Revelation 14-1-20 Part 4


1)    Then I looked and, lo, a Lamb having been standing upon the mount – Zion; and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousands having had His Name and His Father’s Name written on their foreheads.

2)    Then I heard sound from the heaven as sound from many waters and as sound from great thunder; then the sound that I heard as harpers harping in their harps;

3)    and they sing a new song before the throne and in the presence of the four creatures and the twenty four elders, and no one is enabled to understand the song except the hundred and forty-four thousands of the land who have been bought.

4)    These are the ones not defiled with women, for they are chaste; these are the ones following the Lamb wherever He leads; these firstfruit were bought from the men to God and to the Lamb,

5)    and falsehood was not found in their mouth; they are blameless.

6)    Then I saw a messenger flying in mid-heaven having age-enduring proclamation to proclaim against those dwelling on the land, and upon the nations and tribes and tongues and people

7)    declaring in a great sound ‘Fear ye The God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and do homage to The One having made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.’

8)    Then another, a second, followed saying ‘Fallen!  Babylon the great, from whom the wine of the passion of her fornication all the nations have drunk, is fallen!’

9)    Then another messenger, a third, followed them saying in a great sound ‘If anyone adores the beast and the image of it and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10) he will also drink from the wine, having been previously prepared unmixed, of the wrath of God in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of holy messengers and in the presence of the Lamb,

11) and the smoke of their torment rises into ages of ages, and they have no rest day or night.’  These are the ones who adore the beast and its image and anyone taking the mark of its name;

12) whereas the perseverance of the saints is in this:  they are keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13) Then I heard sound from the heaven telling me, write ‘Blessed the dead who die henceforth in Kurios; the Spirit says that they will receive rest from their travails for their works follow together with them.’

14) Then I looked and, lo, a white cloud; and on the cloud the seated likeness of Son of Man having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.

15) And another messenger came out from the Holy Place crying out in a great sound to the One seated upon the cloud, ‘Send in Your sickle and reap for the hour is come to reap, for the harvest of the land is ripened.’

16) And the One sitting upon the cloud thrust His sickle upon the land and the land was reaped.

17) Then another messenger came forth from the Holy Place in the heaven, it also having a sharp sickle.

18) Then another messenger came forth from the altar having authority over the fire, and it called out with a great sound saying to the one with the sharp sickle, ‘Thrust your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the land, for her clusters have ripened.’

19) And the messenger thrust its sickle into the land and gathered the vine of the land and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20) And the winepress was trodden outside the city; and blood came forth from the winepress as high as the horses’ bridles for a thousand six hundred stadia.



As this fourteenth chapter opens, John sees the Lamb of God standing on the Mountain with His redeemed of the house of Jacob. He is the sacrifice of God to Himself – the price paid to redeem them.  He is the “Overcomer”.  He has overcome the nations gathered together against Him; He has overcome the tempting of the serpent/beast to disobey His Father; He has overcome death and the grave. 

And now, as the apostle looks on, He has overcome the vengeance of the serpent in the redemption of every last one of His Father’s elect of the house of Jacob.  Not one of them was “turned”.  This, you see, is the sight of “victory” for the Overcomer!  His atonement was sufficient for all of them; and they all stand with Him on His Kingdom mountain.

And then John, having been shown the Overcomer, hears the great sounds of the heavenly tabernacle of The Lord of Hosts… the sound as of many rushing waters, the sound as the sound of mighty thunder, and the sound as that of harpers harping in their harps.

The sound as the sound of many rushing waters is the sound of the wings of the mighty creatures at the four corners of the mercy seat – as they proceed to do the will of the Lord of Hosts. 

The sound as of great thunders is the very voice of Yahveh in His terrible wrath as He “speaks” commands to His cherubim. 

And the sound as the sound of harpers harping in their harps is the immense sound of the Master Musician as the entire cloud of glory is filled with the joy of salvation in God’s Lamb; for He has overcome!

Since the foreshadowed and prophesied Savior of the World has now come and overcome the world, it is, therefore, a “new” song.  He is no longer the foreshadowed and prophesied Lamb; He has now accomplished His work of atonement!

That work was foreshadowed by King David dancing and harping in his harp when the ark of the covenant was placed on the dome of the rock atop Mount Zion.  Here is the Lamb of God atop Mount Zion, having been presented as the sacrifice at the Mercy Seat of God for all His people!

And only those recipients of the atonement can understand the measureless joy in the cloud of glory as the harping sound burst forth in the tabernacle.  It is the song of the testimony of Jesus the Lamb of God – the Sacrifice of God to Himself, and the Savior and King of the entire creation of God.

And then, in verses four and five, we see John describing the estate and character of the hundred and forty four thousand redeemed of Israel due to the atonement made for them.

