REVELATION 14

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Introduction to the chapter
Chapters 10-13 consist of a survey of the whole of the seven-year Tribulation Period, whereas chapters 14 and 15 survey the end of that period, which is why, in this chapter 14, the one hundred and forty-four thousand are seen in resurrection before the throne of God in heaven, and the final battle is spoken of also.  The account of the judgements of God resumes in chapter 16.

Structure of the chapter

(a) Verses 1-5 Faithful evangelists seen on Mount Sion
(b) Verses 6-7 Final opportunity for men to believe.
(c)    Verse 8 Fall of Babylon announced.
(e) Verses 9-11 Future of the beast-worshippers.
(d) Verse 13 Felicity of the martyrs.
(f)  Verses 14-16 Fully ripe harvest.
(g) Verses 17-20 Fully ripe grapes.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION CHAPTER 14, VERSES 1 TO 11:

14:1  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.

14:2  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

14:3  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

14:5  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

14:6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

14:7  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

14:8  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

(a)     Verses 1-5    Faithful evangelists seen on Mount Sion

14:1  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.

And I looked, and, lo- so John looks, and he wants us to look too, so he writes “lo”, exhorting us to behold (get a hold or grasp of), what he is seeing.
A Lamb stood on the mount Sion- Hebrews 12:22 reads, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem”.  So there is a heavenly Sion, and it is out of this place that Christ shall come to the deliverance of His earthly people, for the apostle Paul writes, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob'”, Romans 11:26.  But this is an allusion to the words of Isaiah, when he wrote, “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob saith the Lord”, Isaiah 59:20.  So there is to be an earthly equivalent to the heavenly Sion, for the Redeemer shall come out from the heavenly and come to the earthly, when He comes to reign. Zion in Jerusalem being the centre of the rule of the King.  At that time the Redeemer Himself shall turn the nation from the transgression of crucifying Him by appearing with the marks of Calvary upon Him, which will cause them to mourn and repent, Revelation 1:7; Zechariah 12:10.
John sees the Lamb standing, as He was in chapter 5 to emphasise His resurrection.  He is not the Lamb prostrate upon the “altar” of Calvary any more, but gloriously risen.  As the sacrificial Lamb, He suffered outside of the city of Jerusalem, unwanted, but on His return He shall reign inside the city, welcomed.
And with Him an hundred forty and four thousand- this is the same company as was sent forth in chapter 7 to evangelise throughout the world, preaching the gospel of the kingdom. As many as had been sent forth are now safely in heaven, their work done.  This shows how unwise it is to suggest that the number is a rounded figure, for if the number had actually been, say, one hundred and forty three thousand, nine hundred and ninety, but had been rounded up, how would we know that every single one was safe in heaven?  The Lamb had been with them, (“Lo, I am with you alway”), and now they are with Him.  He overcame, and is sat down on His Father’s throne, Revelation 3:21, and so had they overcome, and stand before that throne.  They had confessed Christ before men, and now He is confessing them before His Father, as He promised in Matthew 10:32.
Having His Father’s name written in their foreheads- this tells us what the seal is which was put upon them in 7:2.  They had received God’s seal, and refused the mark of the beast.  The Lord Jesus was sealed by His Father, John 6:27, (the chapter where He spoke of Himself as the Bread of God), for just as bakers stamped their name on the loaves they sold, to show that they would stand by their product, so God the Father had every confidence in His Son, and in this company too. 
The name is written on the forehead, showing that the interests of God were foremost to their minds.  The Pharisees wore phylacteries, (a small box containing a portion of the law), strapped to their foreheads, but unhappily this had become just a religious act, and too often their minds were not occupied with God, but self. 
Note that it is the name of the Father of the Lamb, which seems to indicate that they did not have the same close privilege as is the portion of God’s people today, who may properly call God their own Father, John 20:17. 

