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 Revelation Chapter 14 (Part 59) (Verses 1 - 5)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 14 (Part 59) (Verses 1 - 5)   Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:36 pm

Revelation Chapter 14 (Part 59) (Verses 1 - 5)


Revelation 14:1 says, “Then I looked and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.” We mustn’t confuse the Church with the 144,000 Christian Jews. Even though all Christians are in the same family, the 144,000 are more related to Old Testament Israelites because they will be derived from the 12 Tribes of Israel. God is going to treat the 144,000 distinctly from the Church. Of the 144,000, God is going to write Yeshua and YWYH on the foreheads of the 144,000. We learned that overcomer Christians get special treatment from other Christians. Of overcomer Christians, Revelation 3:12 says, “…I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem…and I will also write on him my new name.” This doesn’t state that these things will be written on the foreheads of overcomers; it doesn’t specify location. But it includes the New Jerusalem and a new name of Jesus, not mentioned as being written on the 144,000. Revelation 22:4 seems to state that all Christians will at least have God’s name on their foreheads. Admittedly, there are some small nuances that raises some questions in that particular passage. Revelation 22:3-4 says, “No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.” The first question that can be raised is ‘Whose name will be on their foreheads?’ The passage mentions the Father and the Son and simply says, “His” name will be on their foreheads. The second question that can be raised is ‘Who specifically are these servants?’ Are these all Christians, generically labeled as “servants”? Or does “servants” specifically refer to the “overcomers” mentioned in chapters 2 and 3. A close study of the bible reveals that some Christians will make it to Heaven with little to no works. 1 Corinthians 3 says that some Christians will arrive in Heaven with only wood, hay and straw works that will be burned up during judgment, leaving the Christian with nothing but their salvation. “Servants” may mean only those who have actually legitimately served, which would limit the forehead markings to only “overcomers.”

Verse 2 says: “And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like of harpists playing their harps.” These are all similes, describing what John heard. All things taken together, this is a strange sound. It is a mixture of nature and instrumental music; a mixture of loud, dreadful, bellowing uproar, and the sweet, mellifluous, melodic sound of harps. It is both loud and musical. Although these statements are similes, the harps are literal. We saw in Revelation 5:8 that the 24 Elders have harps. That verse reads, “And when He had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints.” And in the next verse, the 24 elders sing a new song. We see in the next verse of this chapter (14), that the 24 elders will sing another new song. We will later see in Revelation 15:2, those who were victorious over the beast, will also be given harps. With the harp will come the ability to play it. We will have new abilities when we get to Heaven.

Verse 3: “And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the Earth.” The “they” here are the harpists from the previous verse: that is, the 24 Elders who are in Heaven. We saw the 24 elders sing a new song with harps in chapter 5. Here, they sing another new song, again with harps. We were blessed to get the words of the new song in chapter 5, but God does not reveal the words to this one. This song is unique and special in that no one can even learn the song except the 144,000 Jews. Please see the picture. It is the 24 Elders who are in Heaven who sing the song, but the 144,000 Jews who are still on Earth at this time learn it and are able to sing it. From Earth, only they are able to learn the new song that came directly from Heaven. And, only they will be blessed with the ability to learn and sing it. So a visitor to their church service will not be able to join in with the choir. Even if they posted the words on a big screen in their church, the words will somehow become obscure to the visitors outside of the 144,000, and they still will not be able to sing along. The words will appear to the visitors as some type of foreign language. This is sort of the reverse of Pentecost, where all of the Gentiles were able to hear and understand each other in their own native language through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (see Acts chapter 2). Here, the Gentiles will not be able to understand, but rather, understanding will be limited only to the understanding of a few, namely, the 144,000 Jewish Christians.

I just want to point out and emphasize the changed dispensation. During the Day of Grace, God turned His back on the Jews because they rejected the Messiah. During the Day of Wrath (the Tribulation), God will reject the Gentiles for rejecting the Resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ and turn back to the Jews, although, granted, the Jews that God turns back to must first come to a saving understanding and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord through faith. That’s why we see the reverse of Pentecost here in Revelation. The day of the Gentiles will not last forever. The Day of Grace is coming to an end soon. There are so many Gentiles who are currently rejecting Jesus Christ and are instead pursuing other gods, namely, money, self, fame, and the American Dream.

Verse 4: “These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.” The 144,000 Jewish Christians will be righteous dudes. Let me cheat and give away the next verse: the next verse says that no lie is found in their mouths. So they do not defile themselves with women, keep themselves pure, follow Jesus wherever He goes, and speak no lies. It is possible for some of these men to be married and still not defile themselves with women because the bible says that the marriage bed of the Christian is pure. So they could be 144,000 virgins, married men, or a mix of both. Whatever the case, they keep Jesus on their minds. They keep Jesus at the forefront of their agendas and exalt Him with all of their hearts. Where Jesus goes, they go. Jesus hangs out in Truth, so the 144,000 will hang out in Truth. Jesus stays away from darkness, sin and rebellion against God; so, the 144,000 will do the same. Jesus honored His Father; likewise the 144,000. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” The 144,000 will be following Christ directly. To follow Christ is to obey Him. When we obey Him, thus follow Him, He returns the favor and follows us with His presence. John 14:23 says, “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’” The Son’s and Father’s home is currently Heaven itself. When we obey Him, Jesus will bring Heaven to us here on Earth. However, Jesus says in Mark 8:38, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Jesus mentions the holy angels here because they will be bringing judgment to those who are ashamed of Jesus.

