Join Dr. Paula McDonald in this 17th lesson on the Book of Revelation, focusing on Chapter 14. Visit her website for supporting study pages via link here and pull out your Bible. Be ready to experience unpacking scripture line by line, word by word. If you’ve never studied the Scriptures in this way, we hope you experience His word and its meaning with the full breadth and depth that God has waiting for you.
In Chapter 14, we are reminded who wins the battle against Satan and that it is God who wins! Verses 1-5 place shift our focus from the beeast of Chapter 13 back onto God’s loyal believers.
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Well, hello everyone. Welcome to Revelation Chapter 14. Hi, I'm Dr. Paula McDonald and I'm very excited to study the Bible with you. Well, in the last chapter, we explored the unholy Trinity of the Dragon, the beast of the sea, and the beast of the Earth. Chapter 13 was full of reflection of Satan as he continued to mock and does mock all things related to God and his Kingdom. In chapter 14, we are reminded who wins the battle against Satan and that is God he wins. And verses one through five places our focus from the beast of chapter 13 back onto God's loyal believers. Well, I have this lesson in three different sections. This time I have Revelation 14 one through five, which is the song, the harp, and the Angels. Then our second division is the statement from heaven, and that's from verses 16 through 13. And then the third section is the sickle and the harvest 14 through 20. Lots of good stuff again as always. So finally, John's vision goes back to the Lamb of Christ. And we've been missing reading about the Lamb for about the past six chapters as we have been deep diving into in time, revelations, the horror and the destruction associated with that. Finally, as chapter 14 opens, we see Christ standing on Mount Zion along with his redeemed believers. So verse one, then I looked and there before me was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion and with him 1440 who had his name and his father's name written on their foreheads. So Mount Zion is mentioned numerous times throughout the Old Testament. In two Samuel 57, David captured the fortress of Zion, which is the city of David. Zion is the ancient name for the Hills that make up Jerusalem, which is the place where the Messiah gathers his redeemed and reigns over the Earth. You can also go to Psalm 48, Isaiah 24, 23, Joel 232, Obadiah 17 and 21, Micah 41 and 47. Mount Zion is known as God's dwelling place and we find in the New Testament in Hebrews 1222. But you have come to Mount Zion and the city of the living God. When we as believers spend time with the Lord in prayer or reading our Bibles, we too seek him on the mountaintop of our faith. Psalm 48, one greatest the Lord and most worthy of praise in the city of our God, His Holy mountain. So no matter where you choose to seek our living God, know that when you are with him, it's as if you are on His Holy mountain. Because of Christ, we too are allowed to dwell with him on high. What a beautiful picture this is and a gift. The 144,000 that we discussed back in Revelation seven. We have also previously discussed. The Mark on the forehead is our seal with Christ. We are marked and sealed in Salvation. God knows who belongs to Him. Our Mark with Christ assures us eternity with him, while the Mark of the beast assures eternity with him in hell. There is simply no other choice, you guys, either you are with Christ or you are without Him. And that means eternity in hell. Verse two And I heard a sound from heaven, like the roar of rushing waters and like a sound appeal of Thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their Harps. So next John is describing the sounds he hears again in reference to heaven. And he discussed this back in Revelation one, five, and also in four, five. And each time heaven has been mentioned in John's vision, it's always accompanied by these beautiful, great sounds. Verse three and they sang a new song before the throne and before the living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the Earth. The worship in heaven continues here in verse three with the mention of a new song. And this reference points to a very special song that is unique to God and to us, his redeemed people. Well, what a privilege it will be to praise and worship God as one of his redeemed and washed believers. Verse four these are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as first fruits to God in the Lamb. Now the redeemed are further identified in that they are clean and worthy. So the reference to being defiled with women. It is not meant as a derogatory remark that women are not clean and that only physical virgins are being described here. And remember, the whole book of Revelation is symbolic. Instead, the verse is clearly referencing clean living as the next statement. He says they follow the land wherever he goes. John takes it even a step further to say that these people, the 144,000, were purchased from among mankind and offered as first fruits to God in the Lamb. Any other definition trying to reference literal virgins is to completely miss the meaning in this verse. And sadly, many have tried to really twist this and to bring a lot of grief upon women. And that's not the intent here. God called his people to bring the first yield, the first fruits from their harvest to him as an offering. This showed that Israelites obedience and reverence for God, and it also showed that they trusted God to provide enough crops to feed their family. The Hebrew word for first fruit is by Kuram, meaning a promise to come. The Israelites saw these fruits as an investment into their future, and God told them that if they brought their first fruits to him, he would bless all that came after him. What a great reminder for believers to give God today your first fruit, your best. Bring your best to him, trusting him with your resources as you give to further his Kingdom. And this is not just a reference to tithing to a Church, which is not a bad thing at all, but also giving to any cause missionary, a local charity that helps people, any cause that proclaims and furthers the Lord. So verse five, no lie was found in their mouths. They are blameless. And this is pointing to believers receiving their white robe of righteousness. Because believers have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. They