Revelation 14 -- 16
In the midst of world chaos, John is led to report good news: I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's Name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from Heaven, as the voice of many waters. . . . And they sung as it were a new song before the throne. . . . These are they which were not defiled with women (Revelation 14:1-4). The Lamb speaks of the triumphant Christ on Mount Zion, reminder of the location of the Temple as well as the home of King David who never lost a battle. His sheep whom Satan can not deceive are the undefiled, illustrated as not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
The 144,000 speaks of those who are the Bride of Christ, devoted to the Bridegroom. The number 144,000 is the multiple of 12. There were 12 tribes that made up the church in the Old Testament: Jesus chose 12 Apostles to establish His church, and the multiples of 12 times 12 illustrates the completion of the Church.
Blessed beyond words to explain are the dead which die in the Lord (14:13). Just as there was a great gulf fixed between Lazarus and the rich man in hell (Luke 16:26), so there is the same eternal difference between those who choose to love Christ and those who reject Him as Lord of their life.
At funerals we all love to assume that if a person has lived a respectable life, even though they were not devoted to Christ that Jesus would welcome them into heaven. But to die in the Lord means only those who are the answer to His High Priestly prayer to the Father. They have kept my word. . . . They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth (John 17:6,16-17). They have taken up His cross of self-denial and are truly serving the Lord. There is a vast separation, a great gulf fixed, between those whose thoughts and activities are centered upon the things of this world, and those who are serving and praising the Lord. They would have nothing in common with those praising the Lord, the voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God (Revelation 19:1).
To die in the Lord we must first have been in the Lord -- living for Him. Those who die in the Lord have His Fathers Name written in their foreheads (14:1), meaning that their thoughts were focused on pleasing Christ. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes (14:4).
Christians are assured they will inherit the glory of Heaven and be with the Lord for all eternity. Then we will realize His loving-kindness and wisdom in allowing us the privilege of suffering for His sake. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. . . . Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth . . . that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:12-13).
For Revelation 15:4: See Psa. 86:9; Isa. 66:23.
Government Officials: Rep. Spencer Bachus (AL), Sen. Tim Johnson (SD), and Rep. Jim McDermott (WA) · BPM Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Pray for Luis Palau Evangelism Association · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Tisha H. Dimaya · Country: Pakistan (132 million) in southern Asia · Major languages: Urdu and English · There is no freedom to convert Muslims to Christ. Pakistan is an Islamic republic · 97% Muslim; 2% Christian; 1% Hindu · Prayer Suggestion: Pray, remembering that there is no one like God (II Kings 19:14-15,19).
Memory Verse for the Week:
I John 3:3