Revelation 14:9-20

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

THE DOOM OF

THE BEAST WORSHIPERS

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.

In chapter 14 there is a series of statements and visions assuring the reader of the ultimate triumph of Christ and the judgment of the wicked.

We have already seen -

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.

We have mentioned that 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. This 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 apparently occurs at the beginning of the millennium or just prior to the start of the millennium but after the second coming. 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 have necessitated the deaths of the 144,000; but their sealing guarantees that this could not have occurred.

We have also already seen -

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.

Finally, we have also already seen the -

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.

We continue with -

IV. THE DOOM OF THE WORSHIPERS OF THE BEAST - 14:9-11

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:9-11 - (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.

In verse 9 a third angel with a loud voice introduces a condition: if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand. Verses 10-11 indicate what will happen to anyone who fulfills this condition.

The third angel is a third angel.

Followed them, i.e. followed the first two angels.

Saying with a loud voice is saying with a great voice. It was loud enough for all to hear. What the angel was saying begins in verse 9 and continues in verse 10.

If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand is a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true. It will not be true of saved persons who are still alive, but it will be true of all unbelievers. If should, therefore, be understood in the sense of assuming that.

Any man is anyone, anybody, someone, or somebody.

Worship is the same word used of worshiping God in verse 7. It means to fall down and worship, prostrate himself before, or do reverence to. Its tense indicates that its action is ongoing. Hence, it is understood in the sense of worships or is worshiping.

The beast or the wild animal is a reference to the antichrist, the beast out of the sea from chapter 13.

And indicates that the worship extends beyond the beast personally.

His image refers to the image or likeness that has been made of the beast which, according to Revelation of Jesus Christ 13:14-15 , people were required to worship; or they would be killed.

Receive is receives. The implication is that once one receives this mark in his forehead or in his hand, it remains there and marks him as forever belonging to the beast.

His mark suggests the mark of the beast (or antichrist) which, according to Revelation of Jesus Christ 13:17 , is required for anyone to buy or sell. It is a mark or stamp engraved, etched, branded, cut, or imprinted. In view of the technology available today one might even think of its being implanted.

The mark of the beast would be in his [i.e. in the beast worshiper's] forehead, or in his hand or on (or upon) his forehead or on (or upon) his hand. Its wording suggests that this mark is on the surface of the skin of the forehead or hand where it can be readily seen or detected. This condition and the result of fulfilling it constitute ample warning against ever receiving the mark of the beast.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:10 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.

If the condition indicated in verse 9 is met, then the statements in verses 10-11 will follow. Anyone who receives the mark of the beast as required in Revelation of Jesus Christ 13:17 for buying or selling will also partake of the judgment of God. As he drinks of the wine of spiritual fornication, so he will also drink of the wine of the wrath of God; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

The same is he himself and refers to the person in verse 9 who worships the beast and his image and receives the mark of the beast upon his forehead or upon his right hand.

Shall drink is predictive of a future event which will definitely occur.

What he will drink is of the wine of the wrath of God.

Of the wine suggests out of the wine and implies that he will not experience or consume all of the wine but only some of it. There is more that could be poured out upon him, but it will be poured out upon others in addition to himself.

Of the wrath of God suggests that this is the content of the wine. In other words, what he will experience is God's wrath. Wrath is a term which suggests passion or fury.

God is God the Father.

Which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation describes the wrath of God.

Which is poured out emphasizes the existing result of its action. It is literally which has been poured out or that has been poured out.

Without mixture suggests undiluted by the mercy and grace of God. They will get the pure and full wrath of God.

Into the cup of his indignation is a picturesque way of saying that God has prepared something which He is going to pour out upon unsaved humanity. In preparation for pouring out His wrath, God is preparing it in His cup which is characterized by His indignation, i.e. by His anger or wrath. It pictures a cup in which God is storing His indignation until such time as He pours it out upon unsaved humanity.

A second result which will occur for the person who worships the beast and his image and receives the mark of the beast upon his forehead or upon his hand is he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.

He shall be tormented is he will be tortured, which predicts something that will definitely occur.

With fire and brimstone (or in fire and brimstone {or sulphur}) indicates how this one who worships the beast will be tortured.

