The Lamb and the 144,000 Witnesses (Revelation 14:1-5)

In this blog we will concentrate on the relationship between the witnesses and Jesus the Lamb during the seven-year Tribulation.

Revelation 14:1-5. Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

Indeed, right from the start John noticed the meeting they were having on Mount Zion, which, as Ray Steadman points out was within the limits of Jerusalem.2  Ray Steadman also points out that…

Jesus Christ will be on earth during this time and will reveal Himself from time to time to these Jewish disciples, just as He appeared to His followers during those remarkable forty days after his resurrection.3  

Now the question is, what is the meeting about? Well, I think that since the earth was about to experience the great Tribulation, and be warned of it by angels (Rev. 14:6 ff), that this meeting is somewhat of a commissioning and for encouragement. I think it will be very much like when Jesus met with His twelve disciples on a mountain just before His ascension.

But it will also be like a great rally and a time of worship. And they will experience music and worship like nothing they have ever experienced.  Heaven itself will come down to them. They will hear a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like thunder, and the sound of harps, and singing by the redeemed in heaven. They will sing a new song. And only the 144,000 will understand what they are singing.

I have a feeling that these kinds of meetings will take place more than just this once. I think Jesus will meet with them quite regularly—as often as is needed during this incredibly evil and hard time. They will need constant encouragement if they are going to daily preach His gospel to the world. And they in fact will remain chaste and blameless. 

2 Ray Stedman, What On Earth Is Happening? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Discovery House Publishers, 2003), p. 93.

3 Ibid., p. 93.

The First Interlude: More About The 144,000 Witnesses (Revelation 7:1-17) – Part 2

Studying Bible Prophecy

 Here are six points to consider:

1. They are all Jews from twelve tribes.These witnesses are not Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Mormon elders, or some symbol of the church. They are Jews. And even though most Jews today don’t know which tribe they belong to, God does. They are not lost to Him. He will select twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes that are listed in Revelation 7:5-8.

2. Israel will become the evangelistic nation she was meant to be.When Israel rejected Jesus her Messiah, she experienced a spiritual hardening. But the bible says (in Romans 11:25) that that hardening will not be permanent. When the fullness of the Gentiles comes (when the complete number of elect Gentiles are saved) and the Rapture occurs, then God will turn His focus on Israel. The 144,000 Jewish witnesses will be the first fruits of a new redeemed Israel; and…

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The First Interlude: The 144,000 Witnesses and The Great Multitude (Revelation 7:1-17) – Part 1

Studying Bible Prophecy

Suddenly, as the cosmic disturbances were still stirring and as people were still hiding from the wrath of God (as I believe that all of the judgments will be continuous), God gave John another scene to look at; a scene, which we will call an interlude, to show us how God throughout the Tribulation will be working to evangelize and redeem certain ones who will choose to believe in Him.

This interlude will answer the question posed in Revelation 6:17: Who is able to stand? That is, who is able to survive the wrath of God during the Tribulation? The answer found in this seventh chapter is that two distinct groups will survive: 1) the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, and 2) their converts who will be martyred but immediately raised into heaven.

So, this, in general terms, is the purpose of this interlude: to give us this wonderful news of souls…

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Personalities in the Tribulation: The 144,000 Witnesses

Studying Bible Prophecy

A record of these witnesses is recorded for us in Revelation 7:3-8 and 14:1-5. Here are four important points to note about them.

1. They are Jewish and not part of the church. The 144,000 witnesses (or evangelists) are undoubtedly Jewish because they are from every tribe of Israel, twelve-thousand from each tribe (Rev. 7:4-8). Some have insisted that they are part of the church, but that is impossible since the church will be raptured.

Also, as Ron Rhodes has pointed out in his book, Israel on High Alert, “God had originally chosen the Jews to be His witnesses…to share the good news of God with all other people around the world (Isa. 43:10).” Well, as we know, and as Rhodes has pointed out, they failed at this mandate and did not even recognize Jesus as their Messiah. But in the Tribulation, they will finally fulfill this mandate as…

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Those Who Call Evil Good and Good Evil – From Isaiah 5:20

I have gotten in the habit reading a newspaper in the morning. I mainly enjoy reading the comics (I have my favorite ones) and maybe an article in the sports section. I always try to glean some bit of truth from the front-page news articles, but I most always go away with nothing. And I am more and more convinced that whatever they declare is true is a lie. Yes, that is the formula: whatever they say is true is a lie; and whatever they say is a lie is true. If we stick to that rule we can’t go wrong. That is the rule for these last days. Isaiah 5:20-21 and 23, says it this way:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;

Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;

Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,

And clever in their own sight! …

23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,

And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right! (bold for emphasis)

Thank God what is coming in the future; the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, who will be declaring the truth during the Tribulation. In the midst of a world that is filled with lies and deception—coming from the teaching of the Antichrist, will be these truth-tellers who will provide a way for millions to hear the truth of the gospel to be saved. Revelation 14:4-5 describes them.

These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

Today I think that many hardly recognize truth from what is false. The two are somewhat blended together, especially for those who don’t read their bible. But soon, after the church is raptured and after the 144,00 witnesses appear, the contrast will be remarkable. You will hear both the truth and a lie very clearly. And you will be able to choose which side you want to take. If you (who have been left behind—not raptured) choose the way of truth declared by the witnesses, you will most assuredly suffer and die (under the government of the Antichrist). But if you choose the way of lies and deception, which will allow you to be clothed and fed (because you chose to receive the mark of the beast), then you will live—at least for a few years. But in the end, you will be judged by God and cast into hell. It will be your choice.

But keep in mind that if you choose the way of truth, though you will die as a martyr, you will be resurrected in glory to live eternally with God. The way of truth, though painful at first, will reap eternal life.