and the river, the streams and the lakes]. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all of the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication ( Revelation 14:7-8 ).

And we will get in chapter seventeen complete details on this fallen Babylon, as we read the very same thing. And we are given details on the fall of this great religious system of Babylon.

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worships the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, 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 ( Revelation 14:9-10 ):

Now, this means that God is going to give every man a chance. The first angel proclaims the everlasting gospel. Now, this angel warns man against worshipping the beast or taking his mark, so that if a man does take the mark and does worship the beast or his image, he is doing it knowingly. He is doing it willfully in willful rebellion against God, because he has been deceived into thinking that in the final conflict that will soon be taking place, that Satan and the forces of darkness will be able to overcome the forces of light.

You listen to those involved in satanic cults and satanic worship today and they do say they are winning. Just look around and see. They think that Christianity doesn"t have a chance. They think they are on the winning side, and they are advocating their victory.

I heard some kid on Donohue the other day. He was a Satan worshiper, and he was declaring we are winning. He said, "Just look at the world in which you live, we are winning. Evil is going to triumph over good." And they are declaring their victory. And they are actually deceived into believing that they will be able to triumph. Thus, when the angel goes through the skies warning them they"re taking the mark, after that will be a deliberate willful act of rebellion against God.

That is why at this final opportunity the gospel will be proclaimed. God would not proclaim it unless there were the opportunity of being saved. And there is that final rejection that identifying themselves against God, and thus the wrath of God is to be poured out, the cup of His indignation. Indignation is an Old Testament word for the "great tribulation". You find it used many times in the Old Testament in reference to the tribulation.

and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints ( Revelation 14:10-12 ):

We were also told earlier that the patience of the saints is to know that they that incarcerate them will be incarcerated and so forth. They that kill with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here are the patience of the saints at this point.

here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus Christ. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write ( Revelation 14:12-13 ),

Now, the three angels flying through the midst of heaven, but now this is another voice from heaven.

Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from hencefoRuth ( Revelation 14:13 ):

At this point because of the Great Tribulation that is going to come upon the earth those that are martyred by their refusal, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, who die for their testimony for the Lord.

[they have ceased from their labours; or] they rest from their labours; and their works do follow them ( Revelation 14:13 ).

Now, this is confirmed by the Spirit. "Yea, saith the Spirit."

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud there was one sitting like the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 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. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped ( Revelation 14:14-16 ).

An interesting passage again, parallel passage in the book of Isaiah of him who was coming, his garments were like those who had been treading in the winepress. Jesus when He comes is coming to clean up the earth and to establish his kingdom. And here is pronounced that the time has come, "thrust in your sickle and reap the earth".

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 ( Revelation 14:18 ).

Man has come to the fullness of rebellion against God and the time of God"s final judgments have come and so the order to thrust in the sickle.

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. 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 14:19-20 ).

From Mageddo to Edom. And we read in Isaiah"s prophecy that he will be coming from Edom with his garment stained with blood. Who is this that comes with garments stained with blood? In Isaiah"s prophecy, "from Edom to Armageddon is one thousand six hundred furlongs"( Isaiah 63:1 ). And when this judgment comes, the armies and the nations of the world will have gathered for a final conflict seeking really to overthrow the Lord on His return.

In Psalm two, God said, "Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing. For they have gathered against the Lord and against his anointed,"( Psalm 2:1 ) His Messiah, His Christ. The people imagining a vain thing, that they could actually overthrow Jesus Christ and prohibit Him coming and establishing His reign. Knowing that He is coming again, knowing that He is coming to that area, they are going to gather together, and they actually feel that they can overthrow Him. People have imagined a vain thing, for they have gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ. But "He saith unto me, Ask of me and I will give you the heathen for thine inheritance and the utter most parts of the earth for thy possession" ( Psalm 2:8 ). For the Lord in heaven shall laugh for He shall have them in derision.

The stupidity of Satan and man thinking that they could actually overthrow God. God will just chuckle at the thought. "

 


Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.

Bibliography Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Revelation 14:4". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/revelation-14.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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