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Thru Revelation chapters fourteen and fifteen

Thru Revelation chapters fourteen and fifteen 

“What will take place later (after the Rapture of the Church)?” - Chapters 4 - 22

By Ron Bedell


(I used The Grace New Testament Commentary and The Bible Knowledge Commentary extensively. I quoted the verses from: King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and New International Version - NIV. What I have covered here is small compared to what you will learn from both these commentaries.)


Revelation chapters 1 – 3 cover a period of time before the Rapture of the Church.

Revelation chapters 4 – 22 cover a period of time after the Rapture of the Church – the End Times.


Knowing that he has but a small window of opportunity, Satan works furiously to try to destroy the nation Israel and to defeat the purposes of God.


Three parenthesis or Interludes in Revelation


Revelation 7:1-17 is the first parenthesis or interlude (144,000 and many martyrs)

Revelation 10:1-11:2 is the second parenthesis or interlude (mighty angel and the scroll) 

Revelation 11:3-13 is the third parenthesis or interlude (God’s two witnesses)


The resulting scene in earth and in Heaven (Revelation chapters 14 & 15)




In chapters 14 and 15 various other details of the world scene in Heaven and earth are introduced in preparation for the final series of seven bowl judgments in chapter 16 and the judgments I chapters 17-18.


Outline of Revelation chapters 14 and 15


<!--<if !supportLists>-->A.      <!--<endif>-->The resulting scene in Heaven and earth (chapters 14 & 15)

<!--<if !supportLists>-->1.       <!--<endif>-->The 144,000 on Mount Zion (14:1-5)

<!--<if !supportLists>-->2.       <!--<endif>-->The message of the three angels (14:6-12)

<!--<if !supportLists>-->3.       <!--<endif>-->The blessing of the faithful saints (14:13)

<!--<if !supportLists>-->4.       <!--<endif>-->The message of the second group of three angels (14:14-20)

<!--<if !supportLists>-->5.       <!--<endif>-->Preparation for the seven Bowl Judgments (15:1-8)


Revelation chapters 14 and 15 (NIV – New International Version)


The Lamb and the 144,000

14 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 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 firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

The Three Angels

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’<a> which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their foreheador on their hand, 10 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 sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever 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.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

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.”

Harvesting the Earth and Trampling the Winepress

14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man<b> with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 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.” 19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.<c>

Seven Angels with Seven Plagues

15 I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:

“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
    Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
    King of the nations.<d>
Who will not fear you, Lord,
    and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
    and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”<

After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.


<!--<if !supportLists>-->A.      <!--<endif>-->The resulting scene in Heaven and earth (chapters 14 & 15)


<!--<if !supportLists>-->1.       <!--<endif>-->The 144,000 on Mount Zion (14:1-5)


14:1-2, first, another view is given of the 144,000 who were standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb (Jesus Christ). It is reasonable to conclude that this is the same 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7:4-8, except that here they are in a later period of the tribulation. Chronologically John’s vision anticipates the triumph of the 144,000 still intact at the time of Jesus Christ’s return from Heaven to earth. In contrast to many Tribulation believers who became martyrs, these 144,000 physically live through the seven year Tribulation period. But they (144,000) are not the only Tribulation believers to survive, as many Gentiles and Jews will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in the End Time (Tribulation) and somehow escape martyrdom and be honored to welcome Christ at His second return.


Again this scene in Heaven is dramatic with a loud noise similar to rushing water…thunder, and harpists.


14:3-5, John wrote, “And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders.” These singers were apparently a Heavenly group. They could be the multitude in white robes mentioned in 7:9-17. But there is no justification here for symbolizing Mount Zion as Heaven. It is better to take the chorus as the 144,000 (cf. 14:1) who had not yet died and would still be on earth at the literal Mount Zion.


Reference to the purity of the 144,000 could be recognition that during the difficult times of the Tribulation they could not have led normal married lives.


Some people believe that the 144,000 will be evangelists in the Great Tribulation. But there is no indication that the 144,000 were preachers or prophets; their testimony for Christ was largely based on their moral purity and the fact that they were not martyred like many other believers. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. John further stated, they were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. The word “firstfruits” suggests these converted Israelites precede many others who at the Lord’s second coming will believe on Him (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:15, 26-27). They were also described as blameless and as those who, living in a period of great Satanic deception, were free from lying. The passage as a whole is a prophetic foreview of the triumph of the 144,000weCHrist returns.