To follow Jesus is to incur hardship. And how much moreso during the Tribulation period where evil will be the standard of the day? Mark 16:24 says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” The 144,000 will be following Jesus, but what does that really mean? To follow Jesus requires a cross. It also requires humility. Pride and no cross bearing cancels the attempt of following Jesus. In order for something to become a cross, it requires that one makes one’s devotion to Jesus public. If no one knows that you are a Christian, then you have no cross to carry. A cross means persecution from the world. The world will only persecute you if you do not look identical to them. If you look like Jesus with righteousness, Truth, justice, and the Word of God, then the world will definitely persecute you. If you are living a trouble free life, and everyone is your friend, then I assure you, that is not a good thing. Truly devoted Christians stir up stuff. Truly devoted Christians make the world uncomfortable. Never seek to be liked by everybody. Politics is the pursuit to be liked by the majority and thus win over the majority to obtain their vote. Christianity is the opposite of politics. Christianity is the pursuit to please Jesus alone without caring about ones’ own reputation. Christianity is about losing the world’s favor and gaining God’s. To seek to please the world is to displease God. The world hates Him, and will hate us when we advertise Him in our lives.

The last part of verse 4 reads, “They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.” The intriguing part to me is the clause, “and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.” These are 144,000 Christians (granted Jews), so yes, they were purchased from among men by the blood of Jesus because the blood of Jesus purchases all who believe in Him and His finished work on the Cross, which includes His resurrection from the dead. So all Christians were purchased, but not all Christians are offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. The fact that they are offered to both God and the Lamb shows the Deity of Jesus. The bible says that we are to honor God with our firstfruits. That means the best of our flock—not the first of our flock. If the first is a dud, we are not to offer that. God is pleased with our firstfruits, and not our leftovers. God wants us to set aside our best for Him because He is the Creator and has loaned us everything we think we have. He demands from us some token of appreciation and sacrifice. But these are people we are talking about, not animals. These 144,000 will be offered to God and the Lamb as firstfruits. This implies that these 144,000 will serve as archetypes of righteousness during their time and generation. God will be pleased with these men above everyone else during their day. These men will live reputable lives of godliness. They are human, so they will be flawed, but we have such verses as: 1 Peter 4:8, which says that love covers over a multitude of sins. The 144,000 will be living a life of love that will cover their “minor” sins. These 144,000 will be guilty of only venial sins. Their scale of righteousness on a human level will tilt towards a lifestyle of commitment, obedience, and love for the Lord. They will be aboveboard, ingenuous and unsuspecting men. We ought to strive to live with such indefatigable commitment to the Lord in His strength that He freely provides us with.

Verse 5: “No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.” Again, these are humans, so they started off as sinners, for all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. But they didn’t stay sinners. The bible does not teach that a person stays a sinner for their entire lives if they convert to Christianity. 1 John 5:16 says, “…There is sin that does not lead to death.” The term “sinner” is an identifier and so is the term “Saint”. The bible identifies the Christian as a Saint who was a sinner, but now in Christ has a new identity. The Saint might still slip at times and sin, but their identity is not a sinner. They are identified as Saints and in God’s eyes, they are blameless so long as they stay in fellowship with Him through Christ. We are Saints who sin. We are no longer sinners. Those who do not know Jesus are sinners because the righteousness of Jesus was not imputed to them through His blood that was shed on the Cross. Now is it possible to not lie? Everyone has lied at some point in their lives, but the question on the floor is: Is it possible to stop lying now?

The bible teaches that it is indeed possible to stop lying. But the bible cautions that it is extremely difficult to reach this level. How difficult? It says in James 3:8, “…but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” I can hear the Reader retort, “But you just said that the bible says that we can control our tongue, but you just quoted a verse that says that we can’t.” This verse doesn’t fully say that we can’t. When we match it with another verse, we get the full picture. Matthew 19:26 says, “…With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” No man can tame the tongue, but God can tame man’s tongue. We have to deny ourselves and submit to God’s power in order for Him to tame it. In fact, James says in 3:2 that the one who does tame his tongue is a perfect man and is able to keep his whole body in check. If we want to be able to control our entire body, the bible says that we have to start with the tongue. Stop lying! We need to simply stop lying. It’s that simple. The bible even says don’t make vows. Don’t set yourself up to lie: let your yes be yes and your no be no. Stop cussing! Profanity is the language of demons. Stop using your tongue to curse others. Use your tongue to bless. Stop gossiping! Stop boasting! Let humility come from your tongue, not pride. Don’t seek self-glorification with your tongue. Speak to glorify Him.

Zephaniah 3:13 speaks of the 144,000 Jewish Christians. It says, “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.” The world will be against these men, but God will put a seal on them so that they won’t be harmed. It seems like they will be fully aware of the Word of God and thus know from Scripture, that they are safe, so they are able to lie down and eat in peace in the midst of tribulation. They will definitely be taken care of and rewarded post-Tribulation.

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Revelation Chapter 14 (Part 59) (Verses 1 - 5)
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