The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Revelation 14

Rev 14:1

LAMB: Cp Rev 5:6.

STANDING ON MOUNT ZION: Sym the Abrahamic covenant in ct to Mt Sinai which represents the Mosaic Covenant (Gal 4:24; Heb 12:22). Zion was the place which Yahweh selected to dwell among His people (Deu 12:11; Psa 132:14), and therefore spiritually represents the Ecclesia. Zion is a symbol of permanency (Psa 125:1). A true saint is a citizen of Zion (Psa 87:1-5).

Grain planted on top of mountains, harvested as "firstfruits" (Psa 72:16; Lev 23:10-17). From the one "seed" planted in ground (Joh 12:24) comes the full harvest of all those in Christ.

HIS NAME AND HIS FATHER'S NAME: Christ is the embodiment of the Father (Heb 1:3) as we hope to be (Rom 5:2). Notice the contrast between those having the name of blasphemy (Rev 13:1,6,16,17), and those having the Father's name. The eventual triumph of the latter (the Father's name) over the former (blasphemy) is sure and certain.

HIS FATHER'S NAME WRITTEN ON THEIR FOREHEADS: Mentally inscribed: cp Ezek 9:4; Rev 7:3, 22:4; ct Rev 9:4, 13:16, 20:4.

Those who bear in their foreheads the name of the Lamb and of his Father have the "mark" of the Lamb. They are deliberately contrasted with the people who bear, on the right arm or the forehead, the "mark of the beast" (Rev 13:16-18). The Lamb is of course Christ. In an especially poignant scene of the Apocalypse, he is pictured as "a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain" (Rev 5:6; cp Rev 5:12; 13:8). The "Lamb" Jesus is the Passover Lamb, slain for the sins of the world (Joh 1:29; 1Co 5:7), bearing ever after in his body the marks of his sacrifice (Joh 20:25-28).

The original Passover lamb was slain in Egypt, and its blood used to mark the lintels and doorposts of the houses of the believing Israelites. Succeeding generations of Israel would readily recognize such a mark (ie, resembling a doorway) as approximating the Hebrew letter "He", which almost by itself spells the name of God: Yod He, or YAH. It is no great stretch of the imagination, therefore, to see that every faithful house in Egypt had the name of the Father marked over its doorway, written in the blood of the Lamb! And the name of the Father, "Yah", is -- of course -- the name of the Lamb too: "Yah-shua", or Jesus!

Now, in the Book of Revelation, there are marked out, not houses, but individual men and women, each sealed, not upon the door, but in the forehead (the "door" of the mind) with the "mark" of the Lamb. These are the individuals who have opened their minds to the message of God, who have directed their thoughts into the ways of His Laws. These are they who have been touched by the blood of Christ, who have been baptized into his name and the name of his Father. These are they who, wherever they are -- even in the grave itself -- will be protected in the Last Days from the "Angel of Death" and will be delivered from the "Egypt" of slavery and sin and death.

Listen to what the Lord and King Jesus promised to those who keep his word and do not deny his name: "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name" (Rev 3:10-12). (See Lesson, Mark of the lamb.)

Rev 14:2

HARPS: Joy and praise (Isa 24:8; 1Ch 25:1,3,5; Psa 71:22; 92:3). The rejoicing priests of the Age to come (1Ch 25:1) -- note that these priests of the past "prophesied" by their musical exercises (Psa 87:7).

Rev 14:3

A NEW SONG... NO ONE COULD LEARN: See the expression used in Psa 40:3, 33:1-5, 96:1, 98:1; 144:9,10; 149:1. This "new song" is a song of deliverance, as a comparison of these places will show. The word "new" in the Pss expresses the shout of joy and relief in Divine deliverance, though the words of the song will be sung with greater force and meaning when the truths that they proclaim are obvious in the earth.

"One of the marvels and wonders of the life of immortality... will be an unlocking of faculties which are at present (unrealized) in this day of Adamic limitation and curse" (WRev 176).

REDEEMED: Gr "agorazo": to be in the "agora", the marketplace or forum; hence, to buy or sell there (sw "purchased": v 4). See Lesson, Redemption.

Rev 14:4

WHO DID NOT DEFILE THEMSELVES WITH WOMEN: That is, with the special temple prostitutes of various idolatries. Marital relations with one's wife would in no way be a defilement.

Spiritual adultery, the "women" in question being the apostasy (Rev 17:5; 2:20; James 4:4).

PURE: Some, eunuchs for kingdom (Mat 19:12; 1Co 7:1,7-9,25-40). But this, obviously, in a symbolic sense -- not defiled by worldly lusts or by cult prostitution. This is actually a masculine plural word ("parthenous"). Though the multitudinous bride (cp Rev 19; 21) is composed of both men and women, in the collective it would be feminine: a female virgin: cp 1Co 6:15; 2Co 11:2,3.

FOLLOW... WHEREVER HE GOES: Mat 8:22; 16:24; Joh 21:22; Eze 1:12.

PURCHASED: Gr "agorazo": to be in the "agora", the marketplace or forum; hence, to buy or sell there (sw "redeemed": v 3). See Lesson, Redemption.

FIRSTFRUITS: Cp Jam 1:18. The privileges of the firstborn becomes theirs: a double portion of inheritance, priesthood, authority. These things they obtain under Christ.

Rev 14:5

NO LIE WAS FOUND IN THEIR MOUTHS: They imitate the character of Christ (cp 1Pe 2:21,22; Zep 3:13). Cp Isa 53:9: "Nor was any deceit in his mouth." And, of course, both passages are about a "Lamb"!