<!--<if !supportLists>-->2.       <!--<endif>-->The message of the three angels (14:6-12)


14:6-12, John was then given a vision of three angels each carrying a specific message.


(1) Verse 6 records the first angel preaching the everlasting gospel. The angel was commissioned to bring his message to every group of people on the earth. Because of the word “gospel,” some have felt that this was a message of salvation or the good news of the coming kingdom. The text, however, seems to indicate otherwise, for the message is one of judgment and condemnation. The angel announced, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come.” So the “eternal” message seems to be a message of God’s righteousness and judgment rather than a message of salvation.


(2) In verse 8 the first angel was followed by the second angel who announced that Babylon the Great (false religions), which intoxicated others with her adulteries, has fallen.


(3) In verse 9 a third angel followed with another judgment that worshipers of the Beast and his image who receive his mark will be objects of God’s wrath and will be destined for eternal torment along with Satan, the demon world, and all the unsaved people. The everlasting character of this judgment is stated plainly in verse 11: “The smoke of their torment rises forever and ever, and they will have no rest.” Those believers who serve God and are faithful to Him will need patient endurance. The doctrine of eternal punishment, though unpopular with liberal scholars and difficult to accept, is nevertheless clearly taught in the Bible. Jesus and the apostle John say more on this subject than does all the rest of the Bible.


<!--<if !supportLists>-->3.       <!--<endif>-->The blessing of the faithful saints (14:13)


During the Tribulation many believers who refuse the Mark of the Beast will pay for it with their lives (cf. 20:4). So John is told to “write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” Believers who take their stand against the Beast and die as a result are assured that they will be blessed throughout eternity. This pronouncement of honor from Heaven finds the full agreement of the third member of the Godhead as well: “Yes, says the Spirit.” The Spirit of God describes their eternal reward by promising them that they will “rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (cf. 6:11). Their works follow them in the sense that, unlike material possessions, the good works they have done for others will go with them into God’s presence and result in eternal reward. The Lord repays His children for their good deeds (Matthew 10:42; Mark 9:41).


<!--<if !supportLists>-->4.       <!--<endif>-->The message of the second group of three angels (14:14-20)


<!--<if !supportLists>-->(1)    <!--<endif>-->In verse 15, the first angel called out to Christ to reap.

<!--<if !supportLists>-->(2)    <!--<endif>-->In verse 17, the second angel came out of Heaven and had a sharp tool for harvest

<!--<if !supportLists>-->(3)    <!--<endif>-->In verse 18, the third angel had command over fire


Grain harvest is Bowl Judgments (Revelation 16:1-21)

Grape harvest is Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21)


Taken as a whole, Revelation 14 on the one hand refers to the preservation of the 144,000 Jewish believers through the Great Tribulation. And on the other hand it graphically declares some of the terrible judgments that will be inflicted on the world which rejects Christ and follows Satan’s substitute for the Lord.


Harvest of the earth - Revelation 14:14-20

v14 Then I looked, and I saw a white cloud. A person who was like a son of man sat on the cloud. He wore a gold crown on his head. In his hand, he held a sharp tool that he would use to gather the harvest. v15 Then another *angel came out of the *temple in heaven. He called in a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, ‘Start to cut with your sharp tool. The time to gather the harvest has come. The harvest of the earth is ripe.’ v16 So, he who sat upon the cloud swung his sharp tool over the earth. He gathered the harvest of the earth.

v17 Then another *angel came out of the *temple, which is in heaven. He also had a sharp tool for the harvest. v18 Then a different *angel, the one who has power over fire, came from the *altar. He called with a loud voice to the *angel with the sharp tool. ‘Use your sharp tool. Gather the *grapes from the bushes on the earth because the *grapes are ripe.’ v19 The *angel swung his sharp tool over the earth and gathered its *grapes. He threw them into the place where God squeezed them in his great anger. v20 This place was outside the city. Blood flowed from the *grapes. The blood was about 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep and it flowed for about 200 miles (320 kilometers).


