We have read 13 chapters so far, and today will make 14 chapters into Revelation. Is there anyone else who wants to ensure you are rapture-ready and are gone the first chance we get out of here? I’m not planning to miss the rapture. I don’t want to see or experience any of this.
As we move to Chapter 14, we see a few similar scenes to those that were described in Chapter 7. We once again see the 144,000. We can see that these 144,000 sealed messengers survived and stand with Jesus at the end of the tribulation. These 144,000 are of Jewish heritage, as we saw in (Revelation 7:4–8). Yet, they are also clearly believers in Jesus; otherwise, they would not stand with the Lamb, follow the Lamb wherever He goes, and could not be without fault before the throne of God.
Some have also taken this picture of the 144,000 as a number of perfection, which then would mean This group of 144,000 represents the same spiritual reality as the group of 144,000 in 7:4. The 144,000 mentioned in 7:4 had been sealed against the difficulties to come on earth. That is, all those who have been or will be saved are protected spiritually and sealed for Heaven. In this passage, all those who had been sealed and promised Heaven were standing with Christ. In other words, no believers will be lost, forgotten, or misplaced. Everyone who has been sealed with God’s seal will one day be with Christ. All believers throughout history will be with Christ. The promise is certain. The number will be complete. But I do notice two qualities of the 144,000 redeemed believers that stand out:
“They are spiritually undefiled, pure as virgins” and they are “following the Lamb wherever he goes.”
(1) Spiritual purity is not popular today, but God requires it of His followers. To remain spiritually pure means resisting the seductions and idolatries of the present world—power, wealth, and sexual immorality. To do so requires daily application of God’s Word, for it has a purifying effect on our minds and hearts. It requires great resolve not to give in to these temptations. Stand strong and don’t give in.
(2) Following Christ, the Lamb, requires a heroic effort to carry out Christ’s commission to face oppression and even death if required. Too many shrink back when the work is difficult, or the future looks bleak. Join those who take their stand with Christ and against sin.
In this section, three angels contrast the destiny of believers with that of unbelievers. This is a transition between the picture of the coming triumph of God’s people and the pouring out of the seven bowl judgments upon the earth. God will judge evil.
I see this section as a section of hope. We see three Angels that will declare the truth of God as an appeal one more time, so not only have there been appeals to follow Jesus throughout time by man, but now by angelic beings as well. The “eternal gospel” described here was still the Good News. Even in these final moments of judgment, God gave the people the opportunity to repent—a worldwide appeal to all people to recognize the one true God. No one would have the excuse of never hearing God’s truth.
The message is proclaimed to everyone; therefore, no one can have the excuse that they did not know the gospel message. As Paul said in Romans, “They have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20).
This is a key theme of Revelation — whenever there has been a time of judgment, there has been a preceding time of warning when people are given the opportunity to repent. However, those who refuse want nothing to do with God; their punishment is justified.
The final picture we are shown in this chapter is of the harvest of the Earth. Normally, when we think harvest, we think of a good harvest of souls, but harvest can also mean a harvest of justice, as we see here. Christ is pictured with “a sharp sickle,” symbolizing his readiness to execute judgment on a world ripe with wickedness (Revelation 14:14–20; Matthew 13:30).
This is in keeping with Jesus’ own words recorded in John’s Gospel: "the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). Revelatio verses 14–16 are a prediction, or preview, of the events of chapter 16:12–16 and chapter 19:11–21 that will occur at the end of the tribulation.
The final description in the chapter is of a winepress; in Biblical times, grapes were put in a trough and trampled by foot to remove the juice or wine. The treading of grapes was used in the Old Testament to figuratively describe the execution of God’s judgment on the ungodly. (see Isaiah 63:3, Revelation 19:15) When Christ returns to Earth at the end of the tribulation, He will completely destroy the armies of the antichrist; this vivid, powerful description shows how complete the judgment of God is.
Revelation 14 is the perfect answer to Revelation 13. At the end of Revelation 13, it almost seemed like Satan and the antichrist might win. But Revelation 14 shows who is really triumphant, powerful, and in control: God, His Messiah, and His people; not Satan, his messiah (the antichrist) and his followers.
Reminder Jesus WINS and all those on the side of JESUS are included in that victory, so make sure that we are aligned with God in everything we do in our lives.