BEHOLD THE LAMB
Lord, You are truly the Lamb of God.
Read REVELATION 14:1–13
The Lamb and the 144,000
14 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
The Three Angels
6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
8 A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’[a] which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
a Revelation 14:8 Isaiah 21:9
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Thank You, Lord, that we are safe in Your care. Help us not to doubt, in the dark, what You have revealed in the light.
What a contrast! We turn from the dragon and his two beasts (an unholy trinity) to the Lamb, who stands on firm and holy ground. The landscape changes from persecution and martyrdom to the security of Mount Zion. We move from the unsatisfactory incompleteness of 666 to the completeness of 144,000. No longer do we look for the mark of the beast, for the chosen ones have the name of the Lamb and of the Father on their foreheads. Instead of loud commanding voices we hear rich music—a waterfall, some thunder, and an orchestra of harpists.
Behind them come the voices of a choir singing a new heavenly song. While the words are concealed, it is likely they celebrate the victory of the Lamb. The 144,000 are described in five-fold detail. They have been redeemed by Christ; during their natural life they were faithful in belief and lifestyle; they were willing to follow Jesus to death if need be; now they are the first fruits of God’s great harvest of humankind; and they are people of integrity, true in every sense—especially in their speech.
Three angels now appear, proclaiming the hour of God’s judgment. This is the end of Babylon (Rome) which, like all empires, oppressed the people and made war against other nations. There will be a final division between those who are the beast’s and those who belong to the Lord—and it is clear that this choice matters to the highest degree. In such dramatic times, the call to the church is to show patient endurance, to obey God’s commandments and to remain faithful to Jesus. It is a call we would do well to heed today. At its heart is the proclamation of the eternal and universal Gospel which, once heard, should move us to worship and reverence God. Those who were faithful to death will not have given their lives in vain.
How much of the flattering language of verses 4 and 5 might apply to you?
Lord, help us to sing a new song to You, and help us to sing it with a fervent spirit in anticipation of our existence ahead.
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