And first, because of the atonement, they were the only ones able to hear the magnificent song of redemption emanating from the tabernacle of the Most High.

Also, because of the atonement of the Lamb, these thousands of the house of Jacob were not “defiled” by unclean things; they were “chaste”.

And, because of the atonement, they were all “bondservants” of their new Master, following Him wherever He leads.

And, because of the atonement, the things that came out of their mouth were no longer “falsehoods”; but they held the faith of Jesus.

John’s description of the estate and character of the hundred and forty-four thousands of the twelve tribes of Jacob was all due to the fact that they had been “bought” with a great price.  And that price was the shed blood of God’s Own sacrifice to Himself… the Lamb of God; Jesus, The Christ.

Each of them, individually, had been “sought out” by our Lord and His apostles; and they had been found and “exodused” from Israel, spared the wrath of God shortly to come.

If I can use the term made famous by dispensationalists (but never appearing in the text of Scripture) these hundred and forty-four thousands of the house of Jacob were “raptured” out of Israel and caused to stand with the Lamb of God on the new Mount Zion – the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And (one more time) those “left behind” were not of the land who were bought, and not bought from the men; they are the ones who could not hear the song of redemption from the tabernacle; they are the ones who are not “chaste” – but defiled; they are the ones who did not follow the Lamb; they are the ones whose mouth is full of falsehood; they are the ones who nailed God’s Lamb to a tree outside the city, and then pursued and persecuted the very ones He came to seek and to save!

And because they persecuted the bondservants of The Christ (the very ones who He had bought with a great price), Jesus had said that the blood of all the righteous in history would be held to their account in this generation!

But the entire heaven – the tabernacle of Triune God in the cloud of glory – rings with joy at the sight of the Lamb of God standing on the mount with every single one of those who He had bought with a price.

They are the firstfruit of the harvest – the exclusive property of Almighty God (Exodus chapter twenty two) – baptized by Holy Spirit into the body of the Christ at Pentecost and “marked out” with names of The Father and The Lamb; spared the wrath of God to be poured out upon this apostate nation; scattered abroad in all the nations of the earth; being “proved” in persecution and affliction; keeping the commandments of God and holding the testimony of Jesus; and “overcoming” by the blood of the Lamb.

And if I can refer to one more error of dispensationalism here, these hundred and forty-four thousands of the house of Jacob were not “pilgrims” or “wanderers” or “strangers” in lands belonging to aliens!  And neither are we!

What is shown to John is the One Who overcame!  He was crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords; He is Savior of the World; and the nations were “given” to Him as His inheritance.  The nations belong to Him… not to aliens.

The firstfruit of the atonement were not pilgrims or strangers; they were “refugees” from a nation about to suffer a worse judgment than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.  And they were scattered into the nations that already belonged to God’s newly-crowned Anointed King!

This widespread error of dispensationalism has left the Church impotent, for it sees itself as pilgrims in a world ruled by some other power!  But that’s not what is shown to John.  What God shows him is the Overcomer; and His bondservants overcome in the blood of the Lamb!  And as refugees from Israel, they “occupy” the nations that already belong to the King.  And it’s perfectly obvious that that’s the way they saw it, for in two hundred and sixty years the Roman Empire was declared Christian!  It all belonged to the King, so the Church went out and occupied it in His Name!  And if the Church today wasn’t waiting for some mythical “rapture” to get us out of this world owned by a foreign power, things would be a lot different!

But these of the house of Jacob are firstfruit of the atonement; they are our forefathers – the Church of Jesus Christ.  And we need to acknowledge them as they are shown standing with the Savior on the Mountain above all the other mountains of the earth.  They are refugees from Israel who occupied the earth in the name of the Savior of the world.

As we continue now with the text of John’s letter to the Churches, the apostle is shown God’s sovereign perspective of His Own history here at the appointed time – the last days.

And let me remind you again (we have to do this often), that we can’t impose our own perspective on what God has revealed.  It’s His creation; it’s His history; and it’s His Revelation of that history.

John isn’t allowed to “interpret” all of this from the perspective of the creature!  The controlling verb in all of this is “shown”.  The apostle is “shown” what Almighty God is doing with that which is His!

It’s for John to “write” what he’s “shown”, and send it to the Churches.  And what is being shown Him is what God is doing, and it’s all from the perspective of the One Who’s doing it (and showing it)!  What could be more clear than that?

For John to interpret all of this from the perspective of the creature would be a serious affront to sovereign, Triune God… a shameless presumption on his part, equal to, and maybe even surpassing, the offense in the original paradise; for at the time of this writing, the Church had the entire written Word of God – the “capstone” of which is this Revelation!

