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Chapter 14 is a complete change. Verse 1 - A lamb on Mt. Zion with 144,000 redeemed-Christ and the glorified saints. (We are going back briefly to the inside of the scroll, although we are now coming to a point where the inside and the outside converge.) This chapter deals with the final judgments of the earth - that which was hidden in the seven thunders which John saw - after the overthrow of Gog and the establishment of Christ in Jerusalem.
There is much exhortation in verses 4 and 5. The 144,000 are a very exalted and select multitude - those who in this life have overcome the flesh and given themselves wholly to God. They are, we are told, virgins - that is, no defilement with any thing to do with the apostate woman. That is their important identification. They follow the Lamb in everything they do. They have no guile; they are perfectly pure in heart. They are all without fault before the throne of God, because they have remained in Christ and are completely covered by his righteousness and repeatedly purified by prayer and repentance, so that they continually stand before God perfect, as they must if they are to be accepted. How dimly we realize the tremendous height of our calling!
Verses 6 and 7 give the proclamation to all the earth of the everlasting Gospel. "Fear God...the hour of his judgment is come." Before pouring out worldwide destruction, Christ and the saints call on all the earth to submit. The besotted earth is today so drunken with the Babylonian wine that a considerable time will be needed for all to awake out of their stupor and find out what is happening and decide what side they are on.
There is much in Scripture to study. We shall never know a fraction of it, but we are required to learn as much as we can in the opportunity given us. We shall be judged for what we could have done with our time and opportunity. We shall be called to account, and we shall be rejected if we have not tried our best to do what is required.
"Blessed is he that readeth." We have no time to waste on worldly things. Only the faithful stewards of time and goods will be accepted. And let us make sure we are among that very, very few.
Bro. G.V. Growcott - Review of the Apocalypse
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him 144 000, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
The glorified saints (144,000) stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, having moved up from Sinai (Pslm.68.17 angels = changed ones, from Sinai into the Holy). They have the Father's Name written in their foreheads. This shows their godly character developed in their probation, as part of that Yahweh Name or He who will be armies Yahweh Sabaoth (Pslm.24.I0). Those who constitute this glorious assembly, have come through much tribulation, purged out sin and pride from their lives, humbling themselves before God.*
The word used in the Revelation is different from that in the rest of the New Testament. It is a diminutive form and means "little lamb "-arnion. It is a gentle term of affection, just as we would use "little lamb."
Here is emphasized that all power is of God-all power is of love-and God's strength is made perfect in weakness and gentleness. A "little lamb" accomplished the great work foretold from the beginning which none of the mighty wild- beast nations have been able to do-the complete and permanent subduing of the earth, even to the subduing and eventual abolishing of sin itself-the root of all evil and rebellion. This is the only subduing that is worthwhile. *
"And with him 144,000. "
These are the redeemed. In chapter 7 they are sealed in tribulation-twelve thousand from each tribe of Israel. Here they are manifested in glory. The one hundred and forty- four-the square of twelve- marks the connection with Israel, the foundation of God's purpose- "Salvation is of the Jews" (Jn. 4:22).
On the framework of Jacob's twelve sons, the whole national organization was built. Twelve is four times three. Four appears to indicate universal dominion-"to the four winds"-"the four corners of the earth" -the four world empires of man. And three appears to indicate resurrection, fulfilment, completion.
The camp of Israel was arranged in four groups of three. The breastplate had four rows of three stones each. The new Jerusalem has four sides with three gates on each side. The twenty-four priestly courses of David's kingdom, and the twenty-four elders of the Revelation point to a doubling of the twelve, foreshadowing the union of Jew and Gentile-
"Other sheep have I which are not of this fold."
Twelve is the pattern of the ruling subdivisions of the Kingdom of God, past and future. There were twelve princes of the tribes, heads of their father's houses under the king; the
twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel under the King of kings (Matt. 19:28).
The year, which is measured by the sun, is divided into twelve months, each ruled by the moon, the secondary light-four seasons of three months each. The day, again measured by the sun, is divided into twelve hours. So those Kings and Priests who reign subordinate with
Christ are twelve times twelve times one thousand.
Twelve squared is twelve intensified-given body and reality.There are no hidden inner chambers in the Ezekiel temple of the Age to come-its heart and center is a twelve times twelve altar high up on the holy hill of Zion-the Lamb and the one hundred and forty-four thousand manifested in glory for all the world to see. How beautifully Bro.Sulley's conception of the Temple brings out this glorious picture!
The one thousand symbol illustrates multitudinousness - a large number - One shall chase a thousand, "One among a thousand," "The cattle upon a thousand hills, "A little one shall become a thousand."
The one hundred and forty-four thousand figure teaches us that the multitude of the redeemed are the "Israel of God."**Bro Growcott - The 144 000 on Mount Zion
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 144 000, which were redeemed from the earth.
These verses are expressive of the New Song or song of the Redeemed sung by the saints on Mount Zion, which only they can sing. John hears this as the voice of many waters ( a multitude called out of the miry sea of nations), as thunder (warrior priests), and as harpers harping with their harps (symbolic of their joy, praise and thanksgiving to the Lord). Here is no brassy, self righteous outpouring of the flesh, but sweet harmony and joy of a united multitude in which there is no discord, true friends, united in their common appreciation of divine Truth and repudiation of error (Pslm. I. 50, Pslm.33).*
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.
