Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Revelation
Book: Revelation
Chapter: 14

Those Faithful to Christ celebrate the praises of God. (1-5)
Three angels; one proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel; another,
the downfall of Babylon; and a third, the dreadful wrath of God
On the worshippers of the Beast. The blessedness of those who
die in the Lord. (6-13) A Vision of Christ with a Sickle, and of
a Harvest ripe for Cutting down. (14-16) The emblem of a vintage
fully ripe, trodden in the Wine-press of God's wrath. (17-20)

1-5 Mount Sion is the Gospel Church. Christ is with his Church,
and in the midst of her in all her troubles, therefore she is
not consumed. His presence secures perseverance. His people
appear honourably. They have the name of God written in their
foreheads; they make a bold and open profession of their Faith
in God and Christ, and this is followed By suitable actings.
There were persons in the darkest times, who ventured and laid
down their lives for the Worship and Truth of the Gospel of
Christ. They kept themselves Clean from the wicked abominations
of the followers of Antichrist. Their hearts were right with
God; and they were freely pardoned in Christ; he is glorified in
them, and they in him. May it be our Prayer, our endeavour, our
ambition, to be found in this honourable company. Those who are
really sanctified and justified are meant here, for No
Hypocrite, however plausible, can be accounted to be without
fault before God.

6-13 The progress of the Reformation appears to be here set
forth. The four proclamations are Plain in their meaning; that
all Christians may be encouraged, in the time of trial, to be
Faithful to their Lord. The Gospel is the great means whereby
men are brought to fear God, and to give Glory to him. The
preaching of the Everlasting Gospel shakes the foundations of
Antichrist in the world, and hastens its downfall. If any persist
in being subject to the Beast, and in promoting his cause, they
must expect to be for ever miserable in soul and body. The
believer is to venture or suffer any thing in obeying the
Commandments of God, and professing the Faith of Jesus. May God
bestow this patience upon us. Observe the description of those
that are and shall be blessed: such as die in the Lord; die in
the cause of Christ, in a state of union with Christ; such as
are found in Christ when Death comes. They Rest from all Sin,
Temptation, sorrow, and Persecution; for there the wicked cease
from troubling, there the weary are at Rest. Their Works follow
them: do not go before as their title, or purchase, but follow
them as proofs of their having lived and died in the Lord: the
remembrance of them will be pleasant, and the reward far above
all their services and sufferings. This is made sure By the
Testimony of the Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, and the
written Word.

14-20 Warnings and judgments not having produced reformation,
the sins of the nations are filled up, and they become ripe for
judgments, represented By a Harvest, an emblem which is used to
signify the gathering of the righteous, when ripe for Heaven, By
the Mercy of God. The Harvest time is when the Corn is ripe;
when the believers are ripe for Heaven, then the Wheat of the
Earth shall be gathered into Christ's Garner. And By a vintage.
The enemies of Christ and his Church are not destroyed, till By
their Sin they are ripe for ruin, and then he will spare them No
longer. The Wine-press is the wrath of God, some terrible
calamity, probably the Sword, shedding the Blood of the wicked.
The patience of God towards sinners, is the greatest Miracle in
the world; but, though lasting, it will not be Everlasting; and
ripeness in Sin is a sure proof of Judgment at Hand.