In turn (just as John was to write what he was shown), in turn the Churches weren’t to “interpret” what John wrote; they were to “receive” what John wrote!  Anything else would be impudent contempt of the Lord of Hosts and His providence in doing what He wills with what is His!

And since we have the same document that our “firstfruit-forefathers” received (the document having been preserved now for nearly two thousand years), we are to receive it (as they did) and not interpret it from our own perspective… even though we are receiving it “after the fact”!

Our forefathers “experienced” the last days!  And they were “shown” it all from God’s perspective while it was happening!  We, on the other hand, did not experience the last days personally; however, we have received the same completed letter from John.  The firstfruit of Jesus Christ were to be comforted and assured that all that was “shown” to them, for their comfort and confidence and assurance, was the Providential work of Father, Son and Spirit for His glory.  And it is now shown to us for the same purpose.

And now, as we continue, John is shown this:


6)    Then I saw a messenger flying in mid-heaven having age-enduring proclamation to proclaim against those dwelling on the land, and upon the nations and tribes and tongues and people

7)    declaring in a great sound ‘fear ye The God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and do homage to The One having made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters’.


Having seen the hundred and forty four thousands standing on the mountain, secure in the Lamb of God; and having heard the sound of the mighty wings of the cherubim from the four corners of the mercy seat; and having heard the thunderous sound of the wrath of the Lord of Hosts; and having heard the victorious song of the Overcomer from the tabernacle of God, John is now shown those great creatures from the throne of God, with their mighty wings roaring as the sound of many waters, the first one here with a “proclamation” from God in mid-heaven.

Having heard the cherubim; and having heard the thunderous voice of God (verse two), John now sees them and hears the Words that God has thundered in the heaven as the cherubim now proceed to deliver that which He speaks!  And these are proclamations of the Lamb’s victorious overcoming (as John has seen on the mount).

This first cherub issues God’s proclamation to the whole earth, against those who remain dwelling on the land, and upon, or over, all the nations and tribes and tongues of the earth.  It is a single proclamation directly from God.  It is in “mid-heaven” according to what John is shown here, meaning all of that in between earth’s atmosphere and God’s tabernacle in the cloud of glory.

It is a “cosmic” sound of the wings of the cherub, and a cosmic thundering of the voice of Yahveh throughout the entire created realm, for the Lamb of God has overcome!

For those dwelling in the land, judgment is come!  For those of the nations, their salvation is come!  The fear of God will bring Him glory; His wrath and judgment will bring Him glory.  And the nations and tribes and tongues will see it; and they will fear the Creator of all things – which will bring Him glory.

It is an age-enduring proclamation for the entire creation; for THE God made the heavens and the earth and the sea… AND the springs of water!

To understand this “whole-earth” proclamation from God (by way of the cherub), we have to remember what we’ve read so many times regarding “The Land”.  It was the land of milk and honey; it was God’s “paradise” on earth in which His chosen people were to live; it was the one place in all the earth where God’s earthly tabernacle was placed – mirroring His heavenly tabernacle; and it was the one place in all the earth where God’s Messiah/King was foreshadowed and prophesied.  And it was to be the glory of God – a light to the world to fear God and give Him glory.

That was all in contradistinction to the alien, pagan nations of the earth.  Everything else surrounding this paradise on earth was called a “wilderness” – an arid, lifeless, demon-infested desert with wild animals and birds of prey.

That’s the contrast that God has provided, all through His Word, from His Own perspective.

But I want you to hear what was prophesied in the older Scripture, and compare it to the proclamation of the cherub here in the mid-heaven.  Here’s the thundering voice of God to all the earth through the cherub once again:


“Fear ye The God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and do homage to The One having made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”


And now hear-and-compare the Word of God through the prophet Isaiah.  This is chapter thirty-five:


1)    The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

2)    It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon: they shall see the glory of Yahveh, the excellency of our God.

3)    Strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

4)    Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; he will come and save you.

5)    Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6)    Then shall the lame leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

7)    And the glowing sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water in the habitation of jackals; where they lay shall be grass with reeds and rushes.


And from Isaiah chapter forty one:


17) When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I Yahveh will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

18) I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

19) I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:

20) That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Yahveh hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.


And then from Isaiah chapter forty-eight, we hear Yahveh speak to God the Son – the coming Anointed One:


8)    Thus said Yahveh, In an appointed time shall I hear You, and in a day of salvation shall I help you; and I will preserve You, and give You for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause (You) to inherit the desolate places;

9)    That You may say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10) They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that has mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

11) And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted.


As you can hear from these three passages, the proclamation that John hears is a direct reference to God’s Word through Isaiah!  The thundering voice of God through the roaring wings of the cherub over all the earth, proclaims the “hour of judgment” upon the apostate nation and the salvation of God to the heathen nations – the wildernesses of the earth!