In the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb indicates that the holy angels and the Lamb of God are going to be present to observe this suffering. The holy angels and the Lamb will be present and will witness the sufferings of the ones who rejected both their message and the Lamb Himself. Just as the presence of witnesses made the suffering that believers endured at the hands of wicked men worse, so the presence of the holy angels and of Christ will make the suffering of the beast worshipers worse. They will be forever reminded of the eternal bliss of the believers and of what might have been theirs had they heeded God's warnings. Although they will never experience the love of Christ, they will never escape His divine sovereignty and omnipresence. He will be in control of their suffering even in the lake of fire.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:11 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.

If the condition indicated in verse 9 is met, then the statements in verses 10-11 will follow.

The smoke of their torment (i.e. of their torture) suggests that the smoke comes as a result of their being tormented or tortured with fire and brimstone.

Ascendeth is goes up, and forever and ever indicates that there will never be an end to the smoke produced by their torment because there will never be an end to their eternal suffering in hell for their choice of the beast, i.e. their choice of the antichrist, rather than of Christ.

Furthermore, they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

They have no rest suggests that they will experience no stopping or ceasing of their torment forever.

Day nor night suggests in daytime or in nighttime. Taken together, in daytime or in nighttime imply at any time. There will never be any rest from (or cessation of) their torment. It will go on forever.

This is true for those who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Who worship is who are worshiping, who are falling down and worshiping, or who are doing reverence to.

The one whom they are worshiping is the beast or the wild animal introduced as the beast out of the sea in Revelation of Jesus Christ 13 , i.e. the antichrist.

And his image indicates that they are also worshiping the image of the antichrist in addition to worshiping the antichrist himself.

His image is his likeness, and the beast's image represents the beast himself.

Whosoever is literally if anyone, if anybody, if someone, or if somebody.

Receiveth is receives, and what he receives is the mark of his name, i.e. the mark of the beast's name or the mark of the antichrist's name. This mark of the beast's name, which is 666, would be received in the forehead or in the right hand and enable one to buy or sell.

V. THE BLESSING OF THE SAINTS - 14:12-13

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:12-13 - (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.

According to verse 12, the saints will continue to endure whatever comes their way because they are saved.

Here is understood in the sense of in this case.

Is implies an ongoing situation.

The patience is (the) endurance, (the) fortitude, (the) steadfastness, or (the) perseverance.

Of the saints is possessive and suggests the saints' patience or the patience belonging to the saints.

The saints are believers. They have been greatly persecuted by the beast and his followers and, therefore, take great comfort or consolation in the fact that not only the beast, but also the false prophet, and all the beast's followers will be tormented forever and ever in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, i.e. in eternal hell, where they belong; meanwhile, the saints will spend eternity at rest in the presence of the Lord. This gives them the patience, endurance, fortitude, steadfastness, and perseverance to endure anything and everything they encounter in the form of persecution for their faith.

Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. This is similar in meaning to here is the patience of the saints.

Here is used in the same sense in this phrase as it was in the previous phrase. It is understood as in this case.

As indicated by the italics, are has been supplied by the translators.

They that keep the commandments of God, and of the faith of Jesus refers to saved people. They demonstrate their faith by keeping, obeying, or observing God's commandments.

They are also keeping the faith of Jesus, i.e. the faith placed in Jesus. They are saved people; and as saved people, they pay attention to their faith in Jesus and continually seek to obey God's commandments.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:13 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.

Although some of the saints will face martyrdom and others will need to go into hiding, they are assured that their lot is far better than those who accept the easy way out and worship the beast.

I heard a voice from heaven is I heard a voice out of heaven. The readers are not told whose voice John heard. He may not have known whose voice it was. John, however, regarded it as authoritative.

The voice John heard is described as saying unto me.

What the voice was saying is, 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.

The tense of write indicates that John was to do this at once.

Blessed are the dead means that the dead are happy (or fortunate) and suggests that these people are to be envied. It is the second of seven blessings or beatitudes found in the Book of Revelation.

They are physically dead but not spiritually dead as is indicated by which die in the Lord, i.e. the ones who are dying in (the) Lord. They die as saved people because they are in (the) Lord.

