Summary: Message 25 in our exposition of Revelation exploring chapter 14 and the seven angels.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“The Lamb and the Seven angels” Revelation 14
I. PROLOGUE 1:1-20 (Things you have seen)
II. Messages to the Seven churches 2-3 (Things with are)
III. Last Days 4-22 (Things which are about to take place)
A. Heavenly worship around the throne 4-5
B. The Seven seals 6:1-8:1
C. The Seven Trumpets 8-11
D. Interlude 12-14
The end time drama includes participants from every realm seen and unseen. God on the throne, the Lamb, the Holy Spirit, the angelic hosts, the martyrs, the witnesses, persecuted Jews and many faithful followers of Christ at the end who refuse to follow antichrist. The interlude also introduces some of the final players in this end time drama. Satan (dragon), the Antichrist (Beast), the False Prophet, the demonic hosts, the ungodly governments and people who have taken the mark of loyalty to the Antichrist.
1. The Pregnant Woman and the Great Red Dragon 12:1-6
2. Great War In Heaven (Battle royal) 12:7-17
3. Two Beasts Rising 13:1-18
4. The Lamb and the 144,000 14:1-5
“Then I looked” introduces another vision not necessarily chronological.
Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. Revelation 14:1
Several questions come to mind. What is meant by Mount Zion? Where does this fit in the chronology? How is the Lamb standing on Mount Zion? Which 144,000 does this describe?
Mount Zion is both a heavenly reference and earthly reference to God’s dwelling place. The earthly is the reflection of the true heavenly. The two will converge at the end. Hebrews 12 spoke of a spiritual Mount Zion.
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24
Since we do not have any indication that the 144,000 have died and rose to heaven, I favor a view that this is a reference to Jerusalem where the action during the final days will center.
Some project this scene to a time just before the Millennium after the return of Jesus.
This would appear anticlimactic since a full description of His glorious return occurs later.
There is no reason to see this as a different group from the one sealed in chapter 7.
The presence of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion is an indication that Jesus has never been divorce from the action. His presence continually protected and directed this group of faithful followers. Their faithfulness in the face of fierce opposition and persecution is a tribute to the ability of God to keep His own. They are still standing and Jesus is standing with them through it all. John heard a voice from heaven and a song from heaven. Who is singing? Some say it is the 144,000 singing. If we put them on earth, it can’t be them because the voice comes from heaven. We are not told who was really singing. It was someone in the heavenly throne room described before. It was in the presence of the throne, the elders and the four angelic beings.
That leaves the martyrs. Perhaps it was a song sung by previous survivors of severe persecution; a song from the heart that would touch the heart of the 144,000.
John tired to describe the sound or the accompaniment he heard from heaven.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang* a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. Revelation 14:2-5
Rushing water and loud thunder
Besides being marked by the Father and the Lamb, John further identifies this awesome group of warriors.
• They alone could identify with the song being sung. “learn” could mean to “hear deeply”