The 144,000 heroes stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion. An angel takes the eternal gospel to every person. Other angels reap harvests from the earth. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.
The Lord Jesus calls us to take his Gospel to the whole world. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
the Lamb standing on Mount Zion. To “stand” on something means being in charge of it. The Lamb has dominion over Mount Zion.
one hundred forty-four thousand. Here are those legendary 144,000 heroes of the faith. We first encountered them in Revelation 7:4.
written on their foreheads. These heroes have “the mark.”
VERSE 2. I heard a sound from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of a great thunder. The sound which I heard was like that of harpists playing on their harps.
I heard a sound from heaven. This voice from heaven must have been marvelous to hear. It represents a combination of many elements:
- loud thunder
VERSE 3. They sing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the one hundred forty-four thousand, those who had been redeemed out of the earth.
a new song. We wonder what that song is.
except the one hundred forty-four thousand. God granted many special abilities to the 144,000.
VERSE 4. These are those who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed by Jesus from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
not defiled with women. Some people suggest that these 144,000 heroes are actually Catholic priests. Their reasoning is that the Roman Catholics require their clerics to be celibate.
However, the word “celibate” only means “unmarried.” And studies find that a large percent of Catholic priests are sexually active.
they are virgins. These 144,000 heroes of the faith are virgins. That is, they have never had sex.
In the case of Catholic priests, studies find that a large percent are sexually active. They are not virgins.
They were redeemed by Jesus. Even these 144,000 heroes of the faith needed to be saved. Even they can’t save themselves. They need Jesus Christ, just like the rest of us.
No lie was found in their mouths. Therefore they are probably not religious leaders. Most religious leaders distort the facts all the time.
VERSE 6. I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people.
eternal Good News to proclaim. Even at this penultimate moment, God extends the Good News one last time. He makes sure everybody gets yet another chance.
This demonstrates the great mercy of God.
to every nation, tribe, language, and people. The angel takes this message to every person on the planet. Nobody is exempted from it.
Matthew 24:14. This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
VERSE 7. He said with a loud voice, “Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!”
VERSE 8. Another, a second angel, followed, saying, “Babylon the great has fallen, which has made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality.”
Babylon the great. People put lot of effort into trying to figure out the identity of Babylon the Great.
The most common interpretations are that Babylon the Great is the Catholic church, or it is the United States.
However, the biblical text does not give us enough information to be able to identify it. Any such theorizing is merely guesswork.
Also, we have no idea of the timeframe. These events might transpire today. Or they might be delayed for 10,000 years.
VERSE 9. Another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or on his hand,
If anyone. There are three actions that identify those seduced by the beast:
worships the beast. Worship is a public thing. People probably go somewhere for this. If so, their involvement is not secret. Their involvement is more-or-less public knowledge.
and his image. They have the image of the beast in their home.
and receives a mark. We first encountered this idea of “the mark of the beast” back in Revelation 13:16-17.
VERSE 10. he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
VERSE 11. The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. They have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.
VERSE 12. Here is the perseverance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
the perseverance of the saints. For godly people, these are cataclysmic days. They need to be patient. The beast is taking over the world, and almost everybody is worshipping the beast.
VERSE 13. I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them.”
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. There is a certain blessedness in passing away. That’s when we can finally enter into eternity.
Paul himself was eager to die and go be with Christ. But he knew it was better that he remain alive and thus be able to minister to other people:
Philippians 1:23-24. But I am in a dilemma between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Yet, to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake.
that they may rest from their labors. Preachers often cite this phrase, but out-of-context, at funerals. “Aunt Minnie has finally passed away. Now she can finally rest from her many labors.”
VERSE 14. I looked, and saw a white cloud, and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
a white cloud:
Matthew 17:5. While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
like a son of man. This sounds like Jesus Christ.
on his head a golden crown. He is in charge.
in his hand a sharp sickle. This is associated with the Final Judgment:
Joel 3:13. Put in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full, the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.
Mark 4:29. But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.
Revelation 14:14. I looked, and saw a white cloud, and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
VERSE 15. Another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Send your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!”
the hour to reap has come. There is clearly a time to sow the word. But now it is the time to reap. It is time to reap converts.
the harvest of the earth is ripe! We swing the sickle of the gospel message and reap the fruit of converts.
The time to reap is now. Right now. If it is not harvested right now, the crop will be lost. The time to evangelize is now:
John 4:35. Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already.
He who sat on the cloud. We think this means Jesus Christ.
the earth was reaped. That was quick! The reaping of the harvest of the entire world took place in what seems to be an instant.
In our own evangelism efforts, it might take years. Or decades. But sometimes it can happen very quickly.
VERSE 17. Another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven. He also had a sharp sickle.
VERSE 18. Another angel came out from the altar, he who has power over fire, and he called with a great voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Send your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for the earth’s grapes are fully ripe!”
gather the clusters of the vine. The command is for more reaping. However, this is a different kind of crop to reap.
VERSE 19. The angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God.
the wrath of God. This crop is harvested so it can receive God’s wrath.
VERSE 20. The wine press was trodden outside of the city, and blood came out of the wine press, even to the bridles of the horses, as far as one thousand six hundred stadia.
blood came out of the wine press. Those destined for wrath seem to have been killed.
to the bridles of the horses. How high is that? About four to five feet high.
one thousand six hundred stadia. That is about 180 miles. That is a long distance. That is a whole lot of blood.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.