Revelation 14 brings to view those who will have victory over the beast and his image. Three angels with messages represent the end -time faithful proclaiming the final warning to the whole world.
Revelation Chapter 14
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Fatherʼs 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Revelation 13 brought to view the final conflict between the servants of God and the beast, his image and their followers.
Revelation 13 closed with Godʼs people in danger. Here we see them victorious. For the identity of the 144,000 see Revelation 7
Revelation 14 brings to view the servants of God and His final messages to a fallen world.
Revelation 14 precedes the close of human probation after which salvation is impossible.
verse 1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
MOUNT SION same as the Hebrew “Mount Zion.”
Mount Sion (Zion) is used to refer to:
1. The hill upon which the ancient part of Jerusalem was built (2Sam 5:7)
2. The city of David (1Kings 8:1)
3. The whole nation of Israel - Jerusalem (Isa 40:9)
4. The place of God’s law (Isa 2:3)
5. The place to which Christ’s followers are come (Heb 12:22-23; cf 1Pet 2:5-6)
Here appropriately the 144,000 in whose hearts & minds God’s law is written (Jeremiah 31:31, Hebrews 8:10, 10:16) are seen on Mount Sion with Christ the Law Giver. Revelation 13 finished with God’s people in deadly tribulation. Here we see the pure woman, the true church, the one that keeps the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, victorious. These have the Father's name - God’s character (Exodus 34:5-6) written in their foreheads. In Rev 7 the seal of God is placed in their foreheads. In Rev 14 the Father's name is placed in their foreheads.
That commandment of the law which contains God's name is the seal of the law. The Sabbath commandment is the only one which has this. It contains the descriptive title which distinguishes the true God from all false gods. Wherever this was placed, there the Father's name was said to be. (Deut.12:5,14,18,21; 14:23; 16:2,6; etc.); and whoever keeps this commandment, consequently has the seal of the living God, the father's name written in their FOREHEADS. The Seventh Day Sabbath is the seal of God.
verse 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:
verse 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.
THE SONG OF DELIVERANCE - EXODUS TO THE HEAVENLY CANAAN
“It is the song of their experience.” (LDE p. 268) It is the song of their glorious deliverance which was typified in the deliverance of literal Israel at the Red Sea. See Exo 15:20. Only those who have shared this experience, namely the 144,000, can sing this song.
The plagues of Egypt fell upon a people who made life intolerable for literal Israel, and putting them under pressure to break God's sabbath. Pharaoh was ultimately destroyed supernaturally in the Red Sea when his victory looked assured. God's people then sang their song of deliverance (Exodus 15:21).
Soon the plagues will fall upon an apostate world that will be making the life of spiritual Israel intolerable and putting them under pressure to break the Sabbath. The beast will ultimately be destoyed when its victory looks assured. God’s people will then sing the song of their deliverance.
Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. As God dried up the sea (Ps 106:9) and delivered Israel from Pharaoh, so He will dry up the "Euphrates" (Rev 16:12)which supports Rome and deliver the 144,000 from end-time Babylon. Then, like Israel, they will sing the song of their experience. cf. Exodus 15:21.
verse 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.
There is no defilment in loosing one’s virginity providing that it is in the context of marriage (Heb 13:4). The only “virginity” which if lost results in defilement is one's spiritual virginity. The 144,000 are spiritual virgins, they have not played the harlot. They are not defiled with the false doctrines of the fallen churches of spiritual Babylon. A woman in Scripture is a symbol of a church (Jer 6:2; 2Cor 11:2); a pure woman - a pure church (Rev 12), a corrupt woman - a corrupt chuch (Rev 17). The whore of Babylon has harlot daughters and the 144,000 were not defiled with these harlots daughters - false churches.
