“He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’” Revelation 14:7
Chapter 14 gives us a glimpse at the body of believers, sealed, marked, and glorified in the presence of the Lamb. We must understand the symbolic nature of numbers in Revelation when we consider the 144,000. In response to the blasphemies and deception of the beasts, angelic messengers pronounce judgments and declare the ruin of those who follow the beast and are opposed to the lordship of the true King.
The last part of chapter 14 shows us the harvest of judgment that was prophesied about by the old testament prophet Joel.
Revelation 14 Commentary
“The war and struggle of chapter 13 appear in bold contrast to the victory and celebration of Chapter 14. In many ways, chapter 14 offers God’s response to the previous actions of the unholy trinity against his people: the triumph of the Lamb and his followers (14:1-5), angelic proclamations of judgment (14:6-13), and the harvest of judgment (14:14-20).”48
“Seals signify not only ownership but also security, protection under the authority of the One whose name we bear. But the beast’s mere ‘mark’ brings those who bear it no shelter from the coming wrath of God. Thus in these back to back visions John sees all humanity divided into two camps, bearing two different brands. Either the people bear the name of the Lamb and his Father, finding safety in their ownership; or people are claimed by the world system that opposes the Lord and His Christ, a system that is destined to be shattered like pottery when the Son appears.”49
“A warning of judgment to the unbelieving world is announced (vv. 6-7), but it will not be heeded by the world system and its followers, which results in their final judgment at the end of history (v. 8). This final historical judgment is the precursor to the final, eternal judgment (vv. 9-11). However, the warning is intended to influence true believers to remain faithful to Christ in order to receive an eternal reward (vv. 12-13).”50
“End-time Babylon is about to fall…The past tenses of “Fallen! Fallen” function like the Hebrew prophetic perfect tense, which expresses a future occurrence as though it has already occurred…The ungodly social, political, and economic system dominated by the Roman Empire placed believers in the same position as Israel under Babylon. Therefore, Rome and all wicked world systems take on the symbolic name ‘Babylon the great.’”51
“Finally, the vision John sees appears to be a fulfillment of Joel 3:13, ‘Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great…’ The double narration emphasizes the severity and unqualified nature of the punishment, which reaches its climax with the extensive blood-letting of v. 20.”52
Revelation 14 Reflection
Revelation 14:12 says, “this calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” Pray this week for the patient endurance and for a heart that remains faithful to Jesus in the face of opposition.
47, 50, 51, 52 Beale, G. K. Revelation: A Shorter Commentary.
48 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation.
49 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation