Revelation 14:1-5, “The Lamb And The 144,000”

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I. Introduction. Chapter 14 brings to a conclusion the material found in the section of chapters 12 through 14. Chapter 12 deals with the important characters of the period, chapter 13 with the wicked rulers of the period, and chapter 14 with the ultimate triumph of Christ. All of this material is not chronological but prepares the way for the climax which begins in chapter 15. Chapter 14 consists of a series of pronouncements and visions assuring the reader of the ultimate triumph of Christ and the judgment of the wicked. Much of the chapter is prophetic of events that have not yet taken place, but which are now impending. The chapter begins with the assurance that the Lamb will ultimately stand in triumph on Mount Zion with his followers, and it concludes with a series of pronouncements of judgments upon the wicked (Revelation Commentary, John F. Walvoord, https://bible.org/seriespage/14-victory-lamb-and-his-followers).

II. Video A. Who are the 144,000, and what power has God given to them? (See video details at the bottom of the page).

III. Subject Of Study. The Lamb And The 144,000.

A. Text. Revelation 14:1-5 (NKJV)

1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.

B. Comments. Consider the understanding of the following highly regarded theologians on Rev 14:1-5.

1. Ryrie Study Bible. Charles Ryrie (deceased). https://www.moodypublishers.com/authors/r/charles-ryrie/

14:1 “the Lamb,” Christ. “144,000,” The same group that is mentioned in 7:4: “One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.” (Their work on earth is done; they survived the tribulation.)

14:4 “not…defiled with women.” This may simply mean that the 144,000 were unmarried, or it may indicate their state of separation unto God (2 Cor 11:2). “first fruits,” The salvation of the 144,000 will precede the salvation of a larger group of Israelites, who will turn to the Lord at the end of the Tribulation (Isa 2:3, Rom 11:15).

2. MacArthur Study Bible. https://www.gty.org/

14:2 harps. (note from 5:8). These ancient stringed instruments not only accompanied the songs of God’s people (1 Chr 25:6; Ps 33:2), but also accompanied prophecy (cf. 1 Sam 10:5). The 24 elders, representative of the redeemed church, played their harps in praise and in a symbolic indication that all the prophets had said was about to be fulfilled.

14:3 new song. The song of redemption, which is being sung by all the redeemed saints in one gigantic choir. They are rejoicing over the accomplishment of God’s entire redemptive work before Christ’s return (Ps 33:1–3; 40:3; 96:1; 144:9, 10; 149; Luke 15:10; see note on 5:9). the four living creatures, and the elders. See notes on 4:4, 6.

Note: 5:9. This new song anticipates the final, glorious redemption that God is about to begin.

Note: 4:4. twenty-four elders. Their joint rule with Christ, their white garments (19:7, 8), and their golden crowns (2:10) all seem to indicate that these 24 represent the redeemed (vv. 9–11; 5:5–14; 7:11–17; 11:16–18; 14:3; 19:4). The question is which redeemed? Not Israel, since the nation is not yet saved, glorified, and coronated. That is still to come at this point in the events of the end. Their resurrection and glory will come at the end of the 7 year tribulation time (cf. Dan. 12:1–3). Tribulation saints aren’t yet saved (7:9, 10). Only one group will be complete and glorified at that point—the church. Here elders represent the church, which sings the song of redemption (5:8–10). They are the overcomers who have their crowns and live in the place prepared for them, where they have gone with Jesus (cf. John 14:1–4).

Note: 4:6. four living creatures. Lit. “four living ones or beings.” These are the cherubim (sing., cherub), those angels frequently referred to in the OT in connection with God’s presence, power, and holiness. Although John’s description is not identical to Ezekiel’s, they are obviously both referring to the same supernatural and indescribable beings (Pss. 80:1; 99:1; see notes on Ezek. 1:4–25; 10:15).

14:5 no deceit. The 144,000 speak God’s truth accurately and precisely, with no exaggeration or understatement (Zeph 3:13). without fault. Not sinless, but sanctified (see Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col. 1:22).

3. Scofield Reference Notes. C.I. Scofield, (deceased) https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn.html

14:4 Redemption. Rom 3:24, “to deliver by paying a price.” The N.T. doctrine. The N.T. records the fulfillment of the O.T. types and prophecies of redemption through the sacrifice of Christ.

Video B. Does God specifically protect the 144,000, and if so, why? (See video details at the bottom of the page.)

4. Things To Come. Prophecy study of J. Dwight Pentecost (deceased). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Dwight_Pentecost

Things To Come, Page 300.In Chapter 7, the 144,000 are sealed by God, set apart to a special ministry, before the Great Tribulation begins. They seem to be sealed at the very outset of the tribulation period. In all probability, the multitude of Gentiles, described in the passage that follows (Rev 7:9-17), has come to a knowledge of salvation through the ministry of this group. In Chapter 14 the same group is pictured at the termination of the tribulation, when the kingdom is established. The returning King is on Mt. Zion, as was predicted of Him (Zech 14:4). At his return the faithful witnesses gather unto Him, having been redeemed (Rev 14:4) and having faithfully witnessed in the midst of apostasy (Rev 14:4-5). They are called “the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb” (Rev 14:4), that is they are the first of the harvest of the tribulation period that will come into the millennium to populate the millennial earth. As the judgments are about to be poured out upon Babylon (Rev 14:8), upon the Beast (Rev 14:9-12), upon the Gentiles (Rev 14:14-17), and upon unbelieving Israel (Rev 14:18-20), these 144,000 are viewed as being preserved through all that the the earth experiences so that they they may be the firstfruits of that period.

IV. Saved “through the tribulation.”

As has been explained in this article, the 144,000 Jewish missionaries will be protected by God, and will be saved “through the tribulation.”

Revelation 7:4 (NKJV) 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

MacArthur note. 7:4. One hundred and forty-four thousand. A missionary corps of redeemed Jews who are instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation (vv. 9–17). They will be the firstfruits of a new redeemed Israel (v. 4; Zech. 12:10). Finally, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the OT (see notes on Rom. 11:25–27). all the tribes of the children of Israel. By sovereign election, God will seal 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes, promising His protection while they accomplish their mission.

V. Video Details.

A. John Ankerberg Show. Sep 28, 2018. From the series “Revelation: The Last Words of Jesus” featuring very special guests Dr. Ron Rhodes, Dr. Ed Hindson, and, Dr. Mark Hitchcock. To obtain this entire series, please visit https://www.jashow.org/resources/the-…(Check the credentials of each man on my Page, “About Sources And Links.”)

B. John Ankerberg Show. Oct 1, 2018. From the series “Revelation: The Last Words of Jesus” featuring very special guests Dr. Ron Rhodes, Dr. Ed Hindson, and, Dr. Mark Hitchcock.

VI. Additional biographical information on the sources of information that are mentioned in this article, as well as other credible sources, can be found on the Page in this blog, “About Sources.”

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Israel – Joshua 11 – Relationship And Obedience

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I. Video. The Destruction of the Canaanites. Dr. Seth Tarrer. See bio and video details below.

II. Introduction.

A. Genesis 9:18-19 (NKJV) Noah and His Sons. 18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.

B. In this, and other studies of the Bible, we come “face to face” with the fact that all people in the Bible are related, due to their relation to Noah. There is a common ground of relationship among those whom are engaged in deadly conflict with each other, especially as we study the cousins that are in conflict in the land of Canaan; there is, however, a major difference in their relationships with “Yah·weh” (LORD 3068: the proper name of the God of Israel). God told the Israelites (descendants of Shem), that they were His chosen people (Deu 14:2), and that He would never leave them nor forsake them (Deu 31:6). “The cousins of the Israelites” (the descendants of Ham and Japheth), had no relationship of intimacy with God, such as was experienced by the Israelites (the descendants of Shem).

C. In this, the last of the articles about Joshua’s relationship with God, and his leadership of the Israelites, we will discuss people, things, obedience and relationships. The people are the Israelites and the Canaanites. The things are the material possessions of the Canaanites. Obedience and relationships, relate to the Israelites and Yahweh.

III. Text Joshua 11 (NKJV)

A.. The Northern Conquest.

1 And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor heard these things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph, 2 and to the kings who were from the north, in the mountains, in the plain south of Chinneroth, in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west, 3 to the Canaanites in the east and in the west, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite in the mountains, and the Hivite below Hermon in the land of Mizpah. 4 So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. 5 And when all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.

6 But the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” 7 So Joshua and all the people of war with him came against them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and they attacked them. 8 And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, who defeated them and chased them to Greater Sidon, to the Brook Misrephoth, and to the Valley of Mizpah eastward; they attacked them until they left none of them remaining. 9 So Joshua did to them as the Lord had told him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.

10 Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword; for Hazor was formerly the head of all those kingdoms. 11 And they struck all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them. There was none left breathing. Then he burned Hazor with fire.

12 So all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took and struck with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. 13 But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, except Hazor only, which Joshua burned. 14 And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the children of Israel took as booty for themselves; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they left none breathing. 15 As the Lord had commanded Moses His servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

B. Summary of Joshua’s Conquests

16 Thus Joshua took all this land: the mountain country, all the South, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, and the Jordan plain—the mountains of Israel and its lowlands, 17 from Mount Halak and the ascent to Seir, even as far as Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings, and struck them down and killed them. 18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. 19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. All the others they took in battle. 20 For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

21 And at that time Joshua came and cut off the Anakim from the mountains: from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel; Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. 22 None of the Anakim were left in the land of the children of Israel; they remained only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod.

23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war.

IV. Comments.

A. Ryrie Study Bible.

11:1 News of Joshua’s victories in the South, prompted the kings of the city-states in the areas of Galilee, and westward, to form a coalition. This alliance was led by the king of Hazor, a city 5 miles Southwest of the now-drained Lake Huleh, 10 miles North of the Sea of Galilee.
11:4 Though probably exagerated, Josephus said that the northern armies had 300,000 infantry, 10,000 calvary, and 20,000 chariots.
11:6 “hamstring.” Joshua was commanded to cripple the enemies’ horses and burn their chariots, rather than capture them. In this way, the Israelites would not put their trust in horses and chariots.
11:13 “mounds.” Hills of accumulated debris from earlier towns.
11:21 “Anakim.” Giants living in the South who had terrified the spies more than 40 years before. See note on Num 13:33.

B. MacArthur Study Bible.

11:12–15 A summary of Joshua’s northern campaign (11:1–15).
11:18 war a long time. The conquest took approximately 7 years.1405–1398 b.c.(14:10). Only Gibeon submitted without a fight (v.19).
11:21 Anakim. Enemies who dwelt in the southern area which Joshua had defeated. They descended from Anak (“long-necked”), and were related to the giants who made Israel’s spies feel small as grasshoppers by comparison (Num 13:28–33). Compare also Deu 2:10-11,21. Their territory was later given to Caleb as a reward for his loyalty (14:6–15).
11:22 Anakim…Gath. Some of them remained in Philistine territory, most notably those who preceded Goliath (1 Sam 17:4).

C. The New American Commentary, Joshua, Vol 5.

11:11 The treatment for Hazor was the most severe; it was burned, while its fellow cities were not, but the people in all of the cities (11:1-5) were accorded the same treatment; they were utterly exterminated, and no one that breathed remained.
11:20 Rahab and the Gibeonites were Canaanites who were spared, even if they were for different reasons. Those Canaanites who resisted Israel and its God, however, were shown no mercy and were annihlated. God’s hardening of their hearts was due, at least in part, to their own stubbornness and resistance of Israel’s God. Had they been willing to react as Rahab (or even the Gibeonites) had done, undoubtedly the results would have been different. (Rahab Chap 2, 6; Gibeonites Chap 9).

D. The Moody Bible Bible Commentary

11:14 Where Joshua’s armies went there was complete destruction; where they neglected to go, people survived. Waging “total war” was because the sin of the Amorite was irremediable (Gen 15:16). God’s only solution, as in Sodom and Gomorrah, was to rid the world of these people (v 20). Joshua did everything that Moses commanded in general and everything that the Lord had commanded in particular.

E. My Comments.

1. From 1968 through 1998, the conflict that existed between Northern Ireland and Great Britain resulted in 3,600 people being killed and more than 30,000 more being wounded. https://www.britannica.com/event/The-Troubles-Northern-Ireland-history During that time of conflict, children were born on one side of the conflict with deep hatred toward those of the other side being pounded into their minds. Such hatred stayed with them throughout their childhood until adulthood, and very likely until today.