Some of the 144,000 may have been connected with the Babylonian churches but they “came out from them” when they learned that to continue in Babylon they would be defiled by them. In chapter 18:4, we find a call issued to the people of God while they are in Babylon, to COME OUT, LEST they become partakers of her sins. Heeding that call they escape the defilement of her sins. Therefore though some of the 144,000 may have once been connected with corrupt churches, they severed that connection when it would have become known sin to retain it any longer. [“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19]. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth [“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:” 1Pet 2:21-22
They do no sin. They do not commit spiritual harlotry. cf. Rev 7:17; 1Pet 2:21-22. They will also be Christ’s special entourage throughout eternity]. These were redeemed from among men
TRANSLATED AT THE SECOND COMING
God says of His saints who die and are to be resurrected, “I will redeem them FROM DEATH...” Hos 13:14. Paul laboured, “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection OF THE DEAD.” Phil.3:11. In contrast the 144,000 are “redeemed from among men,” “redeemed from the earth...redeemed from among men.” Rev 14:3-4. That is, they remain alive to see Christ return and are translated without seeing death (See 1Thess 4:17), [being] the first-fruits [FIRST IN QUALITY - MASTERPIECES OF SALVATION].
Firstfruits not in time but in QUALITY. The term first fruits is used in several ways. Christ is the “first-fruits” of them which slept though He was not first to rise from the dead. Those who receive the gospel are called a kind of first-fruits (James 1:18). So the 144,000 as a special group who go through the last days, being translated to heaven without seeing death, and occupying a pre-eminent position, are, in this sense, called first-fruits unto God and the Lamb.
5* And in their mouth was found no guile They follow “Christ...Who did no sin, neither was GUILE [deceit] found in his mouth.”1Pet 2:22: for they are without fault before the throne of God - “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] FAULTLESS before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24.
When will men behold the presence of God’s glory? “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the PRESENCE of the Lord, and from the GLORY of his power; WHEN HE SHALL COME...” 2Thess 1:9-10. With this description of the 144,000 triumphant, the line of prophecy commencing with chapter 12 comes to a close.
FOLLOWING ARE THE THREE ANGELS MESSAGES
The following angel is called the first angel because it is followed by a second and a third which is called “the third angel” (Rev 14:9)
TIMING OF THE MESSAGES
The first angel announces that the hour of God’s judgment “IS COME.” (v 7)
There are three positions on this: That it applies to the past, that it applies to the future, that applies now.
This message itself indicates when it went forth.
God’s people could not give this message until they knew this judgment was come.
This judgment was to come AFTER the days of the apostles (Acts 17:31; 24:25; Rom 2:16).
The Reformers DID NOT proclaim that the judgment had come.
This judgment was to come AFTER the Little Horn’s 1260 year reign which ended in 1798. (See Dan 7:8-10, 24-26).
This judgment clearly begins BEFORE the 2nd & 3rd angels’ messages (Rev 14:8, 9) which announce Babylon’s fall and warn against receiving the Mark of the Beast.
In other words we live in the time when this message applies.
The 2300 day prophecy of Dan 8:14 locates the beginning of the judgment in 1844.
This message was first proclaimed by those in the Millerite Movement in 1843. See Dan 8 & 9 studies. “The hour of His judgment IS come.”
In Daniel 8 Gabriel mentions to Daniel a period of 2300 days. Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand but Daniel fell sick and Gabriel did not get to give him the beginning of the period and no one understood it. In Daniel 9 Gabriel returned and directed Daniel's attention to the previous vision and began discussing time. He informed Daniel that 70 weeks were determined (cut off) for Daniiel’s people. That is the first 70 weeks (490 days) of the 2300 days were for Daniel’s people. The 70 weeks (490 days) began with the “commandment” of the Persian king Artaxerxes, in 457 B.C. and represented 490 literal years. The first 69 weeks (483 years) reached to the anointing of the Messiah and were fulfilled when Christ was annonted by the Holy Spirit at His baptism in 27 A.D. (457B.C. + 483 = 27A.D.) At that time the 70th week (the final 7 years of the 70 weeks) began. In the middle of the 70th week the Messiah was cut off (killed) ending the sacrificial system and the 70th week ended in 34A.D.
