Revelation 14:1-5: The 144,000
- New song
We have just seen the war of the ages with the devil, the beast of persecution and the beast of false religion raging against the church and dividing the human race into two camps. Those who serve the beast, and this is indicated by the mark on their hands and forehead symbolising mind and action, representing the whole person not following Christ but the false religion inspired by Satan; and those who are faithful to Christ. We have seen a great exercise of power where having been given great authority and power, and even allowed to wage war against the church, even forcing a show of outward allegiance and bringing economic pressure and persecution to bear upon any who would reject the beast. The question that would naturally arise is, what happens to the church under this tirade?
Revelation chapter 14 is the conclusion to this cycle which started in chapter 12. This last chapter gives us a view of the church as the dust settles from the war being waged against it. After a vulgar display of power the church in 14:1-5 is shown to be safe in the intermediate state. These verses paint a picture of contrasts that as a terrible and apparently powerful war is being waged against the church resulting in many deaths, in heaven there is a celebration and worship. The emphasis of these verses is to show that the church is safe, victorious and holy in contrast to those who follow the beast. Our message today will look at the many characteristics of the people of God as they are revealed in these 5 verses. There are at least 8 things that we can highlight.
But before we get into the text let us look at the rest of the chapter. The rest of this chapter also shows us some more details about the time when Satan and his beasts are fighting against the church. After a sneak-peak into the state of the church we are returned to other realities of the wartime. In verses 6-13 we see three angels with words of life and death, and the cycle then ends as all the others do with the second coming of Christ in judgement and the victory of the saints, 14:14-15:4.