2. In the middle east, conflict and hatred of many Muslims for Jews and Christians does not need a link to explain the situation. Safely stated, many Muslim children are born and taught to hate Christians and Jews. Such hatred does not end, and will not end, until the second coming of Christ occurs, which will take place at the end of the tribulation (Zech 14:1-4).

a. God told the Israelites to not do the abominable things that the Canaanites did, such as incest, adultery, homosexuality and beastiality (Lev 18:1-3).

b. In regard to the destruction of the Canaanites by Israel, as we are studying now, the Canaanite people were guilty of worshiping false gods, and committing many cruelties, such as burning their children as they offered them as sacrifices to their gods. Deu 12:29-31, Lev 18:21; “according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do,” (Lev 18:3).

c. The Israelites were told by God to conquer and destroy Canaan, to not mix with the Canaanites, to be Holy, to know that they are God’s chosen people (Deu 7:1-6).

d. Where people in Canaanite cities were destroyed, those Canaanites would no longer commit their violent and abominable sins; neither would the children in those cities repeat the sins of their parents. This sounds cruel, but let’s relate it to the love and grace of God. As we consider the names of the nations that opposed Israel (Josh 11:1-6), it is interesting to know that none of those city-states exist today. However, Israel still exists, and will continue to exist from now, through the tribulation, with born-again Jews (John 3:3) being present in the Kingdom Age of the millennial reign of Christ. Born-again Jews will also enter the eternal state of the new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-2). Written on the gates of the new Jerusalem will be the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. On the wall of the city will also be written the names of the twelve apostles of Christ (Rev 21:12-14). Only those whom have been born again, of the Old and New Testament times, will be allowed into the New Jerusalem: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death,” (Rev 21:8). Consider “liars.” In today’s political world we can see that those, whom have a lifestyle of trying to destroy the lives and reputations of others through lies, have not been born again and do not have the Spirit of “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” dwelling within the spirits of “all liars,” prompting them to live righteous lives (John 3:3, 14:20, 26).

e. Consider Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31). Both men were dead. The rich man was “in Hades,” and the beggar (Lazarus), was in “the bosom of Abraham.” The rich man was suffering, not because he was rich but because he was not righteous. The beggar was in comfort, not because he was poor but because he was righteous. This teaching occurred during the Old Covenant/Old Testament.

f. Consider little children and Matthew 19:14. “But Jesus said, Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

g. The gospel of Matthew is also a part of the Old Covenant/Old Testament. There is no example of any child spending eternity in Hades. Our Lord has a desire for children to have an eternity of comfort, in which Lazarus found himself. Christ had no problem with children; He would not have them suffering throughout eternity. Look again at the words of Christ in Matt 19:14, “Let the little children come to Me.” That verse shows that children are special to Christ, just as were the children which may have been killed by the Israelites in Canaan.

h. Upon the death of any Canaanite children, such children would have immediately found themselves in the same place that Lazarus found himself, which was in the “bosom of Abraham.” Abraham’s bosom was the blessed place of the righteous dead, where such people will remain until the resurrection of the Old Testament righteous dead occurs (Dan 12:2-3) at the end of the tribulation. At that time, the Old Testament saints will experience a reunion of “body, soul and spirit.”

i. At the end of the tribulation, the Old Testament righteous dead will be resurrected and will live throughout the thousand-year millennium; they will continue in life throughout the eternal state (Rev 21:1-3).

j. The Canaanite adults had no such hope of eternity of blessed death to look forward to; they found themselves in the same place that the rich man found himself, which was one of experiencing unending conscious torment. Such conscious awareness of torment, will last until the time of the resurrection of the unrighteous dead (Dan 12:2-3), which will take place at the end of the millennium. From the time of the resurrection of the unrighteous dead, with the reuniting of “body, soul and spirit” (all of which are unsaved), their next stopping point will be the great white throne judgment, and then the lake of fire (Rev 20:10-15).

V. The ending of our study of Joshua.

A. Joshua 21:43-45 (NKJV) The Promise Fulfilled. Republican lawmakers opposed calls from Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion officials to remove restrictions on at-home abortion drugs in a Wednesday letter provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. 43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

B. Comment. MacArthur. This sums up God’s fulfillment of His covenant promise to give Abraham’s people the Land (Gen 12:7; Josh 1:2, 5–9). God also kept His Word in giving the people rest (Deu 12:9, 10). In a valid sense, the Canaanites were in check, under military conquest as God had pledged (Josh 1:5), not posing an immediate threat. Not every enemy had been driven out, however, leaving some to stir up trouble later. But, God’s people failed to exercise their responsibility and possess their land to the full degree in various areas.).

C. Comment. Mine. During the Kingdom Age of the millennial reign of Christ, the land that God had promised to the Jews will extend eastward from the Nile River in Egypt, to the Euphrates River in Iraq (Gen 15:18-21).

V. Video details.

The Destruction of the Canaanites. 1,508 views•Nov 21, 2017.

Thirdmill. 20K subscribers. Dr. Seth Tarrer, https://christianuniversity.org/professors/seth-tarrer/

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