Read Revelation 14

Key Verse: Revelation 14:3a “And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders.”

John now shifts from a description of the beast and his worshippers (ch.13) to a description of the Lamb and His followers. Consistent with Old Testament expectation, the venue is Mount Zion. Micah, for instance, foresaw the day when God would gather the faithful remnant to Mount Zion and reign over them forever (Mic. 4:6-8). Joel and Isaiah also saw something similar (Joel 2:32; Is. 1:19-12; 40:1-46:13).

Who are these “144,000”? In chapter 7, we saw this number first mentioned and I underlined the importance of the symbolic numbering. the group in this chapter (ch.14) are probably the same people. In both chapters the 144,000 are sealed on their foreheads — in chapter 7, the substance of the seal is not mentioned, but in chapter 14 John tells us that the seal comprises the names of the Father and the Lamb. This seal, of course, is in direct contrast to the name (or number of the name) of the beast which was placed on the right hand or forehead of his worshippers in chapter 13.

The message to the worshippers of the beast is one of dire warning — they “will drink of the wine of God’s fury” and “will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb” (v.10). Usually we think of torment as the exclusive domain of Hell, but here we see the high view God has of our wilful choices and the total anger He has at those who choose to reject His Son. That’s why verse 13 has special meaning and warning: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”

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