The Book of REVELATION
James J. Barker
FEAR GOD, AND GIVE GLORY TO HIM
- Like Revelation
chapters 12 & 13, chapter 14 is also parenthetical. Chapters 12 and 13 deals with the
important characters of the period -- the evil trinity of the dragon (Satan),
the first beast (the antichrist), and the second beast (the false
- Chapter 14
deals with the ultimate triumph of Christ. It is not in strict chronological
order, and it consists of a series of pronouncements and visions assuring the
reader of the ultimate triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ and the judgment of the
THE 144,000 WITNESSES STANDING WITH THE
- Chapter 14
begins with Lamb standing in triumph on Mount Zion with the 144,000 witnesses,
who were first introduced in chapter 7.
- The 144,000 are
said to have the "Father's name written in their foreheads" (14:1; cf. 7:1-8).
- In chapter 13
we saw that the beast worshippers will take his mark in their foreheads. Here in Revelation 14:1 we see that the
144,00 will have the "Father's name written in their foreheads."
- In chapter 7 we
saw that the 144,000 will be sealed and protected by God through the
tribulation. Therefore this is a
picture of the ultimate triumph of the Lamb following His second coming, when He
will join the 144,000 on Mount Zion at the beginning of His millennial reign.
- In the first
mention of the 144,000 in chapter 7, they are seen at the beginning of the
tribulation. In their second mention here in chapter 14, they are seen at the
end of the tribulation, preserved by God and standing triumphantly with the Lamb
on Mount Zion.
- Some have
interpreted the reference to mount Sion as meaning the heavenly Jerusalem, based
on Hebrews 12:22, which says, "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the
city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of
- This is
possible, but unlikely. Verse 3 does appear to be in heaven, and is similar to
chapters 4 and 5. However, it does
not say the 144,000 are in heaven, but with the Lamb on Mount Zion
- Lehman Strauss
says, "This is an earthly scene, a picture of Christ's return to reign, the
selected place from which He shall rule gloriously. This is not 'the
heavenly Jerusalem' sometimes called 'Mount Sion' (Heb. 12:22). Speaking
prophetically of Christ's second coming to the earth, the Father said through
the Psalmist 'Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion' (Psalm
2:6). The Lamb seen standing on this mount is also a prophetic forecast of
Christ's return to the earth as recorded in Zechariah 14:4 & Rev. 14.
Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, Israel's earthly capital. (II Sam 5:7; Psalm 48:2; Isaiah
- In verse 2,
John heard a voice from heaven. The voice is described as being similar to the
sound of "many waters, and as the voice of a great
- John also hears the voice of harpers harping with their
harps. In verse 3 they are described as singing a new song before the throne and
before the four beasts (living creatures), and the four and twenty
- This appears to be a vision of heaven which John is
seeing “in the Spirit” while his body is here on earth.
- Verse 3 mentions the 144,000 but it does not
specifically say they are before the throne in heaven with the four living
creatures and the four and twenty elders.
- The "new song" John hears is a hymn of praise sung in
heaven during the time of the great tribulation, and this same song is echoed by
the 144,000 who stand triumphantly on Mount Zion after the
- John describes the 144,000 as “not defiled with women,
for they are virgins” (14:4). No explanation is given but it could mean that the
terrible conditions during the tribulation will necessitate their abstinence
from marriage (cf. Jer. 16:1-4; I Cor. 7:25-27).
- The expression “the firstfruits unto God” (14:4) seems
to refer to the beginning of a great harvest, that is, to the beginning of the
- The 144,000 will be without guile and "without fault"
(14:5). "No guile" means there is no falsehood or false religion in them. They
will be "kept utterly clean from the false religion of the great tribulation"
(John Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- These descriptions certainly refute the Jehovah's
Witness cult's boast that they are the 144,000! They try and "allegorize" these
- The 144,000 are described as without fault, that is,
blameless, in contrast to those entangled in the harlot church of Revelation 17
- John Walvoord makes an application for our present
dispensation, and says, "Christians in the present age are exhorted to be
'without blame before him' (Eph. 1:4), 'without blemish' (Eph. 5:27; 1 Peter
1:19), 'unblameable' (Col. 1:22), 'without spot' (Heb. 9:14), and 'faultless'
(Jude 24)" (The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- Isaiah 52:11 says, "Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD."
