John is shown a vision of total victory for the Lamb and His overcomers, occasioned by the seven trumpets announcing the establishment of the kingdom of God. Celebrations by the church are called for because the Lamb and His followers have proven faithful. In the first of these celebrations the Lamb and the faithful array themselves in triumph before the throne (14:1-5).
The Lamb richly deserves His triumph (14:1a; Psalm 2). The body of the faithful visibly identify with Him (14:1b). This group of 144,000 is the same group of Chapter 7 – the saved. Those who were sealed by God have come through persecution intact; not one has been lost. Ezekiel 9:4-11 prophesied that God’s people would wear a mark of identity to distinguish them clearly from the rebellious. That distinguishing image applies in Revelation 13 and 14. It is not a simple mark but a name of possession. They were redeemed by the Lord and belong to the Lord (14:1).
Celebration is again in order. The sound John hears is that of the redeemed choir (14:2). In a song only the redeemed can sing, volume and melody combine before the heavenly throne in a song especially composed for the occasion (14:3; 5:9; Psalm 98:1). Unlike angels and other heavenly beings, the redeemed know in a most personal way the price of their redemption and the One who paid that price. They have been “purchased” to sing in glory of the Lamb their Savior.
Verse 4 tells of the redeemed who did not yield to the world’s call to commit spiritual adultery. They have remained true to Christ and have become an offering to Him. This scene is an encouragement to persecuted saints to remain true and faithful to the Lord. Their morality will be challenged (14:4a). Their dedication to Christ will be challenged (14:4b). The truth they speak will be challenged (14:5). Still, the Lord will honor His promise of salvation, so they stand “with Him” (14:1). This scene also describes the kinds of temptations and threats made against the saints by the unrepentant. Attacks on morality, on individual resolve, and against truth are their powerful but misused weapons. It is at these points that the faithful remnant can answer their challenges and respond to them in faith, not so much in terms of reason and argument, but in terms of personal faith in Jesus Who stands with them.
Dr. David Moore is a university online instructor in Bible and theology. Email: email@example.com
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