Revelation 14:5
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
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14:1-5 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.And in their mouth was found no guile - No deceit, fraud, hypocrisy. They were sincerely and truly what they professed to be - the children of God. This is the last characteristic which is given of them as redeemed, and it is not necessary to say that this is always represented as one of the characteristics of the true children of God. See the notes on John 1:47.

For they are without fault before the throne of God - The word here rendered "without fault" - ἄμωμοι amōmoi - means, properly, "spotless, without blemish," 1 Peter 1:19. See the notes on Colossians 1:22. This cannot be construed as meaning that they were by nature pure and holy, but only that they were pure as they stood before the throne of God in heaven - "having washed their robes, and made them pure in the blood of the Lamb." See the notes on Revelation 7:14. It will be certainly true that all who stand there will be, in fact, pure, for nothing impure or unholy shall enter there, Revelation 21:27.

The "design" of this portion of the chapter was evidently to comfort those to whom the book was addressed, and, in the same way, to comfort all the children of God in times of persecution and trial. Those living in the time of John were suffering persecution, and, in the previous chapters, he had described more fearful trials yet to come on the church. In these trials, therefore, present and prospective, there was a propriety in fixing the thoughts on the final triumph of the redeemed - that glorious state in heaven where all persecution shall cease, and where all the ransomed of the Lord shall stand before his throne. What could be better suited than this view to sustain the souls of the persecuted and the sorrowful? And how often since in the history of the church in the dark times of religious declension and of persecution - has there been occasion to seek consolation in this bright view of heaven? How often in the life of each believer, when sorrows come upon him like a flood, and earthly consolation is gone, is there occasion to look to that blessed world where all the redeemed shall stand before God; where all tears shall be wiped away from every face; and where there shall be the assurance that the last pang has been endured, and that the soul is to be happy forever?

5. guile—So Andreas in one copy. But A, B, C, Origen, and Andreas in other copies read, "falsehood." Compare with English Version reading Ps 32:2; Isa 53:9; Joh 1:47.

for—So B, Syriac, Coptic, Origen, and Andreas read. But A and C omit.

without fault—Greek, "blameless": in respect to the sincerity of their fidelity to Him. Not absolutely, and in themselves blameless; but regarded as such on the ground of His righteousness in whom alone they trusted, and whom they faithfully served by His Spirit in them. The allusion seems to be to Ps 15:1, 2. Compare Re 14:1, "stood on Mount Sion."

before the throne of God—A, B, C, Syriac, Coptic, Origen, and Andreas omit these words. The oldest Vulgate manuscript supports them.

Not that any liveth and sinneth not against God, but it is to be understood comparatively; they are without fault in comparison of the rest of the world, they have not in them the guile of hypocrisy, they are sincere. Or, possibly by

guile is here understood a lie. All idolaters are liars, Romans 1:25, and idols are called lies, Jeremiah 16:19 Amos 2:4. Mr. Mede expoundeth this text by Zephaniah 3:13. The words may either more generally signify the holiness of these persons, in opposition to profaneness and hypocrisy; or more particularly, their freedom and purity from antichristian superstitions and idolatry.

And in their mouth was found no guile,.... Or "a lie", as the Complutensian edition, the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions read; by which may be meant idolatry, for idols and idolatrous practices are often called lies, and lying vanities; see Jeremiah 16:19; and the sense is, that the superstition and idolatry of the church of Rome were not among them: or it may design false doctrine, and the meaning be, that they did not speak lies in hypocrisy, as the followers of antichrist do; nor were they given up to believe a lie, as they are: the generality of copies read, "no guile"; which is expressive of the sincerity of their words; there was no deceit nor hypocrisy in them; they did not speak with flattering lips to men, nor did they draw nigh to God with their mouths, when their hearts were far from him; they were Israelites indeed, like Nathanael, in whom was no guile; though not in so strict a sense, in which this phrase is used of Christ, 1 Peter 1:22;

for they are without fault before the throne of God; not as considered in themselves, as if they were entirely free from sin, and never committed any; though it might be true of them, that in general they were of unblemished lives and conversations, that is, not guilty of any notorious and scandalous crimes; but rather the sense is, that they were without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, as being washed in the blood of Christ, and so cleansed from all sin, and as being justified by his righteousness from all iniquity; and so were before the throne of God, and in the sight of divine justice, unblamable and unreproveable; see , Colossians 1:22; the phrase, "before the throne of God", is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and in the Complutensian edition.

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb {1} stood on the mount Sion, and with him {2} an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's {3} name written in their foreheads.

(1) The history of the Church of Christ being finished for more than a 1300 years at which time Boniface the eighth lived as has been said: there remains the rest of the history of the conflicting or militant church, from there to the time of the last victory in three chapters. For first of all, as the foundation of the whole history, is described the standing of the Lamb with his army and retinue in five verses, after his worthy acts which he has done and yet does in most mighty manner, while he overthrows Antichrist with the spirit of his mouth, in the rest of this chapter and in the two following. To the description of the Lamb, are propounded three things: his situation, place and attendance: for the rest are expounded in the former visions, especially in the fifth chapter.

(2) Prepared to do his office see Ac 7:56, in the midst of the church, which mount Zion pictured before.