14:2  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

And I heard a voice from heaven- the massed choir consisting of these one hundred and forty four thousand is singing as one man, for John hears but one voice.  It is said of the musicians and choir in Solomon’s temple that, “the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord”, 2 Chronicles 5:13.  Here however, the musicians and the choir are the same.
As the voice of many waters- like a mighty waterfall, its constant noise drowning out all other voices.  But it is not a mere noise, but is a voice, the intelligent expression of fervent praise to God.
And as the voice of a great thunder- whereas the waters are constant, the thunder is intermittent, but when it comes it makes all other sounds irrelevant.  The praise of these men at times rises to a thundering crescendo, showing the enthusiasm with which they praise God.
And I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps- the same singers as were described as waters and thunder are now said to play upon their harps at the same time.  This was a feature of most of the musical instruments used in the temple-worship, for the one playing could also sing at the same time, and this is the case here.  We read of the voice of the harpers, for they have not put down their harps to sing, but are harping with their harps at the same time as singing.  It is said of some in Solomon’s temple that they prophesied with the harp, 1 Chronicles 25:3, so their song had spiritual content, for it was the unfolding of the mind of God. The fact that these men were harping at the same time as singing shows they knew the words of their song so well that they could play the harp at the same time.
In our day, when musical instruments are not necessary, we should ensure that the hymns we sing have spiritual content.  Unscriptural hymns should not be sung, and those giving out a hymn should not ask fellow-believers to sing something contrary to Scripture.

14:3  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

And they sung as it were a new song- that is, a song new to them.  Released from the afflictions of earth, their spirits are free.  As was the case with the psalmist, God had put a new song in their mouths, Psalm 40:3.
Before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders- this shows they are in heaven, and not upon the earthly Sion.  They sing before the throne because their praise is directed to God, and also because it is He who they represented upon the earth in their evangelism.  They sing before the four beasts and the elders, because these cannot learn the song they sing, and must be content to listen.  They, being angelic creatures, do not know anything about the experiences these men have had.
And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand- their experience had been unique, for they had been raised up of God to do a work at a very critical time in the history of the world, and had endured unimaginable hardships as they went forth with the gospel.  It is  appropriate that these sing the song.  We often sing words which go well beyond our experiences, but that it not the case with these men.
Which were redeemed from the earth- just as the nation of Israel was delivered politically and nationally from the afflictions of Egypt, so these had been delivered physically from their trials.

14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins- they had devoted their lives to God for the seven years of their ministry, with the resolve to allow no distractions to interrupt it.  Theirs was an urgent task, and normal domestic responsibilities would have hindered the doing of it.  The Lord Jesus spoke of those who made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, Matthew 19:12, and these are like this.
These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth- they had followed His example of tireless activity on earth, and now their reward is to follow Him in heaven, see 7:17.  They were totally unlike the man spoken of by the Lord Jesus with the words, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me”, Matthew10:38.  To take up a cross meant the willingness to endure extreme affliction, and the company on Mount Sion had been like this.
These were redeemed from among men- not only were they delivered from being on earth, as verse 1 says, but they were redeemed from being among men, for the world was hostile to them and they were in a place of danger.  God in His mercy redeemed them from that danger, and now they were safe. They were also redeemed as to the body, for that was their last link with Adam, but now that link was broken and they knew full redemption in resurrection.
Being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb- the ordinance in Israel was that the first sheaf of the harvest should be special to God, and offered to Him in His courts.  These represent the first sheaf of the great harvest of Old Testament saints who shall rise from the dead when Christ comes to earth, so that they may enter into the kingdom of the Messiah.  They were the firstfruits to God, as being very special, for He claimed the first sheaf, and they were the firstfruits unto the Lamb because if there had been no Passover, there would have been no Feast of the Wave-sheaf that was connected with it.  There is no resurrection if there is no Calvary.  Moreover, He is it that shall raise the dead, John 5:28,29, so He has claimed these to Himself in that way also.

14:5  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

And in their mouth was found no guile- they gave an honest testimony as to the kingdom.  They could say with the apostle Paul, “Neither at any time did we use deceit”.  After all, as followers of the Lamb, they were like Him of whom it is said, “neither was guile found in His mouth”, 1 Peter 2:22.
For they are without fault before the throne of God- the righteousness of God’s throne has no charge to bring against them.  Again they were, in a limited sense, like Him of whom Peter says. “Who did no sin”, 1 Peter 2:22.  The implication is that the proof that what they preached was without guile is seen in that they are before the throne of God.

