Rev 14:1-5 KJV
(1) And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
(2) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
(3) And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
(4) These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
(5) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision. Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.
In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…
- The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
- The Messages Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
- The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)
THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:
Rev 14:1-5 KJV
(1) And I looked, and, lo,
Following a review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth, John now begins to see a new vision. This vision shows us events that take place at the final hours of Satan’s kingdoms on earth. The first part of this vision takes place immediately prior to Christ’s second coming…
a Lamb stood on the mount Sion,
John sees Christ standing on “Mount Sion”. This Mount Sion is located in heaven, the dwelling place of God and the angels (Hebs 12:22).
The symbolism for this part of John’s vision comes from Psa 48:1-3, Joel 2:32. In these passages Mt Sion is presented as the dwelling place of God and the place of refuge for His people. Likewise, Mt Sion (heaven) in this vision is the dwelling place of God and the refuge of God’s people for an eternity.
Here, Christ is seen standing in heaven (symbolized by Mt Sion) waiting to descend and deliver His people at His second coming.
and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
John sees the 144,000 symbolizing the people of God who have died prior to His second coming, whose spirits are now in heaven. Their presence in heaven is the mark of their ownership by God and their membership in the eternal kingdom of God. Their sin’s punishment has been paid by Christ’s shed blood and they are eternally secure in Him. They are His redeemed whose spirits are in heaven, eagerly awaiting the resurrection of their body and living an eternity with Him beginning with His second coming.
What a comparison to the “The mark of the beast” from chapter 13 is the identifying mark of the people of Satan and his kingdom. What a contrast we see in these two marks. “The mark of the beast” is the mark of Satanic ownership and influence, membership in the kingdoms of Satan and the coming judgment that awaits them.
(2) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder:
The 144,000 (saints of God from both OT and NT) now sing with one voice signifying their absolute unity in Christ. Without their sin natures to now hinder them they are perfectly unified in motive, goal, and love for their Lord and Redeemer. Their voice I loud, attracting all the attention of John. Their voice is much like great waters flowing over a falls or the great pealing of thunder announcing a coming storm.
and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
He also hears harps being played in honor of their Lord. These harps symbolize: joyous celebration, praise, worship of their Lord.
Why this great time of worship? He is about to being His second coming to the earth. In doing so, He will be resurrecting their dead bodies and untiing them with it, He will be judging the lost and fully defeating the Satan and his kingdoms. This will all be done in preparation for their living with Him eternally.
(3) And they sung as it were a new song
The redeemed of the Lord are now heard singing a “new song” of praise to the Lamb. Just like the song sung by the 4 beasts and elders in 5:9, this song is a song that the 144,000 is not accustomed to singing. Why? Because this song will only be sung immediately prior to the Lord’s second coming.
The two songs are related in 5:9 the Lord is being praised for the salvation of His people based upon His work on the cross. Here, the song is being done immediately prior to the taking of His people at His second coming… this is the physical salvation of His people from His wrath that is about to fall.
Both Psalm 98:1-9 and Psalm 144:9-10 speak of a new song that was sung by God’s people in the Old Testament. It is interesting to note the similarities between these songs and the Revelation “new songs”…
Psalm 98:1-9 is very similar to the “new song” spoken of in Rev 5:9, both speak of God’s redemptive for His people.
On the other hand, Psalm 144:9-10 is more similar to the “new song” found in Rev 14:3, in both of these songs, we can see God’s physical rescuing of His people in view.
before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders:
This new song sung by the 144,000 is sung in the presence of God (throne) and His people (the four beasts, the elders, the 144,000).
Keep in mind, the people of God are symbolized in three ways in the book of Revelation:
- the beasts represent God’s people as the recipients of spiritual life
- the elders represent God’s people as the recipients of divine authority to judge and rule in eternity
- the 144,000 represent God’s people formed into His mighty nation by His sovereign intervention in their lives
Literally, the song is sung by the redeemed in the presence of God alone. The sing being sung by the 144,000 and not the elders nor the beasts helps to remind us that the subject of this song (His deliverance from wrath at His second coming) is a sovereign act of God that will manifest His spiritual kingdom by separating them from the fallen world and uniting them with Him throughout eternity.
and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Only those who are sovereignly delivered from the wrath of God could learn and sing this new song immediately prior to His second coming. The angels could not learn this song nor could any other created being. Those who had already been redeemed and separated from this fallen earth could learn this song (from their personal experiences).
(4) These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (5) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
God’s people who are in heaven are described as:
- “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.”
They are not dirtied with illicit unions of unfaithfulness (Hebs 13:4). They are totally devoted to the Lord and spiritually pure. (James 4:4, 2 Cor 11:2)
- “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.”
They are in union with and followers of the Lamb wherever He leads His people. Dedicated obedience to Christ is shown (John 10:26-27, John 8:47, 1 John 4:5-6).
- “These were redeemed from among men,”
They were bought with a price… the shed blood of Christ on the cross (1 Peter 1:18-19)
- “being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”
They were separated from other of mankind for God’s use (James 1:18). This is much like the OT first fruits that were separated from the remaining portion of the crops and then given for God’s use (Deut 18:4-5, Lev 23:17).
- “And in their mouth was found no guile:”
They speak honest, sincere words that are not touched by deceit. Here we see their sincerity in service to Him (Mat 6:1-6, John 4:23-24).
- “for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
In God’s eyes they are looked upon as sinless based upon Christ’s work (Heb 9:14, Jude 24, 1 Thess 5:23, Phil 3:10-14)
The above description of God’s people can be also seen in Zephaniah 3:9-13.
Christ, in this section of Scripture, is shown to us as the ultimate Savior of His people.
Not only does He redeem us through His death on the cross (Col 1:14) but, as a result, He saves us our spirit from the grave at our death (2 Cor 5:8) and later delivers our body at our resurrection (1 Cor 15:52). As His redeemed people we are welcomed into His presence and forever with Him (1 Thess 4:17).
He truly is the ULTIMATE Saviour of His people, saving them from the penalty, bondage and presence of their sins, and the final wrath to come at His second coming!
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)
As we experience the Lord at work in our lives, we learn new things about His person and workings among us. We see His grace, mercy, and sovereignty on display in our lives as He intervenes in the affairs of our life, actively bringing about His will. Based upon these new experiences in our walk with Christ, may we all sing “new songs” of praise as we tell others of His wondrous works.
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SYMBOLS EMPLOYED IN THIS TEXT:
- a Lamb
- the mount Sion,
- an hundred forty and four thousand
- having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
- a voice from heaven
- the voice of many waters
- the voice of a great thunder
- the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
- a new song
- the throne
- the four beasts
- the elders
- not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
- the firstfruits
THE RELATED SCRIPTURES: