Final Judgement Begins

Final Judgement Begins

Revelation 14

14:1 the Lamb. Our focus quickly shifts back to Jesus, who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Mount Zion. The city of Jerusalem, where Messiah will return and plant His feet (Psalm 2; 48:1, 2; Isaiah 24:23). In this passage, though, we are probably looking forward to the New Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22-24)

It would seem that we are, for a brief instant, looking forward, in time, to the moment when Christ has consummated Redemptive History and stands ready, along with His whole host, to bring swift, final, and crushing victory to His enemies.

one hundred and forty-four thousand. These are the same that we saw in Revelation 7. Their presence, here, is, perhaps, the strongest testimony, in the Scriptures, to the security of the believers and the certainty of their salvation.

name. This is conceptually similar and the counterpart to the mark of the beast. It is the stamp that will identify the 144,000 as belonging to God. Those with the Name of the Lamb and of God on their forehead are marked out for total redemption in the same way that those with the Mark of the Beast are marked out for total destruction.

14:3 new song. The song of redemption, which is being sung by these redeemed saints in one gigantic choir. They are rejoicing over the accomplishment of God’s entire redemptive work before Christ’s return (Psalm 33:1-3; 40:3; 96:1; 144:9, 10; 149; Luke 15:10;). It is interesting that John does not share the lyrics to this song suggesting that it goes beyond just being special and is a unique hymn not available to the other redeemed.

the four living creatures and the elders. Here we have one of the most beautiful scenes in Revelation. As the song plays out, the 4 special angels who are attendant upon the Throne and the Raptured Church (the Elders) fall down in worship, having seen God do all He said He would do and thus getting justly deserved praise.

14:4 not been defiled with women. (Note from New Interpreters Study Bible) By depicting the redeemed as males who have not defiled themselves with women, John uses OT imagery to represent the church as God’s victorious army. “Defile” does not suggest that either women or sex is “dirty.” John here speaks of ritual defilement and of ceremonial purity. One might think of the way we in the nuclear age speak of “contaminated” objects that have been exposed to powerful radiation. John stands in the Hebrew tradition, which regarded sex, fertility, and all associated with them as potent with the mysterious power of life (cf. the regulations for the ritual containment of the power of menstrual blood, which “defiles,” in Lev 15:19-31). Because these forces are so powerful, they must be ritually insulated from normal life. The same was true of the Scripture, which was said to “defile the hands.” Persons engaged in special occupations or missions, such as the priesthood or God’s army, were expected to refrain from sex during the time of their ser vice, not for moralistic reasons, but to insulate the sacred service from other powers (Deut 20:1-9; 23:9-10; 1 Sam 21:5). Since John pictures the church as the army of God—as in 7:1-8 the word thousands here conjures up military units—and as priests (1:6; 5:10), the church is therefore pictured as a community of chaste “virgins.” Another of John’s images for the church is that of the ideal prophetic community (see 11:1-13). Since in early Christianity prophets lived a somewhat ascetic lifestyle, leaving home and family and traveling wherever needed in the service of Christ, here the whole church is presented as virgins that follow the Lamb wherever he goes. Virgin also connotes the pure bride of Christ, in contrast to the harlotry with which idolatry was equated (cf. 21:2 with 17:1). All these converging and overlapping symbols that characterize the nature of the church are suggested by John’s evocative language.

follow the Lamb. The victorious 144,000 are unwaveringly loyal to Him, whatever the cost (Matthew 16:24; Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23; John 10:27; 12:26; 14:15).

14:6 midheaven. From a Gr. term denoting the point in the noonday sky where the sun reaches its zenith. This is the highest and brightest point, where all can see and hear.

an eternal gospel. The angel is preaching the good news concerning eternal life and entrance into the kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 24:14; 1 Corinthians 15:1-10). He is urging the people of the world to change their allegiance from the beast to the Lamb. It is also called in the NT the gospel of God, the gospel of grace, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of peace, the glorious gospel, and the gospel of the kingdom. It is good news that God saves by the forgiveness of sin and opens His kingdom to all who will repent and believe. The whole world will hear this preaching by the angel as God graciously calls all to salvation.