(b)    Verses 6-7    Final opportunity for men to believe

14:6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven- the word “another” is a reference to the angel of 8:13, who warned men of the woes that would come when the last three trumpet-angels sounded. 
Having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people- the testimony to the kingdom is over, for the preachers have been taken up to the heavenly Sion, and now the testimony is on the basic level of the recognition of God as Creator.  God, even at this late stage, is still not willing that any should perish.  It seems there are two categories of men here, those who dwell upon the earth, and are not at all interested in heaven, and those who, out of every class of men, are not so set in their rejection of the claims of heaven, and may still respond to their Creator.

14:7  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgement is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Saying with a loud voice- the message is urgent, and therefore must be sounded out far and wide, hence the loud voice, to arrest attention, and show the earnestness of the messenger.
Fear God, and give glory to Him- the apostle Paul’s charge against heathendom was that they “changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man”, Romans 1:23.  This will be repeated in the end times, for God and His glory will be forgotten by men, and they will worship the image of a man. 
For the hour of his judgement is come- the hour suggests a concentrated period of severe judgement, and men are warned yet again before it arrives. 
And worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters- men are called to fear Him because His judgement is come, and worship Him because He created all things.  The four things singled out here are reminders of the flood of Noah’s day, when judgement engulfed the earth, and although God has promised never to flood the earth again, He will judge it by the fires of His wrath.  It was when the windows of heaven were opened that the waters came to flood the earth.  And it was when the fountains of the great deep were broken up, releasing waters stored under pressure in the caverns beneath the sea-bed, that the sea rose to engulf everything. 

(c)    Verse 8    Fall of Babylon announced

14:8  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

And there followed another angel- the first angel preached the everlasting gospel about God as Creator, a truth for every period of time.  The second and third angels announce judgement, showing that even at this late stage God puts blessing before woe, if men will have it.
Saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city- this is virtually a quotation from Isaiah 21:9, which reads, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen”, so the angel must surely be referring to the same city Isaiah prophesied about, which was the literal city of Babylon.  This cautions us against making the city a symbol, even though there is undoubtedly symbolism attached to it.  Satan does not want us to take the book of Revelation literally, for that lessens its impact, and gives license to the imagination, which is fatal in Bible interpretation. 
The angel adds “that great city”, as if to emphasise that he is referring to a great city in existence at the time he is speaking, bearing in mind that John has been transported in vision to the end times.  The angel is anticipating the fall that is detailed in chapters 17 and 18, and rejoiced over in chapter 19. 
Because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication- Jeremiah wrote of the city of Babylon, “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that hath made the whole earth drunken”, Jeremiah 51:7.  When men were made initiates into the mysteries of the religion of Babylon, a golden cup was held out to them which contained a mixture of liquids calculated to make them give their minds over completely to the devilish things to which they were being introduced.  Fornication is spoken of in physical terms elsewhere, but here it speaks of spiritual unfaithfulness to God in the form of alliance with idols, and the demons who lurk behind them.  It is the wine of the wrath of her fornication because drinking it in honour of idols will be recompensed with wrath from God, in the form of wine from the cup of His indignation, verse 10. 
All nations have been duped by the mother and child system of idolatry which began in Babylon in the times of Nimrod and his wife Semiramis.  Nimrod was killed, and Semiramis saw that the only way to maintain her fame and prestige was to suggest that he had returned as her son.  And men believed this, led on by the deceiver of the whole world, Satan himself.  So the son of the mother is also the father of the child of the mother.  It is noticeable that Matthew, when he is recording the events surrounding the birth of Christ, very carefully tells us that when the wise men arrived at the house pointed out by the star, and saw the young child and Mary His mother, they fell down and worshipped Him, not the mother, and presented gifts unto Him, not to Mary, Matthew 2:11. 

