Summary: Triumphant Saints in an age of Satanic oppression
Revelation 14:1, “Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”
We live in a world of sheer and utter chaos; in the midst of this chaotic world in which we live in sometimes what we must do; instead of going to take some time in quietness and reflection; what we must do instead is to go to God in prayer. The age in which we are covering; mainly the Tribulation which we will be looking at one component of in Revelation 14:1-5, is among the hardest verses and even more complex is the issue it raises for us today. Some have viewed today Mount Zion as heavenly but also earthly, arguing justly from the same Scriptures. Some have viewed the 144,000 in Revelation 14:1-5 as the same as in Revelation 7. The only problem with such a view of the 144,000 in Revelation 14:1-5 in comparison to these is the description of the 144,000 within Revelation 14:1-5. It is seemingly without question that what we are seeing here is a heavenly Mount Zion. What we could have here is very complex, but fits perfectly into our understanding. Revelation 21 describes a new Jerusalem, and in Scripture Jerusalem is also known as Mount Zion. The stark contrast between Revelation 13 and 14 really makes one take notice. The Apostle John here switches between describing pure evil, and pure good. The best way to view these verses; Revelation 14:1-5; then is to understand that the Mount Zion the Lamb is standing upon and the 144,000 is really the New Jerusalem. This could seemingly then be describing an event prior to the Millennial reign of Christ, or it couldn’t. Many have said that this scene is in heaven; yet we have not gotten through the bowl judgments and the Glorious appearing.
The struggle with this verse is such that it that I merely wish to present some views on these verses, rather than to expound upon it very much in depth. It would seem to me personally that these 144,000 differ simply from Revelation 7 saints for the simple fact that Revelation 7:4 says, “And I heard how many were marked with the seal of God. There were 144,000 who were sealed from all the tribes of Israel:” Yet Revelation 14:1 describes them as, “With him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads”, so the real problem lies within our understanding. If we want to view these saints as among the 144,000 then we have a problem. The problem we run into then is that these are merely on earth. From the studies that has been ongoing over the past few months the best of what can be gathered seemingly seems to point to the fact that these saints are “super saints” saints who have made a stand throughout the ages for there faith in Christ. If this is then true, it would clear the confusion for the simple fact that those who were with Christ were those who had completely surrendered to the will and purpose of God for all ages; preach the Word; fulfill the Great Commission; live the Great Commandment and be about the Ultimate Purpose of Christ. It would then lead us to Hebrews 11 which describes these saints and the actions that they have done. It would be these then that made the stand for the faith and were counted among the first to understand as first fruits the great knowledge that comes from following God’s will absolutely.
Yet in contrast again to Revelation 14:1; Revelation 13:16 says, “He required everyone--great and small, rich and poor, slave and free--to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead.” The contrast would be that those who have staked their claims with Christ stand in direct opposition to the Satanic powers and influences of this age. It would be then no surprise those who have truly sought the face of God; among them the Apostle Paul whose life was forever changed would be then counted among those who would be among the 144,000, perhaps much like Daniel staking his life in the understanding of God’s revelation meant that he knew that in the end God would have a special place set aside for the faith he had shown during the hard times? In a real sense what we are trying to do is gain a better insight into the Scriptures within this verse. They are not easy to understand as the Apostle John changes and transitions within the scope of his prophecy; making it very hard to understand clearly what he is saying. Yet this is not hard to understand. Those that take the mark will oppose God just like those who don’t accept Jesus in this age are among those who are agents of Satan and those who have accepted Jesus are those who are agents of the Cross. Then we see clearly that the Apostle is again drawing our attention back to the nature of good verses evil; to the fact that we can really only have one decision; yet that decision will affect our eternity. John is replaying once again for us the timeless message of the Cross for our understanding even within the confines of this great prophecy.