Like the 144,000

 

As we come to chapter 14 of the book of Revelation, we are introduced once again to the 144,000 Jews whom God calls out to preach the Gospel during the tribulation period. We first saw the 144,000 in chapter 7. The 144,000 come on the scene during the time period between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals of the scroll. As we come to chapter 14, the seventh seal has been opened and the seven trumpets have sounded. Soon, the seven bowl judgments will fall upon the earth. It is unclear when this scene in chapter 14 is taking place. Many believe the 144,000 will live on the earth throughout the tribulation period and will continue throughout the millennial reign. I personally do not see any reason to believe otherwise.  As we examine these verses, we find several spiritual parallels between the 144,000 and our own lives as believers.

Just like the 144,000, God always has a remnant. Notice what it says in verse one.  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”[1] The Lamb of God is seen standing on Mount Zion along with the 144,000 they are sealed with the name of God written in their foreheads. I believe that the Mount Zion pictured here is the heavenly Mount Zion, not the actually Mount Zion in Israel. Wiersbe writes, “The 144,000 are standing with Christ on Mount Zion, but which Mount Zion: the heavenly one (Heb. 12:22–24) or the earthly one? I personally believe that this is the heavenly Mount Zion, and that the scene anticipates Christ’s coronation and the establishment of His kingdom when He returns to earth (Zech. 14:4ff). Christ today is enthroned in the heavenly Zion (Ps. 2:6), and we are enthroned with Him (Eph. 2:6). The scene in Revelation 14 is the assurance to God’s people that He cares for His own and finally will take them to glory.”[2] The fact that the name of God is in their foreheads is an interesting contrast with those who have taken the mark of the beast and are following after Satan. The interesting thing we see here is that God always has a remnant. No matter how bad the world is, there are always those who follow Christ no matter what the rest of the world is doing. Today, you and I are that remnant. As believers living in the age of grace, we are the ones that God has called out to proclaim the Gospel in this age.

Like the 144,000 those who stand with God will share in His glory. Continuing in verse one; we note that the 144,000 are standing with God on Mount Zion. To be able to stand with God in such a place is only possible for those who are truly made into the image of Christ. Here we see the saints of God in their glorified state. They have a prominent place, standing with God surrounded by His holiness. God has promised those who believe on the Lord Jesus will one day be just like Jesus. In our glorified state, we will be perfectly holy. There will no longer be any sin in us. Nothing will be able to separate us from God, for we are made to be like Him. What a glorious truth! Those who are saved in this age of grace, will rule and reign with Christ during the millennial kingdom. I can only imagine what that will be like!

Like the 144,000 our sorrows will be transformed into singing. In verse 2-3, we see the song of the 144,000. “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”[3] The 144,000 will have a special song to sing that no one else will be able to sing. They endure much turmoil and strife upon the earth, but when in the very presence of God, their sorrow is turned into singing. As born-again believers in Christ, one day our sorrows will also be turned into singing. We will sing the song of the redeemed as we gather around the throne. In this life we have sorrows. We grow weary. Life is hard. But, my friend, there is coming a day when we shall see Him as He is in all of His glory. We shall behold Him face to face. On that day, when our eyes behold the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we shall join the heavenly choir as we will sing a new song of praise. All of the sorrow will be over. No more death. No more sickness. No more pain. No more sin. No more suffering. There in that place on that day, we will rejoice as our sorrows will be transformed into singing!

Like the 144,000 we are redeemed. Notice what it says in verse 4. “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. 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.”[4] The Pulpit Commentary suggests that, “there is little doubt that these words are intended in a spiritual sense. In the Old Testament the employment of the figure of adultery and fornication to denote spiritual unfaithfulness is common (cf. 2 Chron. 21:11; Jer. 3:9, etc.). St. John elsewhere in the Apocalypse makes use of the same symbolism (cf. ch. 2:20, “That woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols;” also ch. 17:5, 6). Similarly, also, St. John pictures the faithful Church as the bride adorned for her Husband the Lamb (ch. 19:7, 8). So also St. Paul (2 Cor. 11:2), “I espoused you as a chaste virgin to one Husband, Christ.” Παρθένοι, “virgins” is a word equally applicable to men or women. This verse, therefore, seems to describe those who are free from spiritual impurity and unfaithfulness; those who have not worshipped the beast and his image.”[5] It is also mentioned that these 144,000 are redeemed. You and I as believers in Christ have also been redeemed. We have been bought out of the slave market of sin. We have been set free from the penalty of sin and from the power of sin. But, O, my friend, one day our redemption will be complete and we will be forever set free from the very presence of sin! Imagine a world where there is no sin. Imagine a place where there is no temptation to sin. Just like the 144,000, we also have been redeemed.

Like the 144,000 we will be made pure. Verse five says,“And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. “[6] The 144,000 are found guiltless. Why? Because they have been redeemed. One day, you and I will stand before God completely free of all guilt. Jesus took our sins and placed them upon Himself. He has justified us. He has declared us as righteous. As we stand before God, there will be no condemnation. We will be free from all guilt.

 

[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 14:1). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 607). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 14:2–3). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 14:4). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Revelation (p. 347). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 14:5). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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