When I was growing up I had a pet dog named Snoopy. He was a mix of Hound and German Shepard. Snoopy and I were best friends. We spent a lot of time together especially in the summer when school was out. We went hunting together, and he always followed me wherever I rode my bike. Snoopy was very protective of me and my brother.
The twenty-four elders introduced in Revelation 4 hold an enviable position in John’s vision. Seated around the throne of God, they have access to the grandest revelations of the Creator and his Son. These revelations produce worship responses that only those who have intimate relationship with the King dare to offer.
Maybe one of the most moving revelations of Jesus is found in the fifth chapter of The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Many biblical scholars view The Revelation of Jesus Christ as a revelation of the end times. There is a certain amount of end time revelation in the book, but the purpose of the book is to reveal Jesus. Those who view the book as mainly that of the end times seem to spend more time revealing the person of the anti-christ than the Conquering Christ.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ is a glorious portrayal of a conquering king who has come to share the spoils of victory with the citizens of his kingdom. The vision the Apostle John was given on the isle of Patmos cannot necessarily be put in chronological order. John was in the spirit when he was given the vision where time has no constraints.
In Revelation 7 we are introduced to a great multitude of people standing before the throne of God and the Lamb. In verse nine we learn that this multitude was dressed in white robes and had palm branches in their right hands. Who are these people? Where did they come from?
In Revelation 14 we are introduced to a revelation of Jesus Christ that produced worship in those who were given insight into the mystery. Then I looked and behold a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
Then I looked and behold a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. (Revelation 14:1-3)
One description of the 144,000 servants of God given to us by John is that they were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. Several times in scripture we read where God describes his people as virgins. The meaning of the word virgin in The Revelation and the Old Testament goes beyond one who has not participated in sexual activity. It refers to a person or in Israel’s case a nation, who has served only one God; one who has forsaken the works of the flesh and kept himself unspotted from the world. The following scriptures give us an idea of how God addressed his people.
These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. (Revelation 14:4)
It was established in the earlier chapters of John’s revelation that Jesus is the Lamb standing in the midst of the throne of God. To find the 144,000 standing with Jesus in the place of worship (Mt. Zion) is fitting of their character. For all those who desire to be true worshipers will always be in the place of worship, in the presence of the Lamb. However, there is a requirement for one to be in that place of worship.
These were redeemed from among men being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
The portrayal of the 144,000 servants of God, standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion, gives a vivid description of the true worshipers of God. Two characteristics stand out in this portion of Revelation 14:4. One is that these servants were redeemed from among men. The second is that these worshipers were firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.