From henceforth is from now on and means from this point on in the tribulation. Rather than being disadvantaged, these believers who die are advantaged in that they will no longer face any of the persecutions brought about by their refusal to worship the beast.

Yea is yes. Here it is used to indicate agreement to the statement blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, and it is understood in the sense of certainly, indeed, or quite so. In Revelation of Jesus Christ 16:7 the same word is translated even so.

Saith the Spirit indicates that it is the Holy Spirit Who is declaring His agreement to the statement blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth.

That they may rest from their labours is in that they may rest from their works or in that they may take their rest from their toils, where the term for labours implies the weariness that accompanies hard work. They have served the Lord faithfully during their lifetimes and are now able to rest in heaven.

And their works do follow them suggests that one cannot serve the Lord or work for the Lord and have it go unnoticed by the Lord. They will be appropriately rewarded. Furthermore, their good works will also have positive benefits for other believers who will follow their examples and likewise live faithfully for the Lord here on earth.

VI. THE JUDGMENT OF THE SON OF MAN - 14:14-16

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:14-16 - (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.

Verse 14 introduces the Son of man Who has a sharp sickle in His hand.

I [i.e. John] looked is the same term translated I saw in verse 6. It is likewise translated I beheld in a number of verses in Revelation.

And behold is used to gain or heighten the reader's attention so that he might not miss something.

What John sees is 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.

A white cloud suggests a cloud high above the earth, a position from which the one sitting on the cloud would be able to observe what is happening on the earth.

Upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man means that John saw someone sitting on the cloud. This person sitting on the cloud is said to be like unto the Son of man, which means that He is like the Son of man, that He is similar to the Son of man, or that He is of the same substance as the Son of man.

Is this someone who has a human appearance, or is this a title used to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ Who referred to Himself as the Son of man?

In view of what follows it definitely appears to be a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Son of man is further described by having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

Having on his head a golden crown is having upon His head a golden wreath, which means a wreath made of gold or a wreath covered with gold. It is the crown of a victor rather than the crown of a ruler.

He was also having . . . in his hand a sharp sickle, which indicates that this is a time of harvest, referring to the climactic judgments relating to the second coming. The Lord Jesus Christ is pictured here as One Who is ready to reap a harvest.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:15 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.

Another angel is another angel of the same sort.

Came out of the temple indicates that this angel had been in the temple and has now exited from the temple. Verse 17 begins in exactly the same way.

Crying with a loud voice means calling (or calling out) with a great voice.

To him that sat upon the cloud is to the One sitting upon the cloud, i.e. to the One Who is like unto the Son of man in verse 14.

What the angel was crying is thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

The tense of thrust in indicates that its action is to be undertaken at once.

Thy sickle is your sickle, i.e. the sickle which He was holding in His hand.

The tense of reap likewise indicates that its action is to be undertaken at once.

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

The time was translated the hour in verse 7 which states that the hour of his judgment is come.

As in verse 7, is come has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action. It is translated as if it has already occurred before it actually happens because it is so certain of fulfillment.

What has come is the time for thee to reap, i.e. for You to reap.

For the harvest of the earth is ripe indicates the reason the time has come for the Son of man to reap.

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

The harvest of the earth is ripe is literally the harvest of the earth is dry, which means that the harvest of the earth is fully ripe. The imagery is that the grain is dry and ready to be picked. Here it is the earth that is ready to be harvested, and by the earth is meant the inhabitants of the earth.

Some have supposed that the One referred to as being like the Son of man cannot be Christ and must be an angel because no angel will ever command Christ to do anything. However, this is an example of a command used as an entreaty to One Who is a superior. It was likely being conveyed by an angel from God the Father to Christ.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

He that sat on the cloud is the One sitting upon the cloud.

Thrust in in verse 16 is a different term from the one used in verse 15. When used with a sickle, it means swung.

What He thrust in or swung was his sickle on the earth, i.e. upon the earth.

As a result, the earth was reaped or the earth was harvested. Inasmuch as there is a second harvest pictured in verses 17-20, which apparently refers to the Battle of Armageddon, this first harvest is apparently symbolic of the seven bowl judgments in chapters 15-16.

VII. THE ANGEL WITH THE SHARP SICKLE - 14:17-20

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:17-20 - (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.

The time has come for the final harvest.

