Revelation 14:1-8

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

THE VICTORY OF THE LAMB

AND HIS FOLLOWERS

INTRODUCTION:

In Revelation of Jesus Christ 11:15 the seventh trumpet is sounded.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 11:15 - And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Chapters 12-14 form an interlude between the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the revelation of the contents of the seventh trumpet.

Chapter 12 deals with the important characters of the period.

Chapter 13 deals with the wicked rulers of the period.

Chapter 14 deals with the ultimate triumph of Christ.

We see -

I. THE LAMB AND THE 144,000 ON MOUNT ZION - 14:1-5

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:1-5 - (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.

In verse 1 the Lamb and the 144,000 are seen standing together on Mount Zion.

I looked, which refers to John, is the same phrase translated previously in Revelation I saw or I beheld.

And, lo is and, behold as it is translated in verse 14. The word translated lo is used to heighten or gain the reader's attention.

What John saw is a Lamb stood on the mount Sion. This Lamb is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Who has been referred to as the Lamb a number of times previously in Revelation. He was introduced in chapter 5 as the One Who is worthy to take the book and to open its seals, which He then opened in chapters 6 and 8.

The tense of stood indicates that the Lamb has already taken His position of standing by the time John saw Him.

On the mount Sion indicates that the Lamb stood on a hill inside Jerusalem named Mount Zion.

An hundred forty and four thousand refers to those Jews in chapter 7 who had been sealed in order to provide them with protection throughout the tribulation.

Having his Father's name written in their foreheads refers to the sealing of the 144,000. In chapter 7 it was revealed that they had been sealed in their foreheads, but it was not revealed what they had been sealed with. Here in chapter 14 it is made known that they were sealed by having God the Father's name written in their foreheads.

His refers to the Lamb, and by referring to God the Father as his Father, it is clear that the Lamb is Christ, the Son of God.

In their foreheads (or on their foreheads) indicates the location of the seal. By having the name of God the Father on their foreheads, they were marked for everyone to see that they belonged to God and were not to be harmed. By contrast, those who worshiped the antichrist were sealed in their foreheads or in their right hands with the antichrist's number for all to see.

The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is standing on Mount Zion in Jerusalem indicates that the second coming has already occurred, the battle of Armageddon is over, and the 144,000 have lived through the tribulation. The scene demonstrates not only that God's word is good but also that He is able to keep His word and that Satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, and the world filled with beast worshipers are not able to thwart Him in the least. The scene occurs after the second coming of Christ, either at the beginning of the millennium or just prior to the start of the millennium.

The fact that the seal in Revelation of Jesus Christ 7:3 guaranteed the safety of these 144,000 Jews throughout the tribulation indicates that this cannot be Mount Zion in the heavenly Jerusalem. For the scene to be in heaven rather than on earth, it would necessitate the deaths of the 144,000; but their sealing guarantees that this could not have occurred.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:2 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.

I heard refers to John.

What John heard was a voice from heaven. It is not completely clear whose voice this was which John heard, but it is clear that the voice was from heaven or out of heaven.

The reader is told that the voice was as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder. In both uses voice can mean sound or noise. Anyone who has been around fast moving water in the rapids of a mountain stream or on the shore of an ocean where the waves repeatedly come crashing onto the shore or near a large waterfall such as Niagara Falls knows that many waters can make much noise. Anyone who has ever been in a thunderstorm where the thunder and lightning are very close knows how loud thunder can be. This voice reminded John both of many waters and of thunder.

And I heard introduces something else John heard or else emphasizes the voice he has already heard: the voice of harpers harping with their harps.

Voice may mean nothing more than sound or noise. What John heard were harps being played and the harpists singing. The word for harpers indicates that the harpers were accompanying themselves as they sang. We are not told who was playing the harps and singing.

What is not clear is whether John heard two things: 1) a voice from heaven and 2) the voice of harpers harping with their harps or whether the voice (or noise or sound) he heard was harpers playing their harps. The fact that the text does not say what the voice said suggests that the voice John heard was the voice of the harpers singing.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:3 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.

They sung as it were a new song refers to the harpists who were singing while accompanying themselves on their harps.

They sung is they sang.

As it were is simply as. They sung as it were a new song means simply, They sang a new song. It was a new song, apparently in the sense that it had never been sung or heard previously.

Before the throne, and before the four beasts, and before the elders indicates where they were singing.

Before the throne is the throne referred to in Revelation of Jesus Christ 4 on which God the Father is seated. They were singing in the very presence of God. Also in the very presence of God were the four beasts, i.e. the four living beings seen in chapter 4, as well as the twenty-four elders who are representatives of the church assembled in heaven.

No man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

No man is no one or nobody. It includes females as well as males. It apparently also includes angels.

Could learn that song is was able to learn that song, i.e. the song sung by the harpers who were accompanying their own singing on their harps.

But is except.

