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Revelation chapter 14

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What does Revelation chapter 14 mean?

Between chapters 11 and 16, Revelation pauses its in-order description of the end times to introduce certain figures and highlight certain events. One of these events, shown in chapter 14, is a celebration which occurs very near the end of the tribulation.

John's vision here includes Jesus and the same 144,000 sealed believers who were described in chapter 7. These stalwart believers sing a song of praise to God while standing on Zion: the general area of the city of Jerusalem. The sealed believers are further described as spiritually pure, in stark contrast to the wicked people marked as worshippers of the Antichrist (Revelation 14:1–5).

Next John sees three angels delivering messages of warning and prophecy. These messages predict God's impending judgment on sin and evil. Included in these statements is a comment about those who accepted the mark of the beast, described in chapter 13. Those who take that mark are bound for eternal damnation—they are not believers. This further supports the idea that the mark of the beast is not some casual, hidden concept. Those who take it will know they are rejecting God by doing so. This passage ends with a word of encouragement for Christians who suffer persecution for their faith (Revelation 14:6–13).

The last section of chapter 14 depicts Jesus holding a sickle—a farming tool used to cut plants during the harvest. This passage symbolizes the return of Jesus, and the subsequent battle, in terms of a grape harvest. Just as mature grapes are fat and full of juice, the wickedness of unbelievers on earth will have reached a peak at this moment. Just as a winepress crushes and shreds grapes to make wine, the wrath of God will tear apart those who fight against Christ at the end of the tribulation (Revelation 14:14–20).
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