The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ?
/ Ewald Frank
15. Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
- Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
- Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
- Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
- Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
- Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
- Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
- Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
- Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
- Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
- Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
- Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
- Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
- Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
- Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
- Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
- Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
- Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
- Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
- Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
- Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
- Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
- Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
- Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy
And I looked and, lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads." (14: 1).
Again the forehead is mentioned in connection with the writing of the name. In chapter 7 we are told about the sealing of the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel in their foreheads. Here the name is added to the sealing. In chapter 14 we see the 144,000 standing sealed on Mount Zion. They are shown with the Lamb which speaks of their redemption. This group of Jews has accepted salvation through the Lamb of God. They will then have the name Immanuel which means God with us (Isa. 7: 14) and Yahshua which means Yahweh Saviour. At that time Isaiah 25: 9 will also be accomplished, "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Mount Zion at that time will have a special significance (Isa. 2 + 4).
"And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of a great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.
And they sang, as it were, a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth." (Rev. 14: 2-3).
Before the heavenly and the earthly Jerusalem are joined together, the chosen from the Jews learn the new song which then will be sang by all who participate in the first resurrection. The first-fruit from the nations is the Bride who sing in heaven at the Wedding Supper. This song is so mighty and sounds right down to the earth, and the 144,000 - the first-fruits of Israel - are the only ones who can learn it and join in with that song. The Bride is composed of all the chosen ones from all nations, peoples and tongues, the 144,000 are the chosen ones from the twelve tribes of Israel.
Of the 144,000 it is said, "These are they who were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.
And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God." (Rev. 14: 4-5).
As already mentioned in chapter 12, the church is symbolised by a woman. These 144,000 are virgins, that means, they did not commit spiritual fornication with any church denomination. They do not belong to the Catholic or Protestant, not to the Methodist or Baptist or any other church. They do not have a possibility of joining a church, because they are led to Christ by the ministry of the two prophets and are sealed in their foreheads. Untouched, they meet the Lamb Who redeemed them and Whom they follow.
In connection with this Jewish group, the Lord said in the Old Testament: "I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies, neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
The Lord hath taken away thy judgements, he hath cast out thine enemy; the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee, thou shalt not see evil any more." (Zeph. 3: 12-15).
In Rev. 14: 6-11 our attention is drawn especially to the calls coming directly from heaven and to the three things which are announced. Firstly, the everlasting Gospel will be faithfully preached to all nations and tongues: "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgement is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (v. 7).
Secondly, the fall of the great Babylon is announced, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (v. 8).
Thirdly, the most important warning to humanity is given not to worship the beast, nor his image, nor to receive the mark of beast in the forehead and the hand, because "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" (14: 9-10). God reacts on nothing else with all His wrath as He does upon those who submit to the antichrist system. Whoever will be found therein at that time, including charismatic trinitarian Pentecostals, and all the other churches united in the World Council of Churches, will be without mercy, the wrath of God, fire and brimstone are awaiting them.
This shows us how essential it is to have the correct knowledge of what the beast, the image of the beast and the mark of the beast are. This we gather from the incomparable threat. Whoever falls into the trap of these religious deceptions, which do not permit one to see the actual danger, as they are presented in a Christian-like manner, receives the mark and would have to suffer the consequences.
God is merciful, His grace abounds, He forgives all things. If we ask in faith, He forgives all guilt. But whosoever in this most decisive hour in the history of mankind takes sides with the antichrist system mocks Christ and rejects Him. This He cannot forgive, when people look up to the antichrist who speaks about peace and forgiveness but cannot give, instead of looking and turning to the Saviour Who alone gives peace and forgiveness. One must look through this religiously decorated matter and know about the immutable consequences which are connected with it for all who participate.
The prophetic significance and the revelation of all these symbols could only occur now, as there is need for them to be revealed and brought to the open by a true prophetic ministry. No evangelist and no Bible teacher had access, until now, to this prophetical part. God does all things in His Own order. He allots the ministry to each of His servants; to the evangelists, the Bible teachers, the pastors etc. The prophetical part with which we are concerned must be left to a prophet, for "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants, the prophets." (Amos 3: 7). The revealed Word always came to and through the prophets, and then through the apostles and servants of Christ. The interpretations on the other hand came always by the scribes and the theologians. God has placed also into the New Testament Church the teaching, the prophetic and the apostolic ministry (1 Cor. 12: 28; Eph. 4: 11 a. o.).
The terrible doom of those who are misled is being further described as follows, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." (14: 11).
Right after this serious announcement, we are told what will happen to those who remain faithful to the Lord during the time of trial: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them." (vv. 12-13). At this time the second part of the fifth seal will be accomplished as indicated in Rev. 6: 11.
In the second part of chapter 14 we are informed about two different harvests. The first one, from verse 14 to 16, refers to those who are in Christ: "And I looked and, behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat, like the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
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.
And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped."
The Son of man on the white cloud is the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist spoke in reference to this harvest, " and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the granary, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Mt. 3: 12; Lk. 3: 17). At the end of the time of grace He will gather His wheat into the heavenly granary. In the parable the Son of man gave about the grain of wheat, which had to fall into the ground to multiply, we are told about the manifold fruit of this seed, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (Jn. 12: 24).
This divine seed experiences the growth until it ripens and finally matures. "For the earth bringeth forth fruit of itself: first the blade, then the ear, after that the full grain in the ear.
But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come." (Mk. 4: 28-29).
The Son of man has sown this good wheat seed. "He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one." (Mt. 13: 37-38).
Together with His angels (Mt. 13: 39), He will put the sickle into the harvest and take His Own to Himself. The announcement was made: "Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." At the first resurrection it will become obvious that the chosen first-fruits will be completely appearing in the image of the Son of God (1 Jn. 3: 2).
In Rev. 14: 17-20, the Scripture speaks of a completely different harvest which will take place on the vine of the earth. "And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."
Whoever takes into consideration the parallel scriptures will understand that with these events God's wrath finally breaks forth and will reach its climax in the last battle against the enemies of Israel. The prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New spoke about this event. The key-words with this harvest are "winepress" and "vengeance".
The Lord is not happy with this harvest. It is the harvest of those who have fallen away from God. The comparison with other Scriptures makes it clear, that God at that time will deal with all humanity who will be against Him before commencing the Millennial Reign. As grapes are thrown into the winepress, so humanity will then be thrown into the winepress of God. The God of love, grace and salvation will then be the God of wrath and judgement Who said, "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense!" (Dt. 32: 35; Heb. 10: 30).
In Isa 63: 2 He was asked, "Why art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him who treadeth in the winefat?
I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was none with me; for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
And I will tread down the peoples in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth." (vv. 2-6).
"The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitations; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, like those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh; he will give those who are wicked to the sword." (Jer. 25: 30-31).
In the Prophet Joel we also read about this great day of vengeance with godless humanity. "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about.
Put in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe; come, get down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great." (Joel 3: 12-13).
In different scriptures we read about the things which will happen in the day of vengeance, spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah (61: 2). In the same verse, the acceptable year of the Lord was announced. God wanted humanity to be part of His plan of salvation. He Himself is eternal and His plan has to reach beyond the time and be for eternity. Whoever has purposely rejected God, the Creator, and the Lord, the Saviour, will have no place in God's fulfilled plan of redemption when total harmony is accomplished between God and humanity. The personal acceptance of the reconciliation with God in Christ is the condition to receive eternal life and therefore live throughout eternity.