As the 70 weeks were the first part of the 2300 days both periods began together. As the 70 weeks (490 days) represented 490 years and as they were the first part of the 2300 day, the 2300 days must be 2300 years. When begun in 457B.C. 2300 years reach to 1844 at which time Gabriel said the sanctuary would be cleansed. The cleansing of the sanctuary is another term for the Day of Atonment.
Sinners brought a sacrifice to the sanctuary, confessed their sins onto the animal sacrifice then slew it. In this way the sin was transferred from the sinner to the sacrifice and from the sacrifice into the santuary. Throughout the year the sin accumulated in the sanctuary and at the end of the year the sanctuary was cleansed. Those who remained faithful had their sins blotted out whereas those who had turned back to their sin received them back and would have to pay the penalty with their own blood. This process was a pattern of what Christ would do. Those who remian faithful will have the record of their sins blotted out in the great antitypical Day of Atonement. This process began in 1844 at the end of the 2300 days.
verse 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,
“Angel,” Gr. Aggeloi, means “messenger,” either human or divine. These angels are evidently symbolic; for the work assigned them is that of preaching the everlasting gospel and preparing men for the Lord’s Return. THis work has not been given to literal angels but to men. Each of these three angels, therefore, symbolizes a movement of people who are commissioned to make known to the world the special truths of these messages. cf. Matt 28:19, 20; Rev 14:6.
Note: A literal angel may have charge and oversight of the work of each message as the heavenly angels are “sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” Heb.1:14; Rev.1:1; 22:16.
LAST WARNING MESSAGES
These 3 messages are the final warning to be given to the whole world before the door of mercy shuts. The reason for calling them, first second, and third is because the third is called "the third angel," (v 9) from which it follows that the one preceding was the second angel; and the one before that, the first. As the giving of the gospel has been committed to Godʼs people this “angel” proclaiming the gospel (v 6) must be symbolic of Godʼs people. All three angels symbolise Godʼs people who give the last warning messages to the world. This first message is to go every nation and people.
It has several parts:
THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
We have all sinned, broken the Ten Commandments, and the penalty for sin is death (Rom 3:23; 6:23) but there is Good News - the Gospel.
What is the gospel?
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION...” Rom 1:16
Salvation from what?
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people FROM THEIR SINS.” Matt 1:21
What is sin?
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for SIN IS THE TRANSGRES- SION [Breaking] OF THE LAW.” 1John 3:4 “Where no law is, there is no transgression.” Rom 4:15.
As sin still is, the law is.
Which Law shows us what sin is?
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by THE LAW: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Rom 7:7.
Note: Itʼs the Ten Commandment law which defines sin. “Thou shalt not covet”? Exo 20.
What is the penalty for sin?
“For the wages of sin [is] DEATH; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom 6:23. Therefore the gospel is the power of God to save us from breaking the ten commandments. Because of His love for us Christ died in our place to pay for our sins in the past and He gives power to keep us from falling in the present (Jude 1:24). Christ graciously converts lawbreakers into law keepers. This power is available to all by faith (belief) in Godʼs promises. (2Pet 1:4; 1Pet 1:5). We may have lapses into sin but there will be a group who believe that Christ has power to keep them from sinning and who will “keep the command- ments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Rev 14:12. The angels continued...
verse 6 Fear God and give glory to Him...
We glorify God by allowing Him to reveal His character in our lives (Matt 5:16) in everything. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1Cor 10:31.
As Danielʼs friends glorified God by gaining victory over diet (Dan 1:8-17) before gaining victory over image worship (Dan 3). So the righteous will glorify God in all things including their diet, as shown in the first angelʼs message, before gaining victory over the image of the beast described in the third angels message (v 9). As God gave wisdom and understanding to Daniel & his friends after they overcame appetite (Dan 1:16-17), so the end-time saints need wisdom to understand (Dan 12:10; Rev 13:18; 17:9). No true Christian will defile his body temple. (1Cor 6:19; 3:16-17) by health destroying indulgences such as tobacco, liquor, unclean foods etc.
