The Seal of the Father (Rev. 14:1-5) - The chapter opens with a scene in Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus is standing in the city, surrounded by 144,000 who have the seal of the Father’s name on their foreheads (in contrast to the seal of the Antichrist). This is a look at the triumphant Christ at the beginning of His Millennial reign. These were sealed at the beginning of the Tribulation and, despite the fury of the devil, not one of them was lost. God’s omnipotent power or authority was behind the seal. Despite being hunted, imprisoned, hungry, naked, and thirsty, each one was preserved by God (Read John 10; it speaks of the believer’s security and him never perishing). The seal of the believer is the Holy Spirit. See Eph. 1:13-14 [Sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (the redemption of the body), the first resurrection]. See also Romans 8, “Nothing can separate us […]”.
The Everlasting Gospel (Rev. 14:6-8) - The message of the gospel never changes; it is everlasting. There is only one gospel (Galatians 1). Different aspects of it have been stressed at different periods; here, judgment is stressed. God has used different means to proclaim the gospel. During the Church Age, He uses men (2 Cor. 5:9). During the Tribulation, He will use the two witnesses. At this point, an angel is used. This angel preaches from the air, so everyone will hear it. Note that angels are indestructible, while thousands of preachers had lost their lives. [Stress the fundamentals of the Gospel as it applies to us today - 1 Cor. 15, death, burial, and resurrection; this is the Gospel the Lord has commanded His servants to preach in the entire world]
The Doom of the Beast Worshipers (Rev. 14:9-13) - The burden of the message that the angel preached was “the hour of judgment is come.” Rev. 14:9-11 tell us of the reality of Hell. Those who rescue the mark of the beast, seal their eternal doom. When Christ returns to the earth, He will destroy everyone who has the mark of the beast. Their bodies will go to the grave. Their soul and spirit will go to Hades (place of torment). What is true of them is also true of unbelievers. After the Millennium, death and Hades will deliver up the dead in them (Rev. 20:11-15). They will stand before the Great White Throne, and then be cast into the lake of fire. The wages of sin is death.
Note the blessedness of those who die in the Lord (Rev. 14:13). Of those who die during the Tribulation, the Spirit says, “they rest from their labors.” They will exchange, at death, persecutions and toils of earth for the blessedness and rest of heaven. Apply this concept to present day saints. The tribulation saints had the prospect of death continually before them. It is not necessarily so with present day believers; we have the hope of “the rapture.” The gift of God is eternal life.
A Preview of Armageddon (Rev. 14:14-20) - Rev. 14:14 refers to the Lord Jesus’ return to the earth (Clouds - See Matt. 24:30, 26:64, Rev. 1:7. See also Rev. 19). An angel tells Him, in verse 15, to “thrust in His sickle, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” In Rev. 14:16, “He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.” The angels gather the peoples of earth together for this great battle. See also Matt. 13:47-51. They have gathered the grapes of earth and cast them into the great winepress of the wrath of God. The words “winepress of the wrath of God” in Rev. 14:20 are symbolic [Describe a Palestinian winepress]. John uses this symbol to describe what will happen when the Lord treads the winepress of the wrath of God. This judgment will fall outside the city in the plains of Armageddon. As John looked at this carnage, it seemed to him that the whole area around Jerusalem was covered with the blood of the dead.