“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.”
The tribulation years will be the most difficult time period the earth has ever known. Any hardship we have ever experienced, will pale by comparison, to say the least of the trials during those few years. It is prudent that we each do everything we can to avoid being left here when these events begin to transpire. The way out is to trust in, and surrender to, Christ as Lord and Savior. If you have not yet made the decision to receive Christ, stop reading and pray. Invite Him to forgive your sins and be your Lord.
That being said, Chapter 14 gives a glimpse into the life of 144,000 believers, living and serving God through these dark times. It is particularly striking to me, that these individuals have the seal of God on their lives which, among other things, is certainly a seal of protection. With all the opposition to Christ and His followers, these believers remain untouchable as long as they “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” (Rrevelation 14:4) Their lives serve as a great example that the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.
I am reminded of David as he walked into the valley to face Goliath. Unarmed and untrained for battle, there was no safer place for Him to be than face to face with the giant. I think also of Gideon, with only 300 men at his side, and facing an army too large to number, he was both protected and victorious in battle. Conversely, I also think of Jonah. He was a man who knew the danger an Israelite would be in if he walked into the city of Nineveh. Unwilling to yield to the way of the Lord, he found himself in even graver danger.
While we are not to live foolishly, seeking adventure for adventure sake, we must not let the fear of the unknown or the threat of the “what if” keep us out of the center of God’s will for our lives. Just as these men were marked by God, and protected until it was time to call them home, so is the child of God who is walking in the will of God. We need never fear as long as we are following the Lamb wherever He goes.
Question for Revelation 14
The Great Tribulation which began in chapter 6 continues through to the end of chapter 18. In these chapters we see great judgments (seals, trumpets, and bowls which result ultimately in the fall of the world system that is opposed to God). However, in chapters 12-14 we see almost a parentheses where God identifies some of the key players of the Tribulation. We saw Satan, Israel, her Messiah and their relationship to one another in chapter 12. In chapter 13 we were introduced to the Antichrist and the False Prophet and their relationship with the World and Satan. In this chapter we are told about another group of people and a handful of angels and their place in the world at this time.
1. Read verses 1-5. Make a list of all of the things that these verses tell us about this group of 144,000. Notice in verse 1 that this group is in Mount Zion (suggestive of Jerusalem). Read chapter 7:3-8. It is very likely that this is the same group. What is the nationality of these people? Remember that one of the purposes of the Tribulation is for God to resume His focus upon Israel as His covenant people.
2. The name of the Father is on the foreheads of these; highly unlikely that this is a tattoo! Rather, this symbolizes that their thoughts are fixed upon God. Read Colossians 3:1-2. Does this describe your relationship with God? What gets in the way of you dwelling upon the goodness of God and your relationship with Him?
3. Notice that their purity and commitment gave them unique privilege: they learned songs that no one else knew, and they were allowed to follow Him wherever He went. Read Hebrews 11:6. Do you make personal purity and the pursuit of God your highest priorities? When we do not we miss out on great blessing that God intends for us.
4. Notice that this group is faultless before God. Read Ephesians 5:25-27, and note how Jesus treats His bride, the church.
5. The first angel flies across the heavens declaring the message of the gospel. Look up Matt 24:14. The gospel must be preached to every nation before the final judgment of this world comes. Up until this point, it has not been. But according to this verse, does God need man to do this?
6. In verse 8, the second angel warns of the coming destruction of Babylon, symbolic of the world system opposed to God and His rightful rule. Keep your eyes open as this comes to pass in chapters 17-18.
7. Read verses 9-11. Although the mark of the beast may be physical, more important is what it represents: a life that in thought and deed is aligned with Satan in opposition to God. What are the ultimate terrible consequences of this heart attitude?
8. In verse 12-13 what do we learn about the blessing of those who die in the Lord? Read Phil 1:21-23 and 1Corinthians15:51-55. How did Paul feel about death?
9. In verses 14-17 we read of great angelic beings preparing for a Harvest. Read Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 for commentary on this. Also read Matthew 9:36-38 for God’s heart for the Harvest and what we should do.
10. The last picture of the chapter is that of grapes and a winepress that pours out God’s wrath. The results of this are terrifying, disturbing and for some a little confusing. How could a God of love do this? Read John 3:36 to see the one way that God allows wrath to fall upon people.
Ezekiel 39- It’s A Promise
Ezekiel 40- New Temple
Great post Jim, this reminds me of my hope that sustains me every day. No matter what my body is doing or not doing my confidence is always in Him.