THE ANGEL WITH THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL (14:6,
- In verses 6 and
7, John sees “another angel” flying in the midst of heaven, having "the everlasting gospel" to
preach to the entire world.
- The reference
to “another” seems to be to an angel in addition to the seven angels introduced
in 8:2, and also in contrast to “another angel” in 8:3 and
- The term, "the
everlasting gospel," is the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an emphasis on God's
impending judgment -- "for the hour of his judgment is come"
- Today our
emphasis is on God's grace and mercy, but soon this dispensation of grace will
- Our Lord said
in Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the
world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." In Matthew 24:14, the gospel of
the kingdom emphasizes the coming millennial kingdom.
- That is why our
Lord said to His disciples, "When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as
in heaven, so in earth" (Luke 11:2).
- During the
coming tribulation period, God will use an angel "to preach unto them that dwell
on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (4:6).
- Perhaps God
will use this angel to reach the so-called "hidden people," unevangelized tribes
of people in remote corners of the world.
An angel will not need to learn their languages and dialects.
- God could use
angels now if He wanted to, but today He has given us the privilege of preaching
the Gospel "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people"
- Verse 7 says the hour of God's judgment has come.
"Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of
waters" (14:7b). God will judge
this wicked world because man has not worshipped God as the Creator who has made
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters"
- Evolution is an attack on the Word of God. A careful study of the book of
Revelation shows us that God will judge this world not only because He is
rejected as Lord and Saviour, but also as our Creator.
THE FALL OF BABYLON
pronouncement of verse 8 is by yet another angel, saying the great city of
Babylon has fallen.
- The repetition
of the phrase “is fallen” is for emphasis -- a double portion of divine
"Babylon" sometimes refers to the literal city of Babylon. But here in the book of Revelation it is
much more than that.
- Babylon in the book of
Revelation is a religious and political system, stemming from the evil character
of ancient, idolatrous Babylon.
- It is "MYSTERY,
BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH"
- "That great
city" (14:8) is not the city of Babylon (modern day Iraq), but Rome, the city on
seven hills (cf. 17:9, 18). When we
get to Revelation 17, we will see whether or not the ancient city of Babylon
will ever be rebuilt.
announcement here in Revelation 14:8 is prophetic. The actual fall of Babylon
will come later. Revelation
19:2 seems to indicate it will occur near the end of the tribulation
- The word
"Alleluia" ("Praise the LORD") is found four times in
the Bible -- all in Revelation 19, and these verses describe
"the voice of a great multitude" of people rejoicing and
praising God because "He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the
earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her
- The fall of
Babylon is occasioned by her wickedness, "because she made all the nations to drink of the
wine of the wrath of her fornication” (14:8; cf. 17:2;
- The kings of the earth who "have committed fornication"
with "the great whore" (17:1, 2), and the nations who have drank "the wine of
the wrath of her fornication" (14:8) will also share her divine condemnation and
- Revelation 17 and 18 gives us the terrible
- Lehman Strauss
wrote his commentary on the book of Revelation not long after the death of Pope
John XXIII in 1963.
- Dr. Strauss
said this, "The extent of Babylon's influence is stated once more in Revelation
18:3. She has wooed and won the
nations by her flirtations. She
becomes the pride of the world as she makes the nations rich through the
abundance of her delicacies. The
peoples of the earth have drunk so eagerly from her intoxicating cup, they no
longer have power to resist her. I
watched the nationally-televised funeral of Pope John XXIII and saw the masses
of men, women, and children, Protestant and Roman Catholic, drinking from Rome's
cup. They sip slowly at first,
perhaps a little doubtful and apprehensive, but after a while they gulp it
freely, too intoxicated to know its contents"