(d)    Verses 9-11      Future of beast-worshippers

14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice- another urgent message to men, showing that even in the midst of wrath God remembers mercy. 
If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand- since the woman who rides the beast is destroyed by the associates of the beast, 17:16, it is evident that the final form of idolatry will be the worship of a man, who himself is energised by Satan himself. 
We know from Matthew 24:15 that the image of the beast, there called the abomination of desolation, (because an idol is an abomination to the Lord, and its presence makes the Holy Place desolate), will stand in the temple in Jerusalem.  But we also know through the apostle Paul that it will come to pass that the Man of Sin, another title of the beast, will himself sit in the temple.  Paul describes him as one “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God”, 2 Thessalonians 2:4.  So some will be allowed into the temple to worship the man himself, and some will worship the image of the beast there, or perhaps, if each unbeliever has his own image, (see notes on 13:14,15), that he will worship in his own home.

14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God- not only does the woman hold out a cup to her devotees, but God also has wine for those who rebel against Him.  But it is not wine to give pleasure, but wine that brings pain, a just recompense for those who have offended God with their sins. The chapter opens with the song of joy of the redeemed, but now the misery and torment of the lost in the Lake of Fire is anticipated.
Which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation- from the flagon of His wrath there is poured out a due measure of indignation for each individual beast-worshipper.  This is done without mixture, nothing being added to alleviate the suffering that results.  The time when God remembers mercy in the midst of wrath is gone.
And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels- it seems that those in the torments of the Lake of Fire will be able to see God’s holy angels worshipping Him, whereas they had worshipped Satan’s man. 
And in the presence of the Lamb- to see the angels worshipping the Lamb for ever is part of the punishment, for it will fill these with remorse when they realised they sided with the wrong person, and despised the Lamb of God and His redeeming blood.  The Lord Jesus spoke of the rich man in hell, that he lifted up his eyes, and saw Lazarus as he was comforted in Abraham’s bosom, Luke 16:23.  He had not wanted to see him when he begged at his gate, but turned the other way.

14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever- that is, the smoke of the fire that gives them torment ascends for ever, with no relief for all eternity.  No wonder the prophets warned us to flee from the wrath to come! 
And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name- worshipping the beast gave them freedom from persecution, but they have no rest now, but are constantly in a state of terrible agitation.  The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, said the prophet, Isaiah 57:20, and now these have eternal restlessness, for they refused the rest Christ offered, Matthew 11:28.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION CHAPTER 14, VERSES 12 TO 20:

14:12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

14:13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

14:14  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

14:15  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

14:16  And He that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

14:17  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

14:18  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

14:19  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

14:20  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

(e)    Verses 12,13    Felicity of the martyrs

14:12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Here is the patience of the saints- the truths of verse 10 and 11, and the certainty that they will be vindicated for their stand for God, gives the persecuted believers in that day, (not just the one hundred and forty four thousand, but all the saints, meaning believers), great comfort, and enables them to endure, for they know they are on God’s side.  Herein lies the cause of their patient endurance.
Here are they that keep the commandments of God- they had rejected the worship of the image because God in His commandments had forbidden idol-worship.  Israel had broken that commandment at the foot of Sinai, and afterwards, but these had kept it unbroken.
And the faith of Jesus- they not only obeyed negatively by not worshipping idols, but they obeyed positively by living like Jesus did, a life of faith in a world of unbelief, despite the consequences. He had refused to worship the Devil, and so did they refuse.

14:13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write- clearly a very important statement is about to be made, and John is to be ready with his pen.  It was the Lord Jesus who had commanded him to write at the beginning of the book, 1:11, so it appears He is speaking again, especially as the Spirit specifically says He agrees with the statement. 
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth- this is not to say that those who die in the Lord before this are not blessed, but it is the assurance at this critical time that all is well with the souls of those who are martyred under the beast. 
Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them- despite being under much stress, they had still done works of righteousness.  Noah had done works of righteousness in faith, as he battled with the conditions prior to the flood, Hebrews 11:7, and these had done the same.  Their works followed them in the sense that the record of their deeds was to be found in heaven for reward and recompense, and they will rest after their labours for God upon earth.  Those who worship the beast have no rest for ever, verse 11.  Their works will follow them, too, but to be requited with the due degree of wrath. We have the bringing together of the Spirit and Jesus again in testimony at the end of the book, 22:16,17.