Another angel is another angel of the same sort.

Came out of the temple which is in heaven indicates that this angel had been in the temple and has now exited from the temple.

He refers to this angel which came out of the heavenly temple. It is intensive and means he himself.

Also having a sharp sickle suggests that, in addition to the One Who looked like the Son of man in verse 14 having a sharp sickle, he likewise had one.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:18 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.

Another angel is another angel of the same sort. This is the fifth angel introduced in this chapter.

Came out from the altar or came out of the altar. It suggests that he was in the altar and came out of it rather than that he came away from the altar.

This angel is described as one which had power over fire. It suggests that he had absolute power over the fire and that he was in complete charge of the fire.

Cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle is cried out loudly (or called out with a loud shout) to the one having the sharp sickle. That he is calling to the angel with the sharp sickle mentioned in verse 17, rather than to the One sitting on the cloud in verse 14 Who had a sharp sickle in His hand, is made explicit by what is stated in verse 19.

Saying introduces what he said: Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

Thrust in thy sharp sickle is to be done at once.

Gather means to gather ripe fruit and is used especially in the sense of pick grapes. It is also to be done at once.

What he was to gather was the clusters [i.e. the bunches of the grapes] of the vine [i.e. of the vineyard] of the earth.

Of the earth indicates that the entire earth is being pictured as one very large vineyard whose clusters of grapes are ripe and ready to be picked as is indicated by for [i.e. because] her grapes are fully ripe.

Her grapes refers to the earth's grapes or the earth's bunches of grapes.

Are fully ripe is literally are ripened, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action. Her grapes are ready to pick.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:19 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.

The angel thrusts his sickle into the earth and harvests it, casting the vine of the earth into the great winepress of the wrath of God. This action is actually fulfilled in Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:15 where the same figure of speech is used.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:15 - And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

In Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:19 the angel complies with the instruction given him in verse 18.

The angel is the angel with the sharp sickle introduced in verse 17.

Thrust in his sickle suggests swung his sickle on the earth as a large harvest field.

Into the earth or unto the earth indicates where he swung his sickle.

And gathered means and gathered ripe fruit or and picked grapes.

What the angel gathered is the vine of the earth (i.e. the fruit of the grapevine of the earth).

Vine is grapevine. When the word translated gathered is used with the vine which bears the fruit, it means gathered the fruit of the vine.

Of the earth indicates that the earth is the vine or grapevine from which the angel, when he swung his sickle, gathered fruit, which symbolizes those persons who were supporters of the beast and rebellious toward God.

The angel also cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Cast it is threw it or put it, i.e. cast (or threw) the fruit produced by the vine. In this context it refers to those persons who supported the beast in defiance of God.

Into the great winepress indicates where the angel cast the grapes, i.e. the beast worshipers.

Of the wrath of God is of the passion of God. The winepress is God's wrath or passion which is going to be poured out upon the earth.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:20 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.

The winepress is the winepress of God's wrath or passion from verse 19.

Was trodden implies was trodden on with the feet.

Without the city is outside the city, i.e. outside Jerusalem.

Rather than grape juice, which ordinarily is squeezed out of the grapes by the winepress, here it is blood that came out of the winepress. The winepress is God's place of judgment, and the blood of many will be shed as a result of God's judgment on them.

Even unto the horse bridles indicates how high the blood came. It likely means that it was spattered as high as the horse bridles rather than that it flowed as high as the horse bridles.

Even unto the horse bridles means as far as the bridles of the horses.

By the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs indicates how long the area was where the blood came out of the winepress as far as the horses' bridles. Although a furlong in modern English is an eighth of a mile, this furlong is approximately 607 English feet or slightly less than an eighth of a mile. The distance where the blood came out of the winepress as far as the bridles of the horses was between one hundred eighty and two hundred miles in length. This is some judgment! It apparently pictures the result of the battle of Armageddon. It is a graphic picture of a great slaughter.

CONCLUSION:

Taken as a whole, Revelation of Jesus Christ 14 refers on the one hand to the preservation of the 144,000 through the Great Tribulation.

On the other hand Revelation of Jesus Christ 14 graphically declares some of the terrible judgments that will be inflicted on the world which rejects Christ and follows the Antichrist.