and we are found to be blameless before him. So your truth bomb for these first five verses. Do you really believe that you are one of God's first fruits in his Kingdom? In your call to action? What are you giving to him from your first fruits in your life? Okay, we're moving into the second division, the statement from heaven, which is verses six through 13. In these next eight verses, the narrative changes to the message from three Angels. Verse six says, Then I saw another angel flying in mid air and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the Earth, to every nation, tribe, language and people. This first angel shows to all that God's word is to be proclaimed, which means a public or official announcement, especially when dealing with a matter of great importance. And here, this verse refers to the completion of the task of preaching and teaching the gospel to the ends of the Earth. And it also shows the endurance of God's Word to the very end of times. No matter how much Satan and his evildoers here on Earth try to silence and wipe out God's word, it shows us right here at the end of times, the word will endure all the way. God will never be silenced. Next, the same angel brings three distinct directives in verse seven. First, it's the proclamation of the gospel. Verse seven, he said in a loud voice, Fear God, give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come and worship him who made the heavens, the Earth, the sea, and the Springs of water. So these three things we are to fear God. And when we fear him, we give him our ultimate dedication and honor. In this context, we need to look at the word fear in the Hebrew language because it's translated into awe in the Bible is Yira. It is often directly translated into fear, but can also point to respect, reverence, and worship. Yeera is also strongly connected to a trembling. So when we fear God, it doesn't mean we're cowering in fear. It means that he is so awesome and so mighty that we actually do tremble before him out of our respect, out of our love and reverence and worship. So next, it tells us that we are to give him glory so no one or nothing else can compare to God and Jesus. He is deserving of all glory and honor. And then the third directive is to worship Him. He is the only one we should worship in our lives. We are to give all our adoration to our King. Next, before verse eight, we have the announcement of the fall of Babylon. And Babylon is commonly referred to in the Bible as not only a literal city, but also as a fallen religious or political system. Here's verse eight, a second angel followed and said, Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries. The next angel has a different message of judgment following the first message, which was the eternal gospel. Babylon references the opposite of the pure Virgin in the form of an adulterous and fallen people. Boy, do we see that today the cunning lure of sin and seduction that those who are of the world have chosen over God Almighty. And so then next there's the warning of the coming judgment. In verse nine, a third angel followed them and said in a loud voice, if anyone worships the beast in its image and receives its Mark on their forehead or their hand. While the final angelic messenger speaks of the warning of following Satan, thus making the choice to deny God, those who continue to blatantly spit in his face have made their choice to worship in their own way. Therefore, if one is not marked or sealed by God, their ceiling comes from the dark side. And this really is a very stern warning to all. There is no middle ground, you guys, a choice must be made and it has eternal consequences. The line in the sand is very clear. Verse ten. They too will drink the wine of God's Fury which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the Holy Angels and of the Lamb. And this verse illustrates what happens to those who choose to worship the beast and receive his Mark. One, they're going to drink the wine of God's Fury because as we've said before, God will not be mocked. His wrath is real and should be respected. Jesus willingly drank the cup of wrath from God to remove this wrath from us as believers. The tormented with Burning Sulfur Well, Brimstone, we've heard that is another name for sulphur. And this is a reference to the reality of hell. And you guys, if you've smelled sulfur, you know it stinks when it's burned and it is a substance that stays hot for a very long time. The reference to being in the presence of the Holy Angels and the Lamb during this time and watching it, that's difficult for many because it's hard to imagine our Lord and Savior witnessing such horrific destruction. However, as we have been studying throughout this book. A perfect God must punish those who deny his Son. Therefore, wrath is just when Christ has been ignored, mocked, and denied. Verse eleven and the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the Mark of its name. The continuing drama of the wrath of God here in verse eleven reminds us all that choosing to worship the beast in its image will give us eternal hell forever. The torment will never, ever end. Verse twelve. This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. We saw this same reminder in chapter 1310, and it's another great point. It's a very pivotal point regarding this sobering truth of hell. Then we go into verse 13. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, Write this. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit. They will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them. This is the second Beatitude found in Revelation. And there are seven Beatitudes found in this last book of the Bible, and each one reminds believers how honored we are in the eyes of God. We are blessed. Believers are also promised that our trials and toils here on the Earth will end and that the fruit we exhibited for Christ here on Earth will be recognized in heaven. And I just want to review these seven Beatitudes in Revelation because we've only had two. So the first one was in Revelation. Blessed are those who hear and read the word and take the heart to the words Revelation 14 that we just came to. Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Revelation 1615. Blessed is he who stays awake. Revelation 19. Nine blessed to those who are invited to the wedding supper. Revelation 20, verse six. Blessed are those who take part in the resurrection. Revelation 22. Seven blessed for those who keep the words of this book. Blessed are those who are washed and have the right to the tree of life. Those are beautiful reminders throughout this book that we are indeed blessed. So let's look at what it means to die in the Lord, and it means to leave our old cells behind, to die in our sins. As John reminded us in his Gospel account John 821 30. So he said to them again, I am going away, and you will see me, and you will die in your sins. Where I am going, you cannot come. So the Jew said, Will he kill himself? Since he says, Where I'm going, you cannot come. He said to them, you are from below. I am from above. You are of this world, and I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he. You will die in your sins. Wow. So your truth bomb. We are to fear God, we are to give Him glory and we are to worship Him. There is a coming judgment for those who do not do these things. So your call to action. What have you done to die in your sin today? What do you need to let go of? Confess and ask God to remove from your life. Okay, we're to the final section, The Sickle and the Harvest verses 14 through 20 and again, this is a narrative change in this chapter for these last few verses because now John sees another vision that includes the King of Kings in heaven. Verse 14 I looked and there before me was a white cloud seated on the cloud that was like the Son of man with a Crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Here we see Jesus seated with his Crown showing his kingship. But this time he also holds a sharp weapon, a sickle to be exact, which makes sense as this narrative continues about harvesting and a sickle is a curved tool that is used to cut down a field with precision. The sickle takes out the crops with a Swift swing. Also, as Jesus left this Earth, his last Crown was a Crown of thorns and pain. And now here he is. His Crown is gold and this Crown is of victory and not defeat. Verse 15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who is sitting on the cloud, Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the Earth is ripe. Now the announcement comes that it's time for Jesus to judge those who have denied him, and it's important to note that the use of the word ripe was not meant here in a positive manner. Instead, if you look at the Greek term for ripe in this context, eggs, which means dried up or withered. So Jesus comes at the exact moment in time when he deems that the time is right and he comes to remove those who have dug in their heels and continue to deny him. Their souls are withered and dried up because they have not accepted the love he has offered them freely. Verse 16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the Earth and the Earth was harvested. This shows the Swift and ready judgment of Christ again when it is time for him to exert his judgment over the wicked, it is going to be fast, no fanfare, just Swift Justice. Jesus releasing his sickle of judgment, then releases his Angels to complete the work. Satan has also been releasing his demons on Earth to do his work. And now here we see the King of Kings saying it is time. Verse 17 Another Angel came out of the temple in heaven and he too had a sharp sickle. So this demonstrates that the warrior Angels who have been held back are now engaged in the destruction. Verse 18 still another angel who had charge of the fire came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle. Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the Earth's Vine because its grapes are ripe. The reference here regarding the clusters of grapes that are ripe has caused some confusion for readers because most of us think ripe grapes at the time of harvest brings forth wine as the outcome of the harvest. Well, in this context, the reference is actually talking about grapes in the wine press, meaning bloodshed. As we'll see in verse 19, the harvest here are those who are being judged and they will be trampled upon and their blood will be shed. These people have been given the warnings of what will happen if they continue to rebel against God Almighty. Verse 19 The Angel swung his sickle on the Earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great wine press of God's wrath. And it reminded me of the Battle Hymn of Republic. It says, Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vineyard where the grapes of wrath are stored. He has lost the faithful lightning of his terrible Swift sword. His truth is marching on. Verse 20 they were trampled in the wine press outside the city and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horse's bridles for a distance of 1600 Stadia. This is a powerful and very visual description of the complete and utter destruction of the wicked. The distance of 1500 Stadia was used as a reference because in those ancient times a battle was extending about 1600 furlongs, which is about 200 miles, and that was beyond all known conflict to them at the time. So it was used as a saying. And as we left chapter 13 and we saw the unholy Trinity that has been ruling on this Earth, chapter 14 now arrives with the true victory that will ensue it's. Another pause for us to put our eyes back on Jesus. So no matter how awful and horrible these times appear and what we're reading seems to be, we've got to remember that those who follow Christ will be with Him forever and those who oppose Him will endure hell forever. So your truth bomb Jesus is the final judge on the Earth and your call to action. If he were coming back today, could you say that you really are ready? And if not, what do you need to do in order to be ready? So your summary for this entire chapter believers are on the winning side of good versus evil. As difficult as much of this book of Revelation is, we must not take our eyes off King Jesus. Picture him with the Crown of gold and trust? And know that he will take care of his business in his own time? Heaven declares that Jesus Christ will return in full victory let's pray father God thank you so much for your word for your encouragement for your blessings throughout this book of revelation? May we keep our eyes firmly planted on you? And it's in Jesus's name we pray Amen be sure to visit my website Dr. Paulo Macdonald.com click on podcasts and then exhale Bible discovery for selfstudy guides and resources to support you with each episode.