Verse 14 After the three *angels had gone, John saw a white cloud. A person sat on the cloud. He was like a son of man. The phrase ‘like a son of man’ means that this was Christ (Revelation 1:13; Daniel 7:13).

Christ wore a gold crown on his head. This showed that he had overcome his enemies. He had the power to do what he came to do. Like someone who harvests crops, he had a sharp tool in his hand. This means that Christ will be the judge of all people.

Verses 15-16 An *angel came out from the *temple in heaven. God sent him with a message to the Son of Man. The *angel said with a loud voice, ‘The time has come. The harvest of the earth is ripe and ready. Go and gather it.’

This message meant that the time of the end had come. The *Lord would rescue his own people (believers). But he would punish the rest of the people (unbelievers).

The evil deeds of the people on the earth could not grow worse. The *Lord had to deal with it. So, Christ gathered the wicked people as someone harvests a crop. The account of this event is in chapters 19 to 20.

Verses 17-18 God sent two more *angels. They came from the *temple and the *altar. The first one had a sharp tool for the harvest. The other one had command over the fire.

Fire destroys what remains after the harvest. God sent the *angels to punish the people on the earth (unbelievers).

The *angel of fire shouted to the other *angel. He told him to use his sharp tool. The *grapes were ripe. They were ready for harvest.

The *grapes meant the evil people (unbelievers) whom the *Lord would punish. They had reected Christ and they followed *Antichrist.

Verses 19-20 When people make wine, they put the ripe *grapes in large buckets. Then they step on the *grapes until all the juice comes out. They use the juice to make the wine that they drink.

The *angel with his sharp tool harvested the *grapes of the whole earth. He threw them into a large bucket. Then God squeezed the *grapes as men step on natural *grapes. But these *grapes meant the people with whom God was angry. So, in fact, John was describing the deaths of these people. This is why John saw blood flow from the *grapes instead of juice.

This was an awful thing. John tried to show us how terrible it was. A deep river of blood flowed from the people. It was about five feet deep and flowed for 200 miles. God was very angry. He punished and he killed all those wicked people.

It was outside the city where Jesus died. God punished this vast crowd of people outside the city. That city was Jerusalem.


<!--<if !supportLists>-->5.       <!--<endif>-->Preparation for the seven Bowl Judgments (15:1-8)


15:1-2, with the background of the scene in Heaven described in chapter 14, John then recorded more details of God’s judgment. He wrote that he saw in Heaven another great and marvelous sign. Seven angels—each having a plague which all together were described as the seven last plagues—were introduced as the final step in the outpouring of God’s wrath on earth. This final “sign” relates to the preceding great signs of the woman in 12:1 and the red dragon in 12:3. These seven angels should not be confused with the two groups of three angels in the preceding chapter (14:6-20) or with any other previous group of angels.


John also saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire. This is probably the same sea that was described in 4:6. Beside this sea John saw the martyred dead, the same group described in 7:-17).


15:3-4, the victorious saints sang with harps the song of Moses…and the song of the Lamb. These maybe two separate songs, the first referring to God’s faithfulness to Israel and the second referring to their present situation in the Great Tribulation.


This description of praise to God and prediction of universal worship is in keeping with many other scriptures and relates, of course, to the second coming of Christ and worship of God by the entire world in the millennial kingdom. The awful hour of wickedness and blasphemy against God, which will characterize the period leading up to the second coming, will be followed by a full vindication of God’s judgment and holiness in the next period.


15:5-8, as John continued to look at the Heavenly vision, he saw the temple described as the tabernacle of Testimony. The allusion to the temple in Heaven seems to be the Heavenly counterpart of the earthly temple. As it was opened, the seven angels with their plagues exited from it. The clean, shining linen of the angels indicates their purity, and the golden sashes around their chests point to the glory of God.


John saw one of the four living creatures give the seven golden bowls filled with God’s wrath to the seven angels. When this was done, smoke filled the temple, making it impossible for anyone to enter t until the seven plagues were poured out on the earth. Taken as a whole, Revelation 15:5-8 presents a fearful picture of impending divine judgment on a wicked world. The judgments which are to be poured out (chapter 16) fully justify this ominous introduction.