The only group which was able to learn this song were  the 144,000 who are described by which were redeemed from the earth.

Which were redeemed is who were bought or who were purchased.

From the earth indicates what the 144,000 have been bought or purchased from. In the next verse it states that they were redeemed from among men, and it seems that the meaning is the same. From the earth, therefore, seems to mean from the inhabitants of the earth. It means that the 144,000 were saved individuals.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:4 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.

These are they refers to the 144,000, the same group who had been sealed in their foreheads by having the name of God written on their foreheads.

Which were not defiled with women indicates that there had been no immorality on their part. It means that there had been no sexual relations of any kind with women to whom they were not married, and for they are virgins indicates that they had never been married. It means that they were male virgins and that they had never had a sexual relation, proper or improper, with anyone. The demands placed on these 144,000 in the great tribulation would make marriage impractical if not impossible. Married men would not be able to do what the 144,000 are required to do.

For introduces the reason they had not defiled themselves with women.

The second these are they likewise refers to these 144,000 virgin men who had been sealed with the name of God on their foreheads. They are saved Jews who are divinely protected as they witnessed for Christ during the great tribulation.

Which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth further describes these 144,000 men.

Which follow is the ones who follow or the ones who are following.

The One Whom they are continually following is the Lamb, i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ.

Whithersoever he goeth is wherever He (i.e. wherever the Lamb) goes. They were following the Lamb rather than the beast. It is an indication that they were never involved in idolatry by worshiping the beast or his image.

These were redeemed is these 144,000 men were bought (or were purchased).

From among men indicates where they had been prior to their being redeemed, bought, or purchased. They were human beings.

Being the firstfruits means that they are among the first ones saved in the tribulation era during which they were sealed, and their salvation provided promise that there would be many more saved during the tribulation.

The firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb is the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb or the firstfruits for God and for the Lamb.

God is God the Father; whereas, the Lamb is God the Son.

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

Verse 5 means that the 144,000 are genuine and blameless in the sight of God.

In their mouth was found no guile pictures a collective mouth out of which all 144,000 spoke. It means that they all said the same things in the same way.

Guile is deceit, cunning, or treachery. There was nothing dishonest or tricky in what they said or in the way they said it.

For they [i.e. the 144,000] are without fault [i.e. blameless] before [i.e. in the presence of (or in the sight of)] the throne of God. This provides the reason no guile was found in their mouths.

The throne of God is the place where God the Father sits. Without fault before the throne of God means that they are blameless in the sight of God the Father.

Next, we see -

II. THE ANGEL WITH THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL - 14:6-7

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:6-7 - (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.

I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven.

I saw is the same Greek word translated I beheld in verse 1. It is also translated I looked several times in Revelation.

Another angel is another angel of the same sort, and this angel was seen to fly in the midst of heaven or flying in midheaven. It suggests that this angel was flying overhead above the earth. Midheaven is the place where the sun is seen at noon.

Having the everlasting gospel indicates that, while this angel was flying in midheaven, he had in his possession eternal good news.

Gospel is good news, and the content of this gospel is indicated in the next verse as giving these inhabitants of the world one last chance to be saved before Christ returns and it is everlastingly too late.

The gospel is everlasting in the sense that it is ageless and not for any specific period of time.

This is an ageless gospel in the sense that God's righteousness is ageless. Throughout eternity God will continue to manifest Himself in grace toward the saints and in punishment toward the wicked.

It seems that God in His mercy is giving one last opportunity to turn to Him for the mercy He has offered if they will trust Christ as Savior, believing that He died on the cross to pay for their sins and rose again from the dead.

To preach unto [i.e. to announce good news to] them that dwell on the earth [i.e. the ones who are dwelling upon the earth, the ones who are living upon the earth, or the ones who are inhabiting the earth. It has been used consistently in Revelation to refer to the unsaved inhabitants of the earth.

That the everlasting gospel is for all of the unsaved that dwell on the earth is made clear by and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. This same expression has been seen a number of times in Revelation although not always with the same word order.

The first and may be emphatic and understood in the sense of indeed, or it may be understood in the sense of both.

To every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people indicates that these people are from all over the world.

Every describes all four words: nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

Nation speaks of people from all over the world and overlaps in meaning with the word translated kindred and with the word people.

Kindred is a term which is often used in the sense of tribe. It also has a second and broader meaning: that of nation or people.

Tongue is language and suggests that these people represent all kinds of different languages.

People, like nation, speaks of people from all over the world and overlaps in meaning with the word translated kindred.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:7 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.

Saying refers to the angel mentioned in verse 6, and with a loud voice or with a great voice indicates how this angel was speaking.

The message he delivers is the content of the everlasting gospel introduced in verse 6. This instruction includes three commandments: 1) fear God, 2) give glory to Him, and 3) worship Him.

Fear suggests that they were to become frightened or perhaps that they were to stand in awe of or reverence. The tense of fear indicates that they were not presently fearing God and that they were to begin at once to fear Him because time was running out for them.

