The Revelation of Hope
In this Session we will continue in the Interlude between the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments, and begin Revelation 14. Revelation 14 is a meta-view of the whole of salvation history from the Apostolic Church of Jerusalem to the Judgment of Jerusalem in AD 70, and the sure demise of the Roman Empire that is symbolized as the embodiment of Babylon. We see this common theme throughout the Revelation of the telling and re-telling the same narrative. Revelation can be outlined as a narrative of 3 sections of 7’s with Interludes in between.
The outline of Revelation 14 is as follows:
The First Fruits of Gospel – The Jerusalem Church – Rev 14:1-5
The Proclamation of the Gospel to the Nations – Rev 14:6-7
The Declaration of the Fall of Babylon (Roman Empire/World Systems)
Rev 14:8 The Judgment of those who are Disobedient to the Gospel – Rev 14:9-12
The Encouragement and Promise of Rest to the Saints – Rev 14:13
The Reaping of the Land for Judgment – Rev 14:14-20
a) The 144,000 are previously mentioned in Revelation 7. The 144,000 are the faithful Jews who believed in Jesus as He ministered and demonstrated that He was Messiah, or believed in Jesus through the ministry of the Apostles in Jerusalem. See Acts 2, Acts 3, Acts 4, Acts 5, Acts 6, Acts 7, Acts 8, and Acts 15. This is not a literal 144,000 but a symbol of the many Jews who received Jesus as Messiah.
b) Romans 10-11 describes the First Fruits Community that we see in verses 1-5
c) The spiritual message of the imagery can be understood in the following ways. The Lamb – Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ the slain Lamb, the fulfilment of the Passover symbols who delivers His people from death. This assembly stands before Him positioned in the place of worship and they are objects of His love. The symbol of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion is figurative language that speaks of Jesus in the Place of Victory.
d) Mount Zion – This should not be understood as the literal Mount Zion, but it is best understood as the Mountain of God and the chosen place where His presence dwells. The heavenly Zion. These First Fruits of the Remnant have a special place in heaven where they behold Jesus in glory and worship Him. It is interesting to note that Zion means a “parched place” in Hebrew. If the place where God dwells is a parched place; that would speak to the thirst His people have for Him and heart that seeks God and deeply and longs for the eternal blessings He gives. Only the thirsty and the hungry get satisfied. See Hebrews 12
e) Having the His Name and The Name of the Father on their foreheads – This symbolizes the true mark of ownership as contrasted to the mark of Beast in Revelation 13 that leads to destruction. In fact all believers are sealed with the Spirit and kept by the Holy Spirit. See Ephesians 1:13 and Ephesians 4:30.
a) This worship of the First Fruits Church is more than a song, but a sound of worship in a sacred song that only the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem would know as they were the ones who stayed true in the Jewish persecution of the brothers. See John 15:18-25
b) The song is unique to them as songs are birthed from experience and understood in the place of encounter. The First Century Judean Church experienced the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles in a way that could never be repeated. They experienced as eyewitnesses the ending of the Law, the giving of the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost, the unity of love, and the brutal persecution of those who rejected Messiah and scattered them. These are the redeemed of the earth (GE), the Land of Judea, not the globe (Oikumene).
c) We see them in the throne room where the 4 Living Creatures and the Elders worship in Revelation 4.
a) These are not literal virgins that are males, as the Church is made up of male and female disciples. This is best understood as those who kept themselves in the purity of faith. Greek – PARTHENOS -a man who has abstained from all uncleanness and whoredom attendant on idolatry, and so has kept his chastity
b) They follow the Lamb – This is symbolic language that speaks of their faithful journeys of faith in following Jesus in every season of faith. This is beautiful poetic language that describes the perseverance of the saints.
c) These were purchased – The blood of Jesus is the AGORAZO for the redeemed. 1 Peter 1:18-19 d) No lie in their mouths – The Gospel is truth. This first generation of the Judean Church proclaimed the gospel in fullness in signs, wonders, miracles and word. The message of the Jesus Christ is the word of life and that delivers all from the dominion of darkness unto eternal life. The blood of Jesus makes us blameless. Colossians 1:13
a) In verse 6 we see the Eternal Gospel that stands as a proclamation that began in Judea and will continue to be proclaimed to every generation until the return of Jesus Christ.
b) The angel is flying in mid-air/mid-heaven. In some way the angelic order has a part to play in the proclamation of the Gospel by the Church. Somehow the angelic order, the Holy Spirit and the Church work in unity to propagate the Gospel. It is interesting to note that the midair speaks of the expanse of the atmosphere of planet earth and not OURANOS the highest heavens where God dwells. The Gospel redeems this realm because this realm is in need of restoration that comes by the Gospel.
c) God desires that all humankind worships Him, as He is the Source and Sustainer of all creation. See Romans 1:18-25
d) The hour of Judgment is the destruction of Jerusalem and coming judgment at the end of the ages at Jesus Christ’s return. In the epochs of salvation history this is the last hour as there is no other Covenant of Work of God that needs to be done. It is finished in the work of Jesus on the cross that inaugurated the last hour.
a) Babylon was a metaphor for the Roman Empire in the First Century. 1 Peter 5:13 is a good reference that we can look to see this point.
b) Babylon also represents the totality of the corrupt world systems of government, economy, sciences, arts, etc. that do not regard the leadership of God or godly principles of life.
c) The dominion of darkness is doomed to fall because it is an illegal institution that was born in the Fall of mankind.
d) The Roman Empire made all of the civilized world at that time drink the wine of her adulteries with Emperor worship, gross immorality, spiritual adultery, her luxurious economy, and her tyranny of government.
e) The wine of passion/maddening of the world systems is devoid of peace and cannot bring healing to any. The word for adulteries is PORNEIA in the Greek and can be defined as all illicit sex and spiritual adultery against God. Sex and spiritual adultery are married because human sexuality is sacred and is deeply tied to the spirit and soul of people.
f) It is the mission of the Church to displace Babylon and bring the superior systems of God’s Kingdom to society. Babylon is already defeated because the King is enthroned and has empowered His Church to conquer in love by the Holy Spirit. The angelic order has made God’s decision for the Fall of Babylon to be decreed.
Source Material: http://www.revelationrevolution.org Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper Josephus.org David Chilton – Days of Vengeance The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ Blue Letter Bible.com Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology Holman Bible Dictionary Strongs Concordance NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament- NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament Jonathan Welton – Raptureless George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem Wikipedia Rapture Fever – Gary North The Prophets Dictionary – Price Vines Expository Bible Dictionary