To fear God means to:
1. Keep Godʼs commandments (Deut 6:2; Ecc 12:13). 2. Obey God (Gen 22:12). 3. Hate evil (Prov 8:13).
4. To hope in Godʼs mercy (Ps 33:18).
Ecc 8:5 Whoso KEEPETH THE COMMANDMENT shall feel no evil thing: and a wise manʼs heart discerneth both TIME and JUDGMENT.
verse 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,
Not judgment TO come but the announcement of a judgment that “IS” come.”
This judgment was to occur AFTER the apostles time. Paul said that God had appointed a day in which he would judge the world. Acts 17:31. He reasoned of “judgment to come.” Acts 24:25.
He said God had appointed a day when He would judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. Rom 2:16. He pointed the Corinthians forward to a time when we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. 2Cor 5:10. James said we would be judged by the law of liberty. James 2:12. Peter and Jude speak of the rebel angels as reserved unto the judgment of the great day, still in the future at that time (2Pet 2:4; Jude 6), to which the ungodly in this world are also reserved. 2Pet 2:9.
The Reformers did not apply the message of judgment to their day. This judgment cannot refer to the execution of sentence at the end of time because two other angels follow with messages of warning. It therefore refers to an ʻinvestigativeʼ judgment which occurs before Christ returns with His rewards. This judgment is described in Daniel 7:9-11 where it is seen to occur BEFORE Jesus returns. Daniel 8: 14 and Daniel 9 located the beginning of this judgment in the year 1844 when the heavenly sanctuary began to be cleansed. This judgment is that which occurs as part of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. (See on Daniel 8).
verse 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.
As Creator God is worthy of worship (Rev 4:11). With the evolutionary theory arising in the mid 1800s and now being taught in many churches this Creationist message is timely. This message is a virtual quote from the Sabbath commandment which reminds us that God created all things in six days. As we “rest” on the Sabbath we remember that salvation is Godʼs “work,” not ours.
The evidence of creation is obvious:
(a) Life only comes from life. (b) Information (eg. DNA) only comes from an intelligence. (d) Self consciousness is not the product of unconscious matter, time, space or energy.
(e) Everything that is made has a maker. See Appendix to Rev 11.
Seven times in chapters 13 - 14 worship is mentioned (13:1 twice, 8, 12, 15; 14:7, 9). Only one time however does it refer to worshiping God. (Rev 14:7) which is a quotation from the Sabbath commandment.
To “Fear God” is to hate evil (Prov 8:13)
To fear God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Ps 111:10).
It is to keep all His Commandments which are to be the standard in the judgment (Deut 6:2; Ecc12:13). God knew that Abraham feared Him when Abraham obeyed God (See Gen 22:12)], and give glory to him
GLORY TO GOD
“To give glory to God is to reveal His character in our own, and thus make Him known. And in whatever way we make known the Father or the Son, we glorify God (MS 16, 1890).” 7BC 979.
“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do..” John 17:4.
Rom 3: 23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the GLORY of God;” If God’s glory was lost through sinning, i.e. BREAKING God’s law, then that glory is restored when we KEEP God’slaw.
God is glorified when we keep His law and keeping God’s law means that we will not kill ourselves through our lifestyle.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the GLORY of God.” 1Cor 10:31
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore GLORIFY God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. “ 1Cor 6:19-20
A CALL TO RETURN TO SABBATH OBSERVANCE
"...and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
This is the largest quotation from the Old Testament in the book of Revelation and comes from the fourth of the Ten Commandments. It draws attention to that commandment which
starts with “REMEMBER the sabbath day...” and is the commandment which almost the whole Christian has FORGOTTEN. The standard in the judgment is God’s 10 commandments (Ecc 12:13-14). This brought to light the fact that Papal Rome had, without Biblical authority, thought to change God’s law, substituting the first day of the week for the seventh day sabbath (See notes on Dan 7:25; Exo 20:8-11). This act, the papacy claims, is her mark of authority. The three angels messages messages call men back to the Creator and His sabbath. Besides meeting apostate Christendom this message also meets atheism’s darling of evolution which is sweeping away a belief in a literal Genesis
The first angel's message address the godless atheistic theory of evolution. The second angel's message addresses false religion.
verse 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.