14:7 Fear God. Not Satan, nor Antichrist. This is the theme of Scripture, calling people to give honor, glory, worship, and reverence to God (Proverbs 23:17; 1 Peter 2:17).

hour of His judgment has come. The last moment arrives to repent and believe before God’s wrath is poured out. This is the book’s first use of the word judgment, a term that has the same meaning as wrath. In mere moments, the Courtroom of Heaven will convene and the final seven judgments, the Bowls of Wrath, will commence. These final judgments are so terrible that if God did not have mercy and shorten their days no one would survive.

14:8 fallen is Babylon. Lack of response to the first angel’s message causes a second angel to pronounce this judgment. Babylon refers to the entire worldwide political, economic, and religious kingdom of Antichrist. The original city of Babylon was the birthplace of idolatry where the residents built the Tower of Babel, a monument to rebelliousness and false religion. Such idolatry was subsequently spread when God confounded man’s language and scattered them around the world (cf. Genesis 11:1-9). Now, finally, what had begun at Babel is completed. Babylon, who led many into whoring after strange gods, is left naked and ashamed. There is no more mercy for her. Having thumbed her nose at God one time too many, the Great Whore is exposed, judged, and destroyed.

wine of the passion of her immorality. Babylon has caused the world to become intoxicated with her pleasures and enter an orgy of rebellion, hatred, and idolatry toward God; she has led many nations to the bed of adultery with strange gods who cannot see, hear, or save. Fornication is spiritual prostitution to Antichrist’s false system, which will fall for such iniquity.

14:9 worships the beast. Damnation is certain for these. In this context, worshipping the beast is both a literal act, as he will have declared himself to be god, and a figurative one. The world essentially says to YHWH, “any god but you.”

14:10 cup of His anger. Anyone loyal to the Antichrist and his kingdom will suffer the outpouring of God’s collected wrath, done with the full force of His divine anger and unmitigated vengeance (Psalm 75:8; Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15, 16). Divine wrath is not an impulsive outburst of anger aimed capriciously at people God does not like. It is the settled, steady, merciless, graceless, and compassionless response of a righteous God against sin.

What you have to understand here, is that in hell, people have finally gotten exactly what they wanted. Time and again they have said, any god but YHWH and His Christ, and so, in hell God has, in His justice, granted their request. They will spend all eternity without YHWH. Christ will no longer be available to them and since He is the Agent of God’s grace and mercy, those are no longer available either.

I do not, for the slightest instant, believe that the people who are consigned to the eternal fire will ever wish to be with God. Yes, they will wish to be saved from the eternal damnation but they will still not want God. It is those who desire Christ and God the Father who are in Heaven, not those who simply desired not to go to hell. The desire to have Christ or the lack thereof is fully remunerated in Heaven and Hell, with each man receiving his desire, Christ or the lack thereof.

 

Both George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde are reported to have said, ” There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” Thus hell is the ultimate tragedy because there is no changing of the mind once there.

 

fire and brimstone. These are two elements that are often associated in Scripture with the torment of divine punishment (Genesis 19:24, 25; Isaiah 34:8-10). Here the reference is to hell, the lake of fire (19:20; 20:10; 21:8).

14:11 torment goes up forever and ever. A reference to the eternality of hell (Matthew 3:12; 13:41, 42; 25:41; Mark 9:48). Torment is the ceaseless infliction of unbearable pain (Luke 16:23, 24), here prescribed for all who are loyal to Satan’s leader.

14:12 This is excellent scriptural support for the doctrine of perseverance, which assures all true believers in Christ that they will never lose their faith. The regenerate will continually endure, right to the end, in obedience to the truth, no matter what may come against them

 

The remainder of the chapter gives two word pictures of the Judgment to come. Christ is seen wearing the Victor’s Crown (Normally a laurel wreath though this time cast in gold) to show that He is the final victor and the conquering king.

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