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Revelation Chapter 14

Revelation chapter 14 starts off talking about a group having the "Father's name written in their foreheads" and this is just three verses after a verse (Rev 13:16) about others having the mark of the beast in their foreheads. (Go back to chapter 13.) Could there be a connection?

"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." (Rev 14:1)
Who are the 144,000 of Revelation Chapter 14?

There are verses that suggest that the Jews would be removed from their special place as God's people to whom He had assigned a mission to spread the knowledge of Him to the world:

"Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matt 21:43)
"He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." (Luke 13:6-9)
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." (Rom 2:28-29)
"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal 3:29)

A thorough study of the question of the status of the nation of Israel investigates their status as the people of God.

The Jews lost their status as God's chosen people after the time of their probation passed. Then, in apostolic times, the new Christian church began to fill that role:

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Pet 2:9-10)

Over the last 2,000 years there has been a gradual falling into apostasy among much of Christianity to the point that God may find it necessary to bring out another group. Not that they only would be saved in the end but they would take on the role of giving a message to prepare people (anyone who would listen) for the end of this world's history. It seems to me that the group referred to in Revelation chapter 14 as the 144,000 just might fulfill that role. More about them on my page on the 144,000 and on the Revelation 7 page.

"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:" (Rev 14:2)

God's voice is described in scripture as the sounding like many waters:

"And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory." (Eze 43:2)
"And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters." (Rev 1:15)

God's voice is also often described as the sound of thunder as in these examples:

"The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice." (2 Sam 22:14)
"God thundereth marvelously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend." (Job 37:5)

The "harpers" seems to be a reference to the 144,000 as the next verse of Revelation chapter 14 will indicate.

"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." (Rev 14:3)

Why a "new song"? Because it is about an experience which no one else has ever had - that of living in total dependence upon God, of resisting the mark of the beast and of being translated from the earth without seeing death:

"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up ..." (1 Thess 4:17)

They were "redeemed from the earth." Isn't everyone who is redeemed, redeemed "from the earth"? I am wondering if this is a way of saying that they were the ones translated, taken up to meet the Lord in the air. The others taken to heaven at the same time are redeemed from the grave. The next verse speaks of the saints who are alive at the Second Coming being "redeemed from among men."

"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." (Rev 14:4)

This is not speaking of literal, physical virginity in sexual terms or it would contradict other scriptures that commend marriage such as 1 Cor 7:1-5 and Heb13:4. The 144,000 are called virgins because they have separated themselves from Babylon and they, in turn, give the call to others to do the same:

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev 18:4)

Here is a verse, written by Paul to the Corinthian believers, which speaks of them as virgins in the sense of Paul's hope to have them in a pure condition to be presented as "the bride of Christ":

"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (2 Cor 11:2)

While this message will be, to a large degree, proclaimed by God's people they are not calling others to come out of Babylon while they are still in it themselves.

The terms "woman" or "women," in scripture, are used as a symbol of a church. In chapter 12, we saw a pure church symbolized:

"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:" (Rev 12:1)

In chapter 17, another woman is pictured symbolizing quite a different church:

"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns." (Rev 17:3)

The 144,000 of Revelation chapter 14 will follow the Lamb but we are not told exactly what this means. It could be that they will have some special role in the heavenly kingdom of which we are not told. (I have a personal theory on this.)

Firstfruits

This term refers to just a part of the harvest. At the Feast of First Fruits in the spring was the barley harvest; barley being the first grain crop to ripen. Later, at the time of Pentecost (about seven weeks later), was the time of the wheat harvest. Remember, that Jesus spoke of the end of the world as a time of separation of the wheat and the tares.

"Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt 13:30)
"The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." (Matt 13:39)

While the harvest is the end of the world, the anointing and commissioning of the 144,000 for the work of proclaiming important messages to the world happens before the end of the world.

"And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." (Rev 14:5)

Here is another verse that describes God's faithful saints at the end of time:

"The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid." (Zeph 3:13)

What is in the mouth; what comes out in our words reveals what is in the heart:

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matt 12:34)
As we go on in Revelation chapter 14, we will see the messages that the 144,000 are involved in proclaiming. Continue to Revelation 14, Part 2  


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