BLAMELESS: "Without fault", their sins being forgiven, blotted out: cp Eph 1:4; Rom 4:6-8; Jude 1:24.

Rev 14:6

TO EVERY NATION: The saints are taken "out of the nations" (Rev 5:9,10; 7:9; 11:9; 13:7), but will be sent back with the message that Christ reigns in Zion (Rev 10:11). The message they carry is given in v 7. See also Isa 14:32; Psa 2:10-12.

Rev 14:7

THE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT HAS COME: "There is one thing which makes the study of prophecy of such immense practical importance. It is, that we shall be on earth when these judgments are executed. Our scriptural hope is to be caught up to meet the Lord in the political air, and so to come with him when he comes to execute judgment on the wicked. But we are surrounded by those principles, influences, and systems, which are ripening to that maturity of evil which mankind will reach ere those judgments come. God will judge them at the coming of Christ, when they are fully ripe. But has acquaintance with these subjects no tendency to keep us apart from such evils now? Surely it has; and that we might be so sanctified, or kept apart from evil, is one object God has in view in revealing these things to us" (FLD 285).

HEAVENS... EARTH... SEA... SPRINGS: The 4 localities of judgments of 4 trumpets (Rev 8:7-13) and 4 vials (Rev 16:2-9).

Rev 14:10

FULL STRENGTH: "Without mixture". Ct Psa 75:8. Mixed wine was fortified by drugs and was given to criminals before execution to dull pain. There will be no dulling of pain for guilty Rome.

THE WINE OF GOD'S FURY: Sym bloodshed and judgment (Isa 51:17-23; Jer 25:17; Isa 63:1-3).

Rev 14:11

SMOKE... RISES FOR EVER AND EVER: See Rev 20:9,10n. Cp Jud 1:7: Sodom and Gomorrah: suffering vengeance of eternal fire... or, "suffering God's eternal vengeance... which is fire!" Ct Lam 4:6: overthrown in a moment! Also cited Isa 34:10.

Rev 14:12

Ct with Rev 13:10. The very power which persecuted the saints in the past is to be destroyed, and the patience of "those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus will be rewarded in the overthrow of spiritual Babylon.

Rev 14:13

WHO DIE IN THE LORD: Those who are faithful unto death (Rev 2:26).

FROM NOW ON: That is, from the time of John's writing. Perhaps more blessed than others, because they will have seen (thru this book) the final victory of Christ.

Rev 14:14

A WHITE CLOUD: Shekinah glory (Exo 14:19-24; 40:34-38; 1Ki 8:10,11; Act 1:9).

A SHARP SICKLE: Cp Mat 13:24-30,37-43; Mic 4:12; Joel 3:14. The angel stands in threatening aspect before the world. His judgment is executed at the appointed time.

Rev 14:20

OUTSIDE THE CITY: That is, the city where Jesus was crucified (Joh 19:20; Heb 13;11-13) -- as if to show that these judgments on Israel came because of what they had done to Jesus.

BLOOD FLOWED OUT: A river of death, in ct with the river of life in Eze 47, etc.

RISING AS HIGH AS THE HORSES' BRIDLES: "This treading of a winepress by warriors on horseback is no doubt intended to indicate a close connection with the vision of Rev 19:13-15, which in turn is interwoven with the judgement of the Sixth Thunder (Rev 14:18; 19:17): 'And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean... and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.' This is the beginning of the assertion of the power and authority of Messiah. All things are now to be put under his feet (1Co 15:25,27), and there can be only judgement for those who resist. It will be an infallible and altogether righteous judgement, for even the bells of these horses will be 'Holy to the Lord' (Zec 14:20,21).

"The sombre picture of blood flowing in such depth and distance precludes, of course, any kind of literality of interpretation. This is a symbolic River of Death, designed no doubt as contrast to that remarkable River of Life described by Ezekiel (Eze 47).

"Is the length of this stream of slaughter also symbolic? In judgement against a criminal, the penalty was not to exceed forty stripes (Deu 25:3). Then is this 'thousand six hundred furlongs' (forty forties) intended to suggest both the intensification and finality of this mighty judgement against the enemies of God? Perhaps also there is point in this distance being the measure of the Holy Land, from Lebanon to Kadesh, which are mentioned in Psa 29:6,8 as the geographical limits of the Seven Thunder judgements" (WRev).

1,600: 40 times 40 = 1,600. 40 = number of probation or punishment -- ie, 40 stripes. The square suggests Israel which encamped in a square (note Rev 21:16). Forty is the number of probation (Deu 25:3), and is frequently associated in the Bible with humiliation, affliction and punishment. Moses twice humbled himself 40 days in prayer and fasting (Deu 9:9,18). Elijah (1Ki 19:8), and Christ (Mat 4:2) were both 40 days fasting. Israel was afflicted 40 years (Num 14:33,34). The Canaanites had 40 years to repent after the spies had searched the land for 40 days (Num 14:33). Christ taught the disciples for 40 days after his resurrection (Acts 1:3), and after 40 years of preaching the Gospel, the Jewish State was destroyed in 70.

1,600 STADIA: The measure of the Holy Land -- from Dan (Lebanon) to Beersheba (Kadesh) -- both mentioned in Psa 29, the psa of 7 thunders, or "voices of God" -- see notes there. One ancient source says the length of Palestine was 1664 stadia.

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