While all Israel (God’s paradise) is made a wilderness full of carrion for the birds and jackals, the peoples and tongues and nations of the earth will see “springs of water”, and the desert wastelands will become lush and fruitful!  And there will be “highways” by which God’s people will come into the new Mount Zion – the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And there shall be fear of God to His glory.

As John sees what he is shown, that’s the first of three of these magnificent creatures from the heavenly tabernacle beneath the Presence of the Lord of Hosts.

Then John sees a second one following the first.  Therefore it, too, is flying mid-heaven over all the earth; its mighty wings as the sound of many rushing waters.  And it, too, proclaims with the voice of Almighty God as the sound of thunder filling all the cosmos.  And as John writes to the Churches, this is what he heard:


“Fallen!  Babylon the great, from whom the wine of the passion of her fornication all the nations have drunk, is fallen!’” (verse eight).


Now listen to the very same words from Yahveh to the prophet Jeremiah in chapter fifty-one:


6)    Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and save every man his life; be ye not cut off in her iniquity: for this is the time of Yahveh’s vengeance: he shall render unto her a recompence.

7)    Babylon hath been a golden cup in Yahveh's hand that made all the earth drunk: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore have the nations become mad.

8)    Babylon is suddenly fallen and ruined….”


John hears these things via the cherub, and he is instantly aware of the connection to Jeremiah’s prophecy from God’s perspective.  He, and the Churches receiving the letter, are aware that Babylon of the Chaldees came to be (by the will of God) long, long ago; and that it passed from existence hundreds of years ago.  Its history is revealed, in great detail, in the pages of the Kings and the Chronicles and in the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Daniel.

And John knows, without any explanation, that the thundering voice of Yahveh, through the cherub, is quoting from Jeremiah fifty-one regarding Jerusalem (and all of God’s paradise – Israel).

The first “Babylon”, the first beast of history, the first world-wide dominion, was the prototype of decadence and rebellion against God.  It made all the nations of the earth drink of the wine of its degeneracy.  And it fell, and ceased to exist, by the very Hand of God.

Israel, in God’s perception, is the mirror image of the prototype… and even worse!  It was to be a shining light to the glory of God on Mount Zion; but the passions of its harlotry with other nations and other gods caused the whole earth to drink of that wine of perversion.

And the proclamation of this second cherub calls her “Babylon the Great” (greater than the first one), and quotes directly from Jeremiah fifty-one.  And this Babylon will shortly cease to exist, as did the first one.  …. “‘Fallen!  Babylon the great, from whom the wine of the passion (the “heat”) of her fornication all the nations have drunk, is fallen!’”

The intent of the language here in the text is to indicate that Israel, analogized in Scripture as the harlot “wife”, was “in heat” to fornicate with all the nations; and all the nations took advantage of that and drank of her “cup” of defilement.

Now, there’s much more that could be said here; but it’s interesting to note also, that the other apostles, when writing their letters to the Churches, were already aware of these things, as is evidenced by the apostle Peter’s second letter.

His second letter to the refugees in the nations, as you may remember, has to do with the “last days” as he shores up the perseverance of the Lord’s people scattered abroad.  This is what he wrote to them, from Jerusalem, in chapter five:


10) And the God of all grace Who called you unto His eternal glory in Christ, after that you have suffered a little while, shall Himself perfect, establish, strengthen you.

11) To Him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

12) By Silvanus (our faithful brother as I account him), I have written unto you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast therein.

13) She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, salutes you; and so does Mark my son.

14) Salute one another with a kiss of love. Peace be unto you all that are in Christ.


Peter and Mark and Silvanus, members of the Body of Christ and counted in the hundred and forty-four thousands of God’s elect of the house of Jacob, along with the rest of the Church in Jerusalem (Babylon the Great), salute the rest of the firstfruit (the refugees) who, at that point, had been extradited and scattered into the nations.

In great danger – a “constant” danger – the Church in Babylon was meeting and preaching and teaching in the upper room, and in homes and in other places where there was some security; and they were continually in need of money to serve all the lost sheep that had been found and to send them out of Israel.

That Church in Jerusalem was in the belly of the harlot (as she is called later in the text of Revelation), doing the work that Jesus had required of them; and constantly under the threat of violence and death.

But the “birth” of the Daughter of Zion was complete before the inundation (immersion) in the fire of the wrath of God at the end of the age.  Every last one was providentially preserved unto the end.

Now.  The proclamation from The Lord of Hosts by the third cherub flying in mid-heaven is written by John here in verses nine, ten, eleven and twelve.  And it’s going to require some time.  So, next Lord’s Day we’ll spend a substantial portion of our time in those four verses.

Until we meet again….