144,000

“Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 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.”  Revelation 14:1-5 NIV


The song which shakes the heavens like roaring waters and peels of thunder arises from hearts fully devoted to the one seated upon the throne. Such a song of joyful triumph could never be coerced or commanded, instead it erupts from the deepest places of souls who have tasted and come to know the incredible love of the Father.


Never was this passage intended to glorify the redeemed, as some have made it out to. The redeemed are not the heroes of the passage, they are the worshippers. Only God and the Lamb are worthy, they alone are the theme of the song and the recipients of all praise, honor, glory, and strength. 


It is in our fallen nature to try and share God's glory. Some are unconsciously approaching God as a help along the way to obtaining their own righteousness and eternal life. The 144,000 have unfortunately been made the poster children for those striving after this.


Holiness is a gift we experience through relationship. We receive it as our eyes turn from ourselves to the one who is altogether righteous. The redeemed standing on mount Zion are defined by their focus upon the Lamb. They have lost sight of themselves in their desire to be close to the one who has proven his love beyond question.


The song of the redeemed will not be sung by "impressive overcomers," but by the honest humble souls keenly aware of their weakness. The 144,000 do not rest in their sterling record, but in their love for the Lamb who has redeemed them. 


Still Seeking His a Face,

Pastor Andrew

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