Advent with Revelation (Ch 14)
December 10, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.


Chapter 14 (Saturday of the Second Week of Advent)

Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless. 

Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgement has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’ 

Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ 

Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, ‘Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.’ 

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus. 

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them.’ 

Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand! Another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, ‘Use your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.’ So the one who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. 

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, ‘Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and he threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the wine press, as high as a horse’s bridle, for a distance of about two hundred miles.


Another short interlude (14:1-15) once again shows the Lamb on Mount Zion with the same one hundred and forty-four thousand of the “scaled” in his train. Though many have been “conquered” in the war against the saints (13:7; 11:7), the chosen multitude is unharmed and “virginal” in the face of the godless abominations and spells of the beasts. This preservation is not their own doing; it is because (through the blood of the Lamb) they have been “redeemed from mankind” and are “spotless”. At this point we can add 14:13, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord”: “henceforth” means “in virtue of” the Lamb’s redeeming death. “For their deeds follow them”: heaven and earth remain bound up with one another, even beyond the judgment: all that has been done and suffered for God’s sake will enter into the new world. This “extension” into the new world is possible because of the “endurance of the saints” who “keep the [Old Testament] commandments of God” and the New Testament “faith of Jesus” (14:12). Once again it is stressed that the pre-Christian and post-Christian worlds enjoy equal opportunity, since they are both embraced by the destiny of the Lamb; in this way, the new vision of the elect (14:1ff.) refers back to the earlier vision (7:1ff.). 

The cross-section through world history that has shown Satan’s beasts as the principles of this history ends in 3 + 2 aspects of judgment. First there are the heralding angels: just as the beast had addressed all nations, so the first angel proclaims to all nations the revealed truth of God, which will now manifest itself in the form of judgment (14:6-7). The second angel proclaims the fall of Babylon, the (female) expression of the first beast; she will be shown in the next vision (14:8). The third angel portrays the fate of those who have been seduced, that is, their eternal torment (14:9-12). This is followed by two images of judgment: the harvest of crops and the vintage (these two are already linked in Joel 4:13). Both are seen in apocalyptic terms as pure wrathful judgment. The first image features the Son of Man; the second, an angel subordinate to “the angel who has power over the fire” (14:14-20). 

Musical Selection

These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. (John Goss)


All-powerful God,
let the splendour of your glory
rise in our hearts like the dawn,
that the darkness of the night may be scattered
and the coming of your only Son may reveal us
as children of the light.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.