REVELATION 14Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 14:1-2014:1 CLIMAX: THE LAMB WITH THE 144,000THE FATHER’S NAME ON THEIR FOREHEADS14:2-5 REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LAMB14:6 THE FIRST ANGELTHE DAILY SACRIFICE14:7 FEAR GOD AND GIVE GLORY TO HIMTHE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENTWHEN IN HISTORY?DIAGRAMS: DANIEL 7 AND 8, 70 WEEKS, 2300 DAYSWHO IS BEING JUDGED, AND WHY?WORSHIP THE CREATORDID JESUS ESTABLISH SUNDAY?14:8 THE SECOND ANGEL’S MESSAGE14:9-1 THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE14:1 COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, FAITH OF JESUS14:13 MARTYRS DURING THE TIME OF TROUBLE?14:14-20 THE GREAT HARVEST


14:13 MARTYRS DURING THE TIME OF TROUBLE?

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ Yes, said the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).

Will there be martyrs during the time of trouble? This text seems to indicate that there will be, a conclusion strengthened by the fact that the harlot of Revelation 17, the final manifestation of Babylon, is “drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Revelation 17:6). Moreover, those who suffer from the seven last plagues (which are the final phase of the time of trouble) "have shed the blood of saints and prophets" (Revelation 16:6).

The Greek word for martyr means one who gives witness. The peace and joy of those who die for their faith has always been a powerful witness to unbelievers. One of the most influential moments in the transition from the persecutor Saul to the apostle Paul came when Saul witnessed the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:55-60).

The context of this verse is the worldwide proclamation of the three angels' messages. This is a powerful call to repentance, and repentance only takes place before death or before the close of probation (the time when all will have made their irrevocable decisions for or against Christ). Probation does not close until Christ’s heavenly ministry is finished, just before the pouring out of the seven last plagues (See 15:5-8 The Close of Probation). During that fearsome time there would be no purpose for martyrs, as the time for witnessing and repentance will be over, and in fact there is no mention of martyrdom occurring after the Close of Probation.[1] But during the first half of the time of trouble when “the nations [are] angry” (Revelation 11:18) there may be many who will lose their lives for Jesus.

Although few people want to become a martyr, this verse shows that if it happens, there are some positive outcomes prospects. They are “blessed,” a Greek word which, when used in a non-religious context, means happy, fortunate or lucky. Those "who die in the Lord...they may rest from their labors,” which underlines the stress and anxiety that all people, including those who are faithful to God, will experience during the time of trouble. The common attitude is that death is the ultimate misfortune, but for the Christian who knows that the next thing he will see is Jesus coming in the clouds, death can be a happy moment, especially when it brings relief from trials and persecution.

“And their works do follow them.” No one ever has been or ever will be saved by his works. On the other hand, Jesus promised, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father, with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Matthew 16:27). Our work for the Lord here on earth will have an eternal reward in the kingdom of God. The greatest reward will be the joy of seeing men, women and children who have found Jesus and salvation as a result of our witness. The apostle Paul said, concerning people he had led to Christ, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

Continue to next section: 14:14-20 THE GREAT HARVEST



[1] Martyrs are mentioned in chapter 17 (the woman, drunk with the blood of…the martyrs of Jesus) but this section is an elaboration of the judgment of Babylon, which departs from the chronological timeline (see 1:Chronological Organization). Martyrs are also mentioned in chapter 20, showing that they will rise in the first resurrection and will live and reign with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6).