(3) This retinue of the Lamb is described first by divine mark

(as before in) Re 7:2 in this verse. Then by divine occupation, in that every one in his retinue most earnestly and sweetly Re 14:2 glorify the Lamb with a special song before God and his elect angels. Flesh and blood cannot hear this song, nor understand, Re 14:3. Lastly by their deeds done before, and their sanctification in that they were virgins, pure from spiritual and bodily fornication, that is, from impiety and unrighteousness. They followed the Lamb as a guide to all goodness, cleaved to him and are holy to him, as by grace redeemed by him. In truth and simplicity of Christ they have exercised all these things, sanctimony of life, the guidance of the Lamb, a thankful remembrance of redemption by him and finally (to conclude in a word) they are blameless before the Lord, Re 14:4,5.

Revelation 14:5. ἄμωμοι, “unblemished” (a ritual term), possibly contains a sacrificial tinge, like ἀπαρχή in some of the inscriptions (= gift to deity), cf. Thieme’s Inschriften von Magnesia, 26. These adherents are redeemed. But in another aspect their qualities of purity and guilelessness form a sweet sacrifice to God. A Christian not only may be redeemed but may sacrifice himself in the interests of the Redeemer.—ψεῦδος. In view of Revelation 21:8; Revelation 21:27, Revelation 22:15 it is superfluous to think of prophets or teachers specially (Weinel, 146–148) in this connexion, although the gifts of utterance and prophecy were particularly associated with asceticism (En. lxxxiii., cviii., etc.) in the early church of the first century; e.g., “the whole yoke of the Lord” in Did. vi. may refer to celibacy (in which case τέλειος would be equivalent to ἄμωμος here). Cf. the discussion of reasons, in a Babylonian incantation (Zimmern, die Beschwörungstafeln Shurpu, 5, 6), why the sufferer was punished. “Has he for ‘no’ said ‘yes’, " For ‘yes’ said ‘no’?… Was he frank in speaking " but false in heart? " Wasit ‘yes’ with his mouth " but ‘no’ in his heart?” The Assyrian idiom for loyalty is “true speech in the mouth of the people,” neither rebellious nor seditious talk.

5. no guile] Read, no lie.

before the throne of God] Should be omitted; and so perhaps should “for.”

Revelation 14:5. Ψεῦδος) δόλος,[155] the text according to Andreas in Cod. Reuchl., which Erasmus follows, and in the Augustan. But the text in Andreas himself, as edited by Sylburgius, and Copt, (according to Wolf, who however defends the word δόλος), together with all the copies, is ΨΕῦΔΟς. That expression of Peter, ΟὔΤΕ ΕὙΡΈΘΗ ΔΌΛΟς ἘΝ Τῷ ΣΤΌΜΑΤΙ ΑὐΤΟῦ, plainly refers to Isaiah 53:9. But the phrase of the Apocalypse, although it supports itself, has something parallel in Malachi 2:6, respecting the priest: ΝΌΜΟς ἈΛΗΘΕΊΑς ἮΝ ἘΝ Τῷ ΣΤΌΜΑΤΙ ΑὐΤΟῦ, ΚΑῚ ἈΔΙΚΊΑ ΟὐΧ ΕὐΡΈΘΗ ἘΝ ΧΕΊΛΕΣΙΝ ΑὐΤΟῦ. The word ΨΕῦΔΟς, with its derivatives and compounds, is of very frequent occurrence in all the writings of John.—ἌΜΩΜΟΙ ΕἸΣῚΝ) ἘΝΏΠΙΟΝ ΤΟῦ ΘΡΌΝΟΥ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ[156] was first added by the more recent Latin editions. See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. This interpolation is unsuitable to the passage. For the description of these first-fruits is beautifully fashioned like a canticle; and so these two clauses have a kind of rhythm, πάρθενοι γὰρ εἰσιν· ἄμωμοι εἰσίν· where, as we remark in passing, the particle ΓᾺΡ appears to be extended from the preceding to the latter clause. Moreover, they are virgins, with reference to their following the Lamb; they are ἄμωμοι, not with reference to their being before the throne of God, but with reference to the fact, that they are redeemed, as first-fruits to God and the Lamb. Why should I enlarge on this? No one in Greece, Asia, Syria, or Africa, nor do I hesitate to add Italy and ancient Armenia, has in this passage read the clause, before the throne of God. They had not the editions which are in common use at the present day; they had the genuine reading.

[155] ABC Vulg. Orig. read ψεῦδος: Rec. Text, without good authority, δόλος.—E.

[156] ABC Orig. omit these words. Rec. Text has them, with Vulg. Amiat. MS. alone of the oldest authorities.—E.

Verse 5. - And in their mouth was found no guile; no lie (Revised Version). They had not suffered themselves by self deceit (the second beast) to be beguiled into worship of the first beast - the world. Alford very appropriately refers to Psalm 15:1, 2, "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart." For they are without fault before the throne of God; they are without blemish. The following phrase is omitted by nearly every authority. The word ἀμώμος, "without blemish," reminds us of the "Lamb without blemish" (cf. 1 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 9:14). Thus again they receive appropriate reward. While on earth they kept themselves undefiled; now they are, like the Lamb, free from blemish (see on ver. 4). Revelation 14:5Guile (δόλος)

Read ψεῦδος lie.

Without fault (ἄμωμοι)

Rev., blemish. See on 1 Peter 1:19.

Before the throne of God


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