June 04 2022
Today, Saturday June 04
Voices and Sounds from Heaven
Revelation 14:1-5 “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. 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. 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. 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. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
We need to remember that the chapters in Revelation 10-14, are describing events that take place in the middle of the Tribulation. In chapter 13, we met two major players in the Tribulation. The Antichrist and the “false prophet” (13:11). In chapter 13 they are empowered by Satan and are speaking and demanding worship. They take control of the world and its population and are intent on setting up the false kingdom of the Antichrist. To control the masses and to fulfill their mission, they require that every person take the “mark of the beast in their foreheads or their right hand (13:16-18).
This brings us to chapter 14, where now God is going to speak from heaven. Matter of fact as we prepare for the last three and half years of the Tribulation to take place in the next three chapters (14-16), the word “voice” is used eleven times. God speaks to His people or to the lost world, or His creatures speak out in praise of the Lord or in warning to the world. As the world moves into the last half of the Tribulation, heaven is not silent.
Also, we noticed that just when we are told that Satan marks his people with his number, that here in chapter 14, God reminds of His 144,000 that are marked with His Name! How encouraging is that! Chapter 14 is a bright contrast to the darkness of chapter 13, which describes Satan (the dragon), Antichrist, the final false prophet, deception, the unredeemed, idolatry, and the mark of the beast. Chapter 14 describes the Lamb, angels, redeemed saints, genuine worship, and those sealed by God. In chapter 13 there is falsehood, wickedness, corruption, and blasphemy; in chapter 14 there is truth, righteousness, purity, and praise.
The opening verses of Revelation 14 introduce the most triumphant group of men the world will ever know. Scripture describes other faithful, godly, uncompromising, committed men, such as Joseph, Daniel, and Paul. But never will there be such a large group at one time. They will emerge from the worst holocaust in history, the Tribulation, battle weary but triumphant; they will be like 144,000 Daniels or Pauls.
Chapter 7 introduced this remarkable group of men. After the horrific events of the sixth seal (6:12-17), the terror-stricken people of the earth will cry out "to the mountains and to the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'" (6:16-17). By that point in the Tribulation, the world will have experienced the unimaginable horrors of the first six seals. There will have been widespread wars, severe famines, deadly plagues, and terrible earthquakes and other natural disasters, all of which will result in millions of deaths.
Sin will run rampant and unchecked over the earth, fueled by Satan and his demon hosts—both those cast from heaven with him (12:9) and those formerly bound demons who will be released (9:1-11, 14-19). Antichrist will unleash the most terrible persecution the world has ever known, and countless thousands of Christians and Jews will be slaughtered. In light of that horrifying, unimaginable situation, and the devastating trumpet and bowl judgments to follow, it will seem impossible for anyone to survive.
It is against that backdrop that the 144,000 are introduced. They will survive both Satan's wrath and persecution and God's judgments on the sinful world. Nothing will be able to harm them, because God will seal them (7:3-4). God always has and always will take care of His own! So here in Chapter 14, we are encouraged with the voices and sounds of heaven!