(f)    Verses 14-16    Fully ripe harvest

14:14  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

14:14  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man- the psalmist wrote that God “maketh the clouds His chariot”, Psalm 104:3, so we are now shown the Son of man waiting in His war-chariot, ready to execute judgement.  All judgement has been committed to Christ because He is the Son of Man, who has made Himself available, not just in person when He was upon the earth, but also in the preaching of God’s grace, and yet has been largely rejected.
Having on His head a golden crown- this is a “stephanos”, the crown that is earned.  Adam was crowned with glory and honour at the beginning of his career, Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7, but he succumbed to temptation and lost his crown.  The last Adam has moved through Adam’s world, overcome the Tempter, and retains His crown, Hebrews 2:9.  He is about to assert His rights as the King of kings, and is fittingly seen with a crown. 
And in His hand a sharp sickle- His reaping of the nations in judgement will be efficient and unsparing.  Nothing will be left behind in the form of gleanings; no corners will be left unreaped, all shall be cut off by the Judge. 
Note that the Son of man has a sharp sickle to reap the harvest, but it is an angel in verse 19 who has a sharp sickle to cut the bunches of grapes off the vine.  So it is that the one who made such claims, and showed such power, the Antichrist, shall be dealt with by a single angel, just as Satan will be chained by a single angel in 20:1,2.  Thus will be fulfilled the words of Isaiah when he spoke of the kings of the earth saying to the king of Babylon, “Art thou also become weak as we?  Art thou become like unto us?”, Isaiah 14:10.

14:15  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
14:16  And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud- it seems strange that an angel should initiate this reaping on the part of the Son of Man.  We learn, however, from the prophet Daniel that the task of observing the conduct of those who rule on earth is allotted to the watchers and the holy ones, Daniel 4:13.  Nebuchadnezzar became very arrogant, but his pride was dealt with, and he was humbled when the decree of the watchers and the demand by the word of the holy ones was carried out, verse 17.  So it may well be that the angel that comes out of the temple is one of these holy ones and watchers, and he is reporting to the Son of Man on the state of the world under the Antichrist. 
Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped- there is no mention here of the mixture of wheat and tares that the Lord spoke of in His parable in Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43.  In that case the reapers were the angels.  Here the Son of man reaps.  It is the harvest of those who comprise the armies that are converging on Jerusalem from all parts of the earth.  The fact that they are on the side of the Antichrist is shown by the fact that they have not refused to fight.  This is simply their cutting down in judgement in the battle of Armageddon, for nothing is said about what happens after the corn has been cut down.
Joel prophesied of this harvest in his third chapter, speaking of it in terms of the last great battle, when the men of war are assembled for the final conflict.  The reason assigned being that they had treated His earthly people badly, verses 1-8, and now was the time of recompense, verses 9-16.  This would explain why there is no mention of the distinction between wheat (true believers), and tares, (professed believers) in either Joel 3 or Revelation 14. 
The word from Joel is, (and note that the harvest of the corn is spoken of alongside the treading of the grapes),  “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:  Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.  Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord.  Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.  Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.  The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.  So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more”, Joel 3:9-17. The Valley of Decision is the Valley of Jehoshaphat, being the place where Christ’s decision is made known about those who have come to fight against Him. 
Nebuchadnezzar repented after he had been disciplined by the holy watchers for his pride, but there will be no such change of heart on the part of the Antichrist and his followers. 

(g)    Verses 17-20    Fully ripe grapes

14:17  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle- again the judgement issues forth from the temple, the centre of God’s administration, and from which He asserts His holy and righteous authority.  This angel is the one who reaps, and the other angel of the next verse is the one who burns the vine in the fire, for the Antichrist and the False Prophet shall both be consigned straight into the Lake of Fire, 19:20.

