I’m taking a break from my summer summary series because there are some changes I need to make to my doctrinal thesis. In a couple weeks I will re-start the series on theology, so for now here are some more posts working through the book of Revelation.
A. Past Lessons
- The Two Witnesses (Rev 11:1-14)
- The Seventh Trumpet Reveals the Third Terror (Rev 11:15-19)
- The Woman, Dragon, and Son (Rev 12:1-6)
- Michael vs. Dragon (Rev 12:7-12)
- The Dragon and His Pursuit (Rev 12:13-18)
- The Beast of the Sea (Rev 13:1-10)
- The Beast of the Earth (Rev 13:11-18)
B. Text of Rev 14:1-5
“1Then I looked and behold. The Lamb was standing on Mount Zion and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his father’s name written on their foreheads. 2I heard a noise from heaven like the sound of lots of water and the sound of mighty thunder. 3They sang a new song in front of the throne, in front of the four living beings and elders. No one was able to learn the song except the 144,000 who had been purchased from the earth. 4These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes, and these are the ones who were purchased from the people of the earth. They are the first fruits of God and the Lamb. 5From their mouths no lie came. They were faultless.” (Rev 14:1-5)[ref]Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 text[/ref]
C. General Remarks
“Chapter 14 brings to a conclusion the material found in chapters 12 through 14. Chapter 12 deals with the important characters of the period, chapter 13 with the evil rulers of the period, and chapter 14 with the ultimate triumph of Christ. This material is not chronological, but prepares the way for the climax that begins in chapter 15. Chapter 14 is a series of pronouncements and visions assuring the reader of Christ’s ultimate triumph and the judgment of evil. Much of the chapter is prophetic of events that have not yet taken place, but that in the context are now impending.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 219)
“The whole of chapter 14 is proleptic. A summary of the Millennium (20:4-6), the first five verses feature the Lamb in place of the beast, the Lamb’s followers with His and the Father’s seal in place of the beast’s followers with the mark of the beast, and the divinely controlled Mount Zion in place of the pagan-controlled earth. The remainder of the chapter furnishes a proleptic outline of the catastrophes and the bliss that receives a chronological and more detailed treatment of 16:17-22:5. In this fashion, the chapter is a sort of intermezzo to provide encouragement by telling the ultimate triumph for those who refuse the beast’s mark and to predict the doom of those who do receive it.” (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 189)
Part of my weaknesses with the book of Revelation is that I want to see everything as chronological and in order. Walvoord’s comments above help to assure me that I don’t have to assume that what happens in chapter fourteen comes after chapter thirteen. While the flow of the book [link to chart] does have a loose chronological aspect, there are chapters that go back in time or even prophesy things that are to come.
II. JOHN SEES AND HEARS (REV 14:1-2)
A. The Lamb and 144,000 (v. 1)
Καὶ εἶδον, καὶ ἰδοὺ τὸ ἀρνίον ἑστὸς ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος Σιὼν καὶ μετʼ αὐτοῦ ἑκατὸν τεσσεράκοντα τέσσαρες χιλιάδες ἔχουσαι τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ γεγραμμένον ἐπὶ τῶν μετώπων αὐτῶν.
“Then I looked and behold. The Lamb was standing on Mount Zion and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his father’s name written on their foreheads.” (Rev 14:1)
1. A Review of the 144,000
These 144,000 people are the same people mentioned in Rev 7:1-8. They consist of 12,000 people from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. In chapter 7 of Revelation there are four angels that are told to not harm the earth, sea, or tree (Rev 7:1) until the seal of the living God could be placed on the 144,000 (Rev 7:3). These 144,000 were marked with the seal of God (Rev 7:4). A further explanation of these 144,000 and the views on who they are listed below.
2. What Is Mount Zion?