Babylon is fallen
This message follows the previous one and was first preached in 1844. As the angels, beasts and image are symbols so also is Babylon. Babylon means “confusion” (Gen 10:10; 11:9 margin) and symbolises all spiritual confusion. The Mother of Babylon is the Whore of Rev 17 who has been in a fallen condition for centuries.
This fall, therefore, refers primarily to Babylonʼs daughters which “fell” as a result of: 1. Rejecting the first angelʼs message that the hour of Godʼs judgment has come.
2. Clinging to unbiblical traditions and doctrines. 3. Following the Motherʼs example of sacrificing principle to form an unlawful alliance with the world.
Babylon will fall further becoming the very image of their Mother and enforcing their Motherʼs counterfeit Sabbath - the mark of the beast. (v 9; Rev 13; 17).
The Wine of Babylon
In the New Testament wine (Gr. oinos) can refer to fermented or unfermented grape juice. Unfermented oinos symbolises Christʼs pure doctrine (Matt 26:26-28). Babylonʼs alcoholic 'oinos' represents her corrupted doctrine. It includes the observance of the Papal Sabbath day (See Dan 7; Rev 7) and the doctrine that all men are naturally immortal. (See below). Through these two great errors Satan will sweep the world into his deception.
verse 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,
Babylon will fall further. The image of the beast, a church state union such as existed in the Dark Ages, will enforce the Papal Sabbath. (See Mark of the beast. Rev 13).
verse 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:
The wrath of God is in the seven last plagues (See Rev 15).
verse 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 the context of Rev 13-14 we see the violation of the first four commandments
TRANSGRESSORS OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
1. Worshipped the dragon (Rev 13:4) - Violation of the First Commandment
2. Worship the beast and its image (Rev 14:9) - Violation of the Second Commandment
3. Blasphemed (Rev 13:5) - Violation of the Third Commandment
4. “No rest day or night” (Rev 14:11) - Violation of the Fourth Commandment
The beast power will work to destroy the observance of the fourth commandment but the faithful will keep God’s commandments.
"... FOR SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW" 1JOHN 3:4
Sinners will not live forever in torment. It was to ensure sinners would not live forever that God stopped Adam and Eve from having access to the tree of life (Gen 3:22-23).
“For ever and ever” is translated from the Greek, “aion,” which does not always mean without end. For example Jesus spoke of “the END of the "aion" [world].” Matt 13:39.
Perhaps the best translation of aion is “an age” or ages,” as the following Greek authorities explain: “A space or period of time, especially a life time, life,...A long period of time, eternity... Later, a space of time clearly defined and marked out, an era, age,...this present life, this world.” Lidell & Scottʼs Greek Lexicon.
“The words eternal, everlasting, forever, are sometimes taken for a long time, and are not always to be understood strictly.” Crudenʼs Concordance.
The wicked will suffer according to their works but all will eventually die. “The wages of sin is death.” Rom 6:23. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Eze 18:4. As God will “burn them up” (Mal 4:1) turning them into “ashes” (Mal 4:3) “aion,” in reference to the wickedʼs destruction in Rev 14:11, must have its limited meaning. The wicked will “perish” (John 3:16) and cease to exist (Ob 1:16; Eze 28:19). Satan would love men to think that God is an eternal torturer but He is not. See Appendix to Rev 20, “Hell- fire.”
verse 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Those who take the mark of the beast are contrasted with those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The former group do not keep the commandments of God whereas the latter do. The former group are transgressors of God's law whilst God's people are keepers of the law. The former group continue in sin while God's people have ceased from sin. Christʼs faith was that the promises of Godʼs word could keep Him from falling into sin (cf. Jude 1:24; 2Pet 1:4) and so it was. This is the faith the end-time commandment keepers will have.
verse 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.
