The church of Christ

Revelation Index


The Book of Revelation

Studies  |  Home

The Turning Point (Revelation 14:6-13)

God has just finished assuring the oppressed Christians that the ultimate victory will be for those who resist Domitian and remain faithful to God.  But God isn't finished yet.  He is about to reinforce His exhortation to remain faithful and now we start seeing God's judgment on the Roman Empire.  As mentioned in the previous study, the danger to the Christians as a result of this letter being understood by the Roman authorities is very real.  The language is becoming increasingly figurative as the judgments that God will hand out to the Roman Empire is revealed in detail to those who can understand it.  Our understanding of the next several sections depend on an understanding of who the letter was written to and who the recipients of God's judgment will be. 

Revelation 14:6-20
6 And I saw another angel flying in mid heaven, having eternal good tidings to proclaim unto them that dwell on the earth, and unto every nation and tribe and tongue and people;
7 and he saith with a great voice, Fear God, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.

This is a turning point in the book of Revelation.  The hour of God's judgment has come.  Imperial Rome will not be allowed to continue on in their present state.  The angel mentioned here is representative of God's saints preaching the gospel to the whole world, (Matthew 24:14; Colossians 1:23).  The oppressed Christians are receiving another message of hope.  There is good news to those who are suffering.  Fear God, worship Him, stay faithful for His judgment is now imminent.

Revelation 14:8
And another, a second angel, followed, saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, that hath made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Here, Babylon represents the Imperial Roman Empire.  God speaks of the destruction of the empire as if it has already happened.  This will help shroud the real meaning of the message from the authorities and those familiar with scripture in the OT will remember that God announced the fall of the real Babylon at least fifty years before it happened: Jeremiah 51:8, "Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: wail for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed."  When God makes a decree, it is as if it is already accomplished: Isaiah 46:10, "declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not (yet) done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" and Isaiah 48:3, "I have declared the former things from of old; yea, they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them: suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.

"Babylon the great, that hath made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."  Babylon is identified as the Roman Empire here for the Christians.  A discussed in the previous lesson for verse 4, God considers idolatry to be spiritual adultery.  John qualified this figurative Babylon as being the one that forced all nations under her to bow to emperor worship thereby causing them to suffer God's wrath. 

Revelation 14:9
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, If any man worshippeth the beast and his image, and receiveth a mark on his forehead, or upon his hand,

This is another warning to the Christians.  Do not worship the beast or the idols of the beast and do not receive the stamp of the emperor Domitian.  John used the words "if any man", meaning if anybody.  No one is excluded from this warning.  Those who would give in and worship Domitian to save their fleshly selves will suffer the wrath of God as vividly portrayed in the following verses. 

Revelation 14:10-11
10 he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 and the smoke of their torment goeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, they that worship the beast and his image, and whoso receiveth the mark of his name.

One would think this passage would be in no need of comment, however, there are millions today who believe there is no literal eternal fiery hell.  There is a lot of figurative language here but it is describing a literal place of eternal fire and punishment.  This is supported by the words of Jesus in other scripture such as Mark 9:43-48.  Again, the Christians are warned not to bow down and worship Domitian.  The language used by John is especially strong here and should serve as a warning to these Christians and others after them that God is to be obeyed no matter what the immediate personal consequences may be. 

Revelation 14:12
12 Here is the patience of the saints, they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard the voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them.

John gives the words here that should ring loud and clear for oppressed Christians of the time and for all who come afterward.  Those who keep the faith and die in the Lord will be the ones numbered at the side of the lamb.  Don't give up.  The wrath of Domitian is temporary but the wrath of God is eternal.  "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul : but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28). 

Let's pause here for reflection.  Imagine ourselves in a similar situation as the first century Christians living under the oppression of Domitian.  It becomes law that we must burn incense and sacrifice to the leader of our country.  If we refuse, we would not be allowed to buy food, or work for a wage, or sell property or possessions.  It would be illegal for our friends and acquaintances to help us. By so doing, they would jeopardize their own lives.  Our religion would be illegal and if we were caught worshipping we could expect to be arrested and executed with our children sold into slavery.  Our possessions would be confiscated and sold.  Those who were unable to grow their own food would find their families starving to death.  There would be no government assistance for anything whatsoever.  We would be unable to feed our families.  Our children would go hungry.  The only relief in sight would be to bow down and worship the leader of our country.  Only then would we be allowed food.  Only then could we be assured that we would not be rounded up and imprisoned with our children sold into slavery. 