14:18  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
14:19  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire- in His discourse about Himself as the true vine, and His people as the branches, the Lord said, “If any man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned”, John 15:6.  No doubt the Lord had Judas in mind when He spoke these words.  He is called the son of perdition, John 17:12, and so is the Antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2:3. 
So the allies of the antichrist who come to make war against Christ, are fit only for the winepress of God’s wrath, and the fires of the Lake of Fire. This is why there are two angels who come out of the temple, one to harvest the grapes of the vine, so as to cast them into the winepress, the other with the power over fire to burn the branches. 
And cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God- when Isaiah was prophesying about the king of Babylon, he spoke of him as an abominable branch, Isaiah 14:19.  Antichrist is in view here; he is the False Vine in opposition to the True Vine, (Christ Himself), and John is shown the destruction not only of the fruits of his reign of terror, (the clusters of grapes), but also his own destruction, (the vine itself), when Christ comes to judge and make war.  The fruit of the True Vine is all that is done to glorify the Father, John 15:8, whereas the fruit of the False Vine glorifies Satan, and as such must be judged.
Notice that whereas the Son of man reaps the harvest, an angel gathers the clusters of the vine and puts them in the winepress, and another angel burns the vine.  It is the Son of man who treads the winepress, however, Isaiah 63:1-6.

14:20  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

And the winepress was trodden without the city- that is, the city of Jerusalem.  How solemn to think that the place where Christ was crucified in order that men might know the grace of God in salvation, is the same place where they shall know the wrath of God in judgement.  Their rejection of Him, as expressed by the fact that they had taken Him outside their city, has culminated in the Antichrist-system of open rebellion against God and His Christ. 
Joel speaks of the winepress as being in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which is reputed to be the same as the Cedron Valley, a ravine which runs between the city of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.  The Lord Jesus is coming to the Mount of Olives when He returns, as stated by Zechariah in the following words, “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.  And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.  And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:  But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light”, Zechariah 14:1-7.  Just as the sun stood still in Joshua’s day, so that he could finish his defeat of the enemy, Joshua 10:12-14, so in the day of judgement, the daylight will extend into the night.
And blood came out of the winepress- Moses spoke of “the pure blood of the grape”, Deuteronomy 32:14, but here is the impure blood of men who are in league with Satan’s man.  Moses went on to write: “For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.  For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:  Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.  Is not this laid up in store with Me, and sealed up among My treasures?  To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste”, Deuteronomy 32:31-35.  This is part of the Song of Moses, and was written in view of the latter days of Israel’s history, when they go over to idolatry in the form of the worship of the image of the beast, Deuteronomy 31:29.
Even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs- it could well be that the supply of oil to fuel the machinery of war will have dried up, and men will resort again to ancient methods of warfare.  Ezekiel says that the weapons of war will be burnt, 39:9,10, suggesting that there will be a return to primitive weapons.  So much is dependent on computers today, that it will only take the disruption of their systems, (which already takes place), to force sophisticated means of warfare to be abandoned.
It is clear from Revelation 16:16 that the armies of the world will gather at Armageddon.  This is a word made up of “har”, or hill, and Megiddo, an ancient city on a hill on the edge of the Valley of Esdraelon or Jezreel, where many battles have been fought in past centuries.  This was a strategic spot, guarding a pass through the mountains through which a road comes from the sea-coast.  But the battle will not be fought there, but at Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mount of Olives.  We may easily imagine that the armies of the world will converge on Jerusalem when they learn that Christ has descended to that spot, and will funnel into the narrow Valley of Cedron, there to be slaughtered. 
So it may well be that blood will literally reach to the bridles of the horses in that valley, (reading “even unto the horse bridles” in parenthesis), and the length of the column of the armies of the world will be 1600 furlongs, or 200 miles. 
It is said that the blood from the sacrifices in the Temple was channelled from the altar so as to run down into the Brook Cedron.  So when the Lord Jesus crossed that brook to go to the Mount of Olives on the night before He died, the waters ran red with blood.  When He comes in the other direction, from the Mount of Olives at His descent from heaven, the river will run with the blood of the men who have rejected Him and His sacrifice.

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