“And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion and with Him an Hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads…,” Rev. 14:1-5.
As I stated in Part 1, many have assumed and believed that this is talking of literal Israel. Others feel it’s the small size of people out of the myriads of humanity that will be with Christ in heaven to form His government. All are nothing but human conjectures. There’s nothing in this passage to indicate that as we shall see later on.
“THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST”
Looking at this statement, it clearly shows that this apocalyptic writing is about JESUS CHRIST. Rev. 1:1,
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him…”
In other words, it is a book that unveils Christ and His activities, which God gave to Jesus to show unto His servant John of the things which MUST SHORTLY come to pass.
Notice also that it is JESUS CHRIST.
Now Christ is not the surname of Jesus. So what we have here is simply the ministry and activities that God gave to Him to unveil to John in relation to the work of redemption. Jesus being the Lamb of God and Christ being the Son of God, that God gave to Him to unveil to mankind. And this He must communicate to John in symbols.
Therefore, we can see that such symbols as lions, dragons, waters, etc., as seen in this book should not be taken literally; because we cannot imagine that the Lamb as Jesus is a four legged creature. So essentially they all point to the activities of Christ.
Therefore when we want to talk of the 144,000, we should not be imagining the literal counting of 144,000 people up there in the sky.
That will completely be misleading and a misrepresentation of the thoughts and the mind of John.
Take for instance in Rev. 17:1, we are shown the picture of
“a great whore that sitteth upon many waters.”
Now what do we understand by this? Should we picture a literal harlot woman sitting upon a literal body of water? Well the meaning, of course, is found in verse 15;
“And He saith unto me, the waters, which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
I am sure also that my readers do understand that when we talk of a woman in the Bible, we are talking of a Church such as “the bride, the Lamb’s wife,” Rev. 21:9. See Eph. 5:25, 32.
So here Rev. 17 is talking of the Church system controlling humanity, not the Bride of Christ.
In a similar vein, when we read of
“… (the) pure water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb,” Rev. 22:1;
we should not be expecting to see a literal river flowing from the throne of God in heaven somewhere. We should understand that in the Scriptures water carries different shades of meaning.
But in this context, we are talking of the cleansing power of the Word of God that is coming forth uncorrupted from God’s own throne.
Think of it. The Word says,
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water,” Heb. 10:22.
So what do we mean here by this pure water? Certainly we are not talking of a literal bath in a literal river of H20.
And again, the Word says, “… that He (Christ) might sanctify and cleanse it (the Church) with the washing of water by the word,” Eph. 5:26.
“Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you,” John 15:5. The Psalmist would ask, “Wherewith shall a man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word,” Ps. 119:9.
So symbolically, we can see that the pure water flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb in Rev. 22:1 is the pure undiluted Word of God that carries with it the cleansing power of regeneration in the life of those who sincerely obey and follow the Word.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren … Being born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever,” 1Pet. 1:22-23.
I am sure with this background, it will be easy for you to comprehend what we are about to say as touching Rev. 14:1-5.
A LAMB STOOD ON MOUNT ZION
“And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with Him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads,” Rev. 14:1.
As we begin to meditate on our subject on who the 144,000 are supposed to be, I will also like to quote the above verse of Scripture from the Jerusalem Bible translation in order for us to begin to pick out the elements contained therein.
“Next in my vision, I saw Mount Zion, and standing on it a Lamb who had with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with His name and His Father’s name written on their forehead.”
Now it is clear to us from this translation that what we are dealing with is “A VISION.” And as we have said earlier on, you cannot interpret a vision in a literal sense; otherwise you will lose the entire meaning of what the man who had the vision and has so put down in symbols intends to convey.
When Peter saw the vision of a basket descending from heaven with all kinds of beast, (reptiles) to which the voice said he should kill and eat (Acts 10:1-34), it was not a literal basket full of literal beasts and reptiles, but the very nature of the Gentiles and here the very household of Cornelius, a Gentile to whom God was sending Peter. He refused the order to kill and eat (v. 14) because he, as a Jew, would not keep company with a Gentile (v. 28). Read the account for yourself.
What we are trying to establish here is that the true meaning of what the elements in a vision stands for must be brought out; otherwise one will be misled, thereby missing the true spiritual value that the Spirit intends to convey through the author.
A LAMB STOOD ON MOUNT ZION
The first element we intend to interpret in the vision is the Lamb. Who is the Lamb in the Scripture? And what is Mount Zion?
To answer the first question above, I shall quote the following Scriptures;
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” John 1:29. “And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith Behold the Lamb of God,” John 1:36.
Talking about His crucifixion, we are told, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a Lamb before his shearer, open He not His mouth” (Acts 8:32; Isa. 53:7).
And so, 1Pet. 1:18-20 would say,
“18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
Evidently, we can see from the above Scriptures that the Lamb is Jesus Christ Himself. Pure and simple!
As I stated earlier on, we shall be taking each element one after the other; meaning it’s going to be a long study, if only you can stay on.
The next question is, “Why is He standing?
To be continued…