Does God Specifically Protect The 144,000, And If So, Why?
I. Opening Video. John Ankerberg Show. John Ankerberg (M. Div., D. Min.); Ron Rhodes (Th. M., Th. D.) ; Mark Hitchcock (Th. M., J.D., Ph. D.)
II. Introduction. Dr. C.I. Scofield (D. D.; 1843-1921) Scofield Study Bible (1909, 1917, 1937, 1945, 1984, 1998, 2002, 2006, Editor, C.I. Scofield, Editorial Revision 1967 Committee Members: Charles L. Feinberg, Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., John F. Walvoord, Th. B., Th. M., Th. D.)
Parenthetic. 1. The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion (14:1-5). 2. Vision of the angel and the eternal Gospel (14:6-7). 3. Babylon’s fall foretold (14:8). 4. Doom to come on worshippers of the beast (14:9-12). 5. Blessedness of the holy dead (14:13).6. Vision of Armageddon (14:14-20).
A. Dr. David Jeremiah. (Th. M., D.D.) Jeremiah Study Bible.
These seven visions are not in chronological sequence; they are more like a panoramic view of the Tribulation period. In some respects, this chapter is like a table of contents for the rest of the Book of Revelation, chronicling the salvation of God’s people, the fall of Babylon, the final battle, and God’s judgment on unbelieving humanity.
B. Dr. Kendell H. Easley (M. Div., Ph. D.) Holman New Testament Commentary – Revelation.
In this chapter, John has written for us images, both glorious and terrible. For the righteous, there will be glory and honor, for the Lamb has protected and gathered His people. For the wicked, there will be shame and torment, for the winepress of God’s fury will bring it to pass.
C. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. M., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, p 301.
The “destiny” of the remnant. Speaking of those brought to the Lord through the ministry of the 144,000 in Revelation 7:15-16, they are seen “before the throne” (Rev 14:3). Thus the destiny of this remnant is the kingdom over which Christ will rule from the “throne of David.” Those promises are not heavenly, but earthly, and will be fulfilled in the millennium.
D. Dr. Charles L. Feinberg (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.,1909-1995). Liberty Commentary Bible.
Chapter 14 is the sequel and God’s answer to the wickedness of the persons in Chapter 13. God intervenes in grace and judgment. As stated earlier, Chapters 12-14 form a series of their own and are placed between the trumpet and vial judgments, intending to emphasize the individuals who are prominent in the end time. R.H. Charles claims: “The entire chapter is proleptic in character. That is, the orderly development of future events, as set forth in the successive visions is here … abandoned, and all the coming judgments from 16:17, to 20:7-10, are summarized in 6:6-11, 14, 18-20″ (The Revelation of St. John II, p 1).
E. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Chapter 14 brings to a conclusion the material found in the section of chapters 12 through 14. Chapter 12 deals with the important characters of the period, chapter 13 with the wicked rulers of the period, and chapter 14 with the ultimate triumph of Christ. All of this material is not chronological but prepares the way for the climax which begins in chapter 15. Chapter 14 consists of a series of pronouncements and visions assuring the reader of the ultimate triumph of Christ and the judgment of the wicked. Much of the chapter is prophetic of events that have not yet taken place, but which are now impending. The chapter begins with the assurance that the Lamb will ultimately stand in triumph on Mount Zion with his followers, and it concludes with a series of pronouncements of judgments upon the wicked.
IV. Verse Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.,Litt. D.1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible.
Revelation Chapter 14 New American Standard Bible 1995
A. 14:1. “the Lamb.” I.e., Christ. “one hundred and forty-four thousand.” Evidently the same group that was introduced in 7:4, though now their work on earth is finished and they are in heaven. Another interpretation takes “Mount Zion” as the earthly Jerusalem and the 144,000 as surviving the Tribulation on earth.
B. 14:4. “not … defiled with women.” This may simply mean that the 144,000 were unmarried, or it may indicate their state of separation unto God (cf. 2 Cor 11:2). “first fruits.” The salvation of the 144,000 will precede the salvation of a larger group of Israelites, who will turn to the Lord at the end of the Tribulation (cf. Isa, 2:3; Rom 11:15).
C. 14:6. “an eternal gospel to preach.” God’s last call of grace to the world before the return of Christ in judgment.
D. 14:8. “fallen is Babylon.” This fall is described in detail in chaps. 17-18.
E. 14:10-13, The wicked will be tormented in the lake of fire forever, with no hope of annihilation or restoration. In contrast, the righteous will have rest forever.
F. 14:12: Saints will be able to endure, knowing that God will punish their enemies (vv. 9-11).G. 14:20. Apparently a reference to Armageddon (16:16; cf. 19:17-19), when the blood from the slaughter will flow 180 miles (290 km) to the depth of about 4.5 feet (1.3 m). The blood or horses added to that of the large armies of human soldiers could easily cause such an enormous river of blood.
V. Summary. Dr. Orville J. Nave, Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Orville J. Nave (Editor). Anna Seamans Nave (Editor).
In this fourteenth chapter of Revelation, we have considered: 1 The Lamb on Mount Zion with His company. 6 The triumph of the gospel. 8 The fall of Babylon. 9 The worshiper of the beast and his image threatened. 13 The reward of the faithful. 15. The harvest of the world.
VI. Parting Thought.
A. In Rev 14:3, we see the 144,000 Jews of Rev 7:4. In 7:4 these Jewish evangelists are “sealed.” In 14:3, these same 144,000 are still alive, having survived the Tribulation. Born again believers in Christ will be saved “from the tribulation,” by the Rapture (John 14:1-6, 1 Cor 15:50-58, 1 Thes 4:13-18, Titus 2:13). These Jews. who were not believers in Christ, at the time of the Rapture, were left behind “from the Rapture” to be present “in the Tribulation.” God sealed them for protection which saved them “through the Tribulation.” The number of these sealed Jews is 144,000 is shown in Rev 7:4, prior to the beginning of their Tribulation ministry. The number of these same Jews is shown to also be 144,000 in Rev 14:3, at the end of the Tribulation.
B. Rev 14:4 says that these 144,000 Jews “have not defiled themselves with women, for they have kept themselves chaste.” Per the remainder of this verse, it appears that these Jews, whether sexually virgins, or not, were “sold out to Christ.” In Walvoord’s, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Dr. Walvoord gave a plausible understanding of these Jews, “referring to spiritual purity, that is, they are not defiled by love of the world or compromise with evil, but keep themselves pure in a world situation which is morally filthy.”
C. In Rev 14:19 the angel, in response to the entreaty, thrusts or “casts” (Gr., ebalen) his sickle into the earth and harvests its vintage casting it into what is described as “the great winepress of the wrath of God.” This action is actually fulfilled in Revelation 19:15, where the same figure of speech is used. (Revelation of Jesus Christ, Walvoord).
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