It cannot be overstated enough that obedience to the commands of God is not situational and absolutely required if salvation is to be had.  The 1st century Christians under the rule of Domitian were undergoing the worst persecution in the history of Christianity and they were expected to hold firm to the end.  God did not say, "ok, it's bad, so do what you have to do and I'll forgive you when this over.  The blood of my son will get you all through this difficult spot."  Rather, God commanded over and over, "Do not bow down to Domitian; do not receive the mark of the beast; do not give in.  Stay faithful even if it costs you your life."   The Christians under the reign of Domitian were told they were expected to remain faithful and obedient and failure to do so would result in the unmixed wrath of God being unleashed on them, being tormented with fire forever and ever, never to rest again. 

There are millions and millions of people in the world today who profess Christ, believe and teach that once a Christian is saved, he or she cannot so sin as to be forever lost.  If this were true, then the entire book of Revelation is a lie.  The persecuted saints of the time were expected to be faithful and failure to do so resulted in their damnation.  The saints of today are expected to be no less faithful.  If the saints then could sin and be lost, so can we.  "So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;" (Philippians 2:12)

Revelation 3:5
"He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." (ASV)

Church of Christ Lessons on the Revelation of Jesus Christ

1.  Understanding Revelation
2.  Symbolic Objects in Revelation
3.  Understanding the Numerical Symbolism in Revelation
4.  Identifying the Opposition Characters in Revelation
John's Introduction to the Churches of Asia

6.  John's Vision of Jesus Christ
7. The Church who Left Her First Love, Ephesus
8.  Smyrna, the Suffering Church
9.  Pergamum, the church in Hell's Headquarter
10.  Thyatira, the church that Condoned Sin
11. Sardis (The Dead Church)
12. Philadelphia (The Church With Opportunity)
13.  Laodicea (The Lukewarm Church)

14.  Letter to Your Church
15.  John's Throne Vision (chapter 4)
16.  God the Redeemer Revealed  (chapter 5)
17.  God the Avenger of His Children (Chapter 6)
18.  Who Will Be Able To Stand  (Chapter 7)
19.  The First Four Trumpets
(Chapter 8)
20.  The Fifth Trumpet (Chapter 9:1-12)
21.  The Sixth Trumpet Announcement (Chapter 9:13-21)
22. The Little Book and the Unutterable Thunders (Rev 10)
23.  The Seventh Trumpet Announcement (Rev 11)
24. The Conflict (Revelation 12)
25.  Revelation 13 (Identification of the First Beast)

26.  Revelation 13 (Identification of the Second Beast)

27.  Chapter 14 (The Victorious Lamb and the Redeemed)
28.  Revelation 14 (The Turning Point)
29.  Revelation 14 (The Sickle and the Winepress)
30.  Chapter 15 (Comfort for the Saints)
31.  Chapter 16 (Bowls of Wrath)
32.  Chapter 16 (The Battle of Armageddon)
33.  Chapter 17 (The Scarlet Woman)
34.  Chapter 18 (Fallen  is Babylon)

35.  King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Chapter 19)
36.  The Fall of Satan  (Chapter 20)
37.  Heaven, the Home of the Soul  (Chapter 21)
38.  The Spirit and the Bride Say Come  (Chapter 22)
39.  The Dating of the Revelation

Old Testament

Genesis | Exodus | Leviticus | Numbers | Deuteronomy | Joshua | Judges | Ruth | 1 Samuel | 2 Samuel

  1 Kings | 2 Kings | 1 Chronicles | 2 Chronicles | Ezra | Nehemiah | Esther | Job | Psalms | Proverbs

 Ecclesiastes | Song of Solomon | Isaiah | Jeremiah | Lamentations | Ezekiel | Daniel | Hosea | Joel

 Amos | Obadiah | Jonah | Micah | Nahum | Habakkuk | Zephaniah | Haggai | Zechariah | Malachi

 New Testament

Matthew | Mark | Luke | John | Acts | Romans | 1 Corinthians | 2 Corinthians | Galatians

Ephesians | Philippians | Colossians | 1 Thessalonians | 2 Thessalonians

1 Timothy | 2 Timothy | Titus | Philemon | Hebrews | James

1 Peter | 2 Peter | 1 John | 2 John | 3 John | Jude | Revelation

Home | Church of Christ Sermons | Online Bible | Church of Christ Bible Studies

Daily Bible Reader | Bible Reference | Plan of Salvation | FAQS

What Does the church of Christ Teach?


The material found within this website is free to everyone.
The price was paid when Jesus died on the cross.
Feel free to use any of the content found within
this website for the spreading of the Gospel
to all. 

Revelation 21:5-7

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.