Three further attributes are noted by John pertaining to this glorious multitude-
1. Not defiled with women 2. Virgins 3. They follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,
1. The women are the false woman of Apostasy. They are undefiled by Apostasy, keep separate, not cohabit, testify against it.
They follow the Lamb (Jhn.l0). The Lamb represents the Truth. They follow the Truth, not adulterated unions. This requires faith, courage, and discernment, not simply accepting the status quo, but having the courage of our own convictions to take action where necessary. These attributes of v.4 are not just 'after thoughts,' they are essential, and no one who does not manifest these attributes will be present on Mount Zion. They characterise the true saints, who are styled the firstfruits of the Lamb (the Pentecostian firstfruits).*
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Virgins - this is the true woman of purity of doctrine and life (see Proverbs 1-9). The theme of the false woman and true woman goes all the way through the Word. The Truth is so easily defiled, harlotised, gentilised, heathenised, corrupted, adulterated into spiritual whoredoms (Jer.3, Jer. 7, Is.I, Ezk.8, 9) Which are we?
They also are without guile and faultless before the throne of God (Jde 24,25). They are not hypocrites, but genuine lovers of the Truth and Hope of Israel, their mouths not full of deceit, and craftiness, self justifications.
Faultless - no one is without sin (Rom.2,3), so this must be a state granted them because of their faith under severe trial, whereby they have come forth like gold from the refiners fire (I Pet. I. 7) .*
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The First Angel mission. This is the everlasting or Aionian gospel preached to all nations, tongues and people, following the ascent of the Rainbowed Angel to Mount Zion; following the great earthquake of Olivet (Zech,.4), following the Armageddon conflict. It is a message of warning of further more terrible judgements. The nations are called on to fear God, give glory to him and Worship him who made heaven and earth, and the sea and fountains of waters, for the hour (30yrs) of judgement is come. It seems from this that the saints going forth to the nations (ls.66.19), will occupy about 10 years.
*The Apocalyptic Messenger, July 2016
Bro Richard Lister
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
It is the Father, the Eternal Power, by the Spirit, who doeth the works: as he said to Zechariah,
"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith YAHWEH Tz'vaoth" (iv. 6).
Of their own selves Jesus and his Brethren can do nothing. Their almightiness is of the Father-Spirit,
"Whithersoever the Spirit was to go they went" (Ezek. i. 12,20);
and where they went, there the Spirit of their Father worked. Hence the peculiarity of the sentence, ta de erga auton akolouthei met'auton --
"and their works He goes with them."
He attends upon them as akolouthos, a camp-follower.
He is present in all their encampments; and all the defeats they give their enemies are by his power. How could it be otherwise? For, having been begotten and born of the Spirit, they are as much Spirit as that which has been begotten and born of the flesh is flesh (John iii. 6). Therefore, what they do must of necessity be done by the Spirit -- "he goes with them;" and "their works," the works of the Angel of the Covenant, signified in his roaring, in the little scroll, and in the seven thunders, He does with almighty and invincible power.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
The Similitude of the Son of Man is ,seen sitting upon or invested with a white cloud, a golden crown upon his head; and 'holding a sharp sickle. The white cloud is the glorified company of the saints, a great cloud of witnesses of whom this world is not worthy, who are white because of their righteousness and because of their conquest (Rev .2.26), as the Bride of Christ (Rev .19:7,8).
They have been elevated above the flesh, by the power .of the Sun of Righteousness, and as the similitude of the son of man or multitudinous Christ, prepare for battle. This takes place at Sinai. They wear a,golden crown (stephanos) to signify their mind attuned to God,manifestation ~Rev.14.l Rev'.7.13-l1). and that they are a body politic of kings who shall reign over the earth Rev.5.10). **
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
The similitude of the Son of Man is instructed to thrust in the sickle and reap, for the time has come to reap, "for the harvest of the earth is ripe." The time of judicial wrath of Deity has arrived. This is after the judgement - and preparation of the saints at Sinai.Bro Richard Lister
The Apocalyptic Messenger, March 2016
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
The similitude of the son of man that sat on the cloud thrusts in the sickle and reaps the earth. Bro Thomas equates this with the Pentecostian harvest of Armageddon which commences with the march of the Rainbowed Angel, at Bozrah (Is.63,I, 1s.34), and concludes at Jerusalem (Pslm.68). with the decimation of the Gogian hordes of the Prince of Rosh or Autocrat of all the Russias, who takes the Holy City, and enslaves and depopulates terribly, but his claims to universal dominion are interrupted by the Mighty judgements of the sickle Reaper (Zech.l4, Joe13, Ezk.38,39). Two thirds of Israel perish (Zech.l3). but a remnant is spared, and constitute the armies of Yahweh as a sharp threshing instrument, after their repentence (Zech.l2, Zech.9,I0,ll).
**Bro Richard Lister
The Apocalyptic Messenger, March 2016