Revelation 14:1–5 (NKJV)
After the disturbing account of the Beast and his hold on the earth during the Tribulation period, John moves to a scene where the Lamb appears with the one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed Jews.
1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.Revelation 14:1-5
This vision starts with the Lamb standing on Mount Zion. He has a multitude of one hundred and forty-four thousand standing with Him, all having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. This labeling stands in sharp contrast to the mark of the beast written on the foreheads or right hands of those condemned by their allegiance to the beast. This juxtaposition is stark and sharply delineated between the people of the antichrist and the people of the true Christ. There is some discussion as to the identity of these people with Christ, whether they are the 144,000 Jews who were sealed earlier in the book, or whether this be tribulation Christians, or all Christians. While the number would not nearly encompass all Christians, it could possibly include all the people who gave their life and did not take the mark of the beast during the Great Tribulation. However, the logical conclusion to me is that they are the Jews sealed for preservation during the Great Tribulation. These, preserved by the name of the Lord, sing and play instruments in worship to God. Their voices were as loud as great waters and sounding thunder. Their worship was lifted up before the throne, the living creatures, and the elders in heaven. Only the hundred and forty-four thousand knew the song, and were allowed to sing it.
The vision then shifts to a description of the multitude in terms of ritual purity versus moral purity. The 144,000 are said to have been not defiled with women, tantamount to being virgins. This aspect of their purity refers to the ritual aspect. They have rejected physical relations with women in order to be fully sold out to Christ, the Lamb. They gave up fleshly pleasures in order to fully please God at great cost. They follow him wherever He goes. They are the redeemed of the people of God, firstfruits of humanity to God and the Lamb. They have acted properly and have been rewarded. However, they are also described as having no deceit in their mouths, appearing without fault before the throne of God, signifying their moral purity. Not only do they act right (ritual), but they also are right with God (moral). This scene exemplifies all who will one day stand before the Lord, made righteous and holy by the blood of the Lamb. There is no deceit or disobedience held to their account, for the Lamb has made them holy. This will be the chorus of the redeemed of all ages one day, numbering far beyond one hundred and forty-four thousand. Yet, for now, that is the representative number that demonstrates the great worship in heaven coming from the redeemed. I want to be in that number, and so do you!
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