Lessons from the 144,000 – Revelation 14:3-5

Revelation 14:3-5 - “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.  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 first fruits to God and the Lamb.  No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.”

New song – Also mentioned in Psalm 40:3; Psalm 96:1; Psalm 98:1; Psalm 144:9; Isaiah 42:10; and Revelation 5:9.  Yahushua does not keep us in dead tradition and ritual; he gives believers new songs.  “Before the throne, before the elders…” – this reminds us that our worship comes directly before Our Most High in heaven.

Did not defile themselves with women – During the Great Tribulation, God’s people will be under the directive against marriage that we see in Jeremiah 16:1-4; all the reasons there will apply in the Tribulation.  Today (prior to the rapture), Yahushua encourages Christians to get married and have children (see 1 Corinthians 7:2; Malachi 2:15).  Purity in this area of our lives is what our Most High expects.

They follow the Lamb wherever he goes – walking according to revelation.  Rather than going our own way and pleading with Yahushua to come along, the true believer follows the Lamb.  “Follow” implies two things – knowing his movements (this requires revelation, sensitivity to the Spirit) and action (the decision to pursue him).  “Wherever” suggests the level of commitment – they will go anywhere to stay close the Lamb.  Too many Christians want a comfortable Christianity.  

Redeemed from the earth – the word “redeemed” emphasizes the purchase component of our salvation – messiah’ blood paid a price to gain our freedom from spiritual slavery to sin.  All true Christians are those he has redeemed from the corruption in this world (Galatians 3:13-14; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

Purchased from among mankind (see also Revelation 5:9-11) Messiah’ blood was a purchase price or payment for our souls.  Through this purchase, we became God’s rightful property.  Everything we have, everything we are, rightfully belongs to him, not us.  Messiah does not save everyone – most people will not go to heaven.  Instead, messiah saves us out of mankind (“from among”).  Christians should not worry too much about fitting in with the world around us.  Our Most High saves us from among mankind, not into mankind.  Of course, messiah "gave himself as a ransom for all men..."  (1 Timothy 2:6). Everyone has an opportunity to receive salvation through Christ, but he saves individual men, not mankind as a group. 

There was an ancient Greek custom where someone could pay a “redemption price” at the slave market in order to set a certain slave free.  "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace."  (Ephesians 1:7)  One facet of Christ's atonement was this re-purchase of “property” (i.e., slaves).  “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”  (1 Peter 1:18-19) 

Offered as first fruits – “first fruits” was a mandatory sacrifice in the Old Testament.  Sometimes, it must have been difficult for the ancient Israelites to offer God the first portion of food they picked when it ripened.  On a practical level, the first fruits sacrifices teach us to put Yahushua first – in our time, in our financial and career decisions, and in our families.  God’s goal in the atonement was to produce people who consecrate themselves fully to Him.

No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless – Christians should always tell the truth and never lie.  Most lies people tell are simply to “save face,” to avoid admitting something embarrassing.  They have a prideful desire to escape a moment of embarrassment.  There are also those who lie order to trick and exploit others, but this is less common.  A believer must decide to be scrupulous about this – to have no lie come from his mouths.  God’s standard is zero lying, zero fibbing, no distortion, and no half-truths when we speak.  Christians should be blameless.  In the Gospels, the writers usually refer to followers of messiah as “disciples,” meaning students or apprentices.  The Holy Spirit produces holiness in us, making his servants blameless.

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