The One Whom they were to fear is God. Now this is not just any god; this is the God of heaven, the God of the Bible. It is a reference to God the Father.

A second commandment is give glory to him.

The tense of give likewise indicates that they were not presently giving glory to Him and that they were to begin to do so at once. It is urgent that they not delay because there will soon be no further opportunity for them.

What these unbelievers were called upon to give was glory to him, i.e. to God. One gives glory to God by ascribing to Him all the credit and honor that He deserves for Who He is and for what He has done rather than ascribing these to some other god. It results in a turning from sin and a complete submission to Him and to His way of thinking as expressed in the Scriptures. It results in trusting in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins.

The reason one is to fear God and give glory to Him is indicated by for the hour of his judgment is come.

For is the word ordinarily translated because and is to be understood in this sense here.

The hour is the time and suggests the time appointed by God. His plan is moving right on schedule and is never interrupted by forces outside of Himself.

The specific time in view is the time of his [i.e. of God's] judgment.

By judgment is meant the action He is about to take in the second coming of Christ and the destruction of the world system headed up by Satan and his forces.

Is come is translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action. Even though it has not yet taken place, its action has been put into a past tense in order to emphasize its certainty.

A third command is worship, a term which means to fall down and worship, to prostrate yourselves before, or to do reverence to. Its tense likewise indicates that its action has not yet begun but that it is to begin at once. These people are not presently worshiping the Lord, and they are now being told to begin to worship Him, something they have never previously done.

The One Whom they are to begin to worship is him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. He is the creator of all there is.

Him that made is the One Who made in the sense of the One Who created.

What He made is heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Heaven in this context refers to both the stellar and the atmospheric heavens.

Earth is referring to the planet known as the earth on which the readers live. One is reminded of Genesis 1:1 , In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

God also created the sea by which is meant the oceans, the large bodies of water which cover much of the earth's surface.

In addition God made the fountains of waters, by which is meant the rivers and streams which ultimately pour their waters into the oceans.

Finally, we see -

III. PROPHECY OF THE COMING OF THE FALL OF BABYLON - 14:8

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:8 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.

There followed another angel is another angel of the same sort followed.

Followed suggests that this second angel came after the first one mentioned in verse 6.

Saying indicates what this angel was doing while following the first one.

Babylon refers to the world system headed by Satan which made its first appearance at Babel. You remember the tower of Babel. Prophetically, Babylon sometimes refers to a literal city, sometimes to a religious system, and sometimes to a political system, all stemming from the evil character of historic Babylon. It is represented by religious Babylon (i.e. by the world church). It is also represented by political and commercial Babylon (i.e. by the world empire of the beast).

The woman, referred to as MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT in Revelation of Jesus Christ 17 , which is a reference to the apostate church, will be dominant in the first half of the tribulation, and it will apparently be destroyed at the end of the first half of the tribulation in anticipation of the universal worship of the beast.

The destruction of the city of Babylon itself, whether it is a reference to Rome, as is commonly held, or a reference to a rebuilt city of Babylon on the ancient site of historic Babylon, does not take place until the end of the great tribulation.

Inasmuch as religious Babylon has apparently already fallen in the middle of the tribulation, and since the context seems to deal primarily with the end of the great tribulation and the beginning of the Millennium, the reference in this passage seems to be to the destruction of the city of Babylon, i.e. to political and commercial Babylon, the world empire headed by the beast or antichrist.

Is fallen, is fallen indicates action viewed as already having taken place even though it has not yet actually occurred. It is so certain of fulfillment that it can be spoken of as having already taken place.

Is fallen is stated twice in order to emphasize it. It is also translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

Babylon is described by that great city.

The reason Babylon is seen as having fallen is because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Babylon was instrumental in getting all the nations of the world to follow her in committing spiritual fornication. As a result they are all deserving of the condemnation of God, and His wrath will be poured out upon them all because they all deserve it.

She made all nations drink of is she has caused all nations to drink, which means she has caused all nations to participate in. Its tense indicates that this occurred in the past and that its result has continued on to the present.

All nations implies that there are no nations which are excepted. All are included.

The wrath indicates what all nations are caused to drink or to participate in, and it is God's wrath.

The wrath of her fornication suggests the wrath produced by her fornication, the wrath which her fornication produced, or the wrath resulting from her fornication.

Fornication is a general term which includes all kinds of illicit sexual intercourse. Here it is spiritualized and understood in the sense, not of physical immorality, but of spiritual immorality, i.e. of idolatry. Babylon pursued idolatry, a false religious system, and encouraged others to join her. This will bring about the wrath of God.

The nations who participate in the spiritual corruption induced by Babylon will ultimately share her divine condemnation and judgment.

Like the pronouncement of the previous angel and the other prophecies of the chapter, the promise of judgment upon the Babylonian system is designed to bring comfort to those in trial in that period.