Those who die in the faith and rest in the grave from this point are blessed. They will rise in a special resurrection to see Jesus return before the main resurrection of the faithful. See on Daniel 12:1-2.
BLESSED ARE THE DEAD
One of the beatitudes in the book of Revelation:
Rev 1:3 “Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.”
Rev 14:13 “Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth...”
Rev 16:15 “ Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
Rev 19:9 “Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
Rev 20:6 “Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection...”
Rev 22:7 “Blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book...”
Rev 22:14 “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Those who die in the faith of the third angel’s message are specially blessed. They will rise to see Jesus return. “The seal of God is upon them, and they will be among the number of whom the Lord has said, ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord [Rev 14:13].’” 7BC 982.
In the special resurrection (See on Dan 12:2) “all who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified...” GC 637]
verse 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.
For the significance of clouds at the coming of Christ see Acts 1:9-11; Matt 24:30; Rev 1:7. The nature of the messages and the fact that immediately following them the coming of Christ is discussed, shows that the three angel’s messages are God’s last messages of warning to the world.... and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man [Christ], having on his head a golden crown [Gr. stephanos, “a wreath” or “crown,” here of victory in contrast with the stephanos “crown” of thorns (Matt 27:29)], and in his hand a sharp sickle [Christ returns to reap the world].
verses 15-20 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. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 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. 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.
1. Harvest of the righteous vs. 15-17 represented as a grain harvest as shown by the Greek word translated “ripe” in verse 15. The gathering of the righteous here represented as the gathering of the grain crop. See on v 15 2. Harvest of the wicked represented as a grape harvest as shown by the Greek words for cluster and vine in vs. 18-19. Christ treads upon his enemies as upon grapes. (Isa 63:2-3; Joel 3:12-13).
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 [probably the altar mentioned in Rev 8:3, 5; 9:13], which had power over fire [suggests that fire is going to be used as the means of gathering the wicked]; 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 [a figure borrowed from the ancient Palestinian agricultural year, which had two main harvests, the grain harvest and the vintage] of the earth ; for her grapes are fully ripe [The destruction of the wicked is represented as the gathering of the vintage].
19* And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth [The entire vine of the wicked, not just the fruit, is destroyed], and cast [it] into the great winepress [The wicked are gathered in death. The red of the grape juice is a graphic symbol of bloodshed] of the wrath of God [the plagues cf. Rev 15:1].
20* And the winepress was trodden [The grapes were trodden by the feet of men (See Isa 63:2, 3)] without the city [Outside God’s church. The symbolism is drawn from O.T. prophecies describing the destruction of God’s enemies outside Jerusalem (See Joel 3:12-13)], and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles
[The apocryphal book of Enoch uses this same figure of speech: “And in those days in one place the fathers together with the sons shall be smitten And brothers one with another shall fall in death Till the streams flow with their blood...And the horse shall walk up to the breast in the blood of sinners, And the chariot shall be submerged to its height.” (ch. 100:1-3; R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigraphica of the Old Testament, vol. 2, p271)],
by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs [Strong’s “a space or distance of about 600 feet (185 m).” 1600 x about 600 feet = about 960000 feet
Six is the number of Babylon. Here is depicted the slaughter of the enemies of God’s people. The figures would apparently have symbolic meaning].The significance remains to be discovered.
The wicked will surround spiritual Jerusalem, the saints, intending to destroy them (Luke 21:20) but they will slain by Christ “without the holy city.” (cf. Ps 91).
A similar thing will happen at the end of the 1000 years (Rev 20:7-9). See chart
John 11:18 margin says 15 furlongs = about 2 miles. At 600 feet per furlong 1600 furlongs = 960,000 feet or about 183 miles.