144,000 and a Lamb
A Look Back: The Third Woe is coming. It is going to be pronounced, but before that happens, we see the “Lamb” using his power as King to reign. We also see the Beast working in opposition to the Lamb by attacking the church, giving life to the Land Beast, the Sea Beast, and their blasphemy.
Is Victory Ever Going to Come?
True devastation realizes itself in the lives of Christians. Persecution wreaks havoc upon the early Church. In chapter 6, the question is “who could stand in the day of the wrath of the Lamb?” Right now, it looks like the Christians are the ones who will be unable to withstand the beast! Will God allow this? Will the Church be brought to its knees by the Dragon and his crowd?
144,000 Hope in a New Song
John looks to Mount Zion and hope is found. A New Day is dawning in the sunlight of the Lamb of God. Standing on Mount Zion: The Lamb and 12,000 from each tribe of the true Israel (the obedient of God marked by the angels).
He hears a voice that sounds like rushing water, loud as thunder. He hears harps. He hears a song. A new song. A song that only the redeemed of earth could learn–the 144,000 represent those redeemed from the Earth. This song is not the song of Angels, sung at Jesus’ birth. It is the song of those who have suffered, lived, overcome, and reign victorious with the Lamb of God–the song of the first-fruits of the harvest of the Earth’s faithful.
Three Angels Preach
John sees an angel preaching the Gospel to every nation, tribe, and people of the Earth. The angel cries out to all humanity, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
But that angel is followed by another angel crying out, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
The third angel follows the second declaring, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark… he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God… He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone… and they have no rest day or night…”
John declares this the “patience of the saints.” The ability for a Christian to hold on, to endure, is found is the ultimate victory of the Lamb and judgment of the unrighteous. Then the sweetest of declarations to fall upon human ears is delivered from Heaven to John: “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”