Study from God’s Word… Revelation, Chapters 14 – 19: 5 … Passage for Reflection: Revelation 4: 3 – 5 [underlined] … NIV 1 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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
My Journal for Today: All this apocalyptic imagery in God’s revelation to John can be mysterious and a bit overwhelming as we read and study this great Book of the Bible, The Revelation, especially trying to get its application for our lives today. But it’s important that we do our best, maybe with the help of teachers, like my devotional shepherd this year, Dr. LaGard Smith, to see how these writings, coming from God’s Spirit through John, having powerful messages we need to heed.
So, today we deal with that number of saints, 144,000, who were saved out of the great tribulation and are discussed in today’s highlight text. What do we glean from a study of their significance? Well, the answer is in why they are mentioned as special; and the explanation can be found in the portion of scripture today which is highlighted in bold and underlined.
My fellow readers, … these 144,000 who were those saved from the later heat of the lake of fire are protected by the Lamb of God because of their PURITY and their STEADFAST FAITH. These were the ones, in spite of the taunts and terrors of Satan and the Anti-Christ, remained sexually pure and followed Christ in the worst of the Great Tribulation, … right to the very end of time as man would know it.
And our application? Well, it’s brought out in today’s question by Dr. Smith, as he writes at the end of his daily devotional: ”In the battle to remain pure, am I overcoming or succumbing?” And that is the question so many in our world, as Christians, are dealing with right now, especially in a world where Satan has created many fortresses and weapons to prevent the lost from finding their way to Christ and for tearing down the testimonies of Christians and rendering their witness as ineffective or worthless.
Think about it. How many Christians, of whom you know, who have fallen prey to impurity, when they know that God calls for purity and devotion to His commands? Christian men are surrounded and enveloped by sexual temptations these days; and these worldly-fleshly superweapons, such as internet pornography, have been created as a tribulation of temptation to draw the attention of the lost onto the flesh and away from the Savior, as well as to draw the focus of Christians onto flesh and away from faith.
No Christian man in this world can be the man God intended for Him to be if he does the opposite of what Christ commanded (see Luke 9: 23), focusing on self and not following the Savior. And Christian men, in droves, are falling on the battlefields of sexual temptations and being rendered powerless as husbands, fathers, community leaders, and, most certainly churchmen.
No, it’s not the Great Tribulation yet; but we get a taste of what that horrible time will be like when we yield to selfish, flesh-driven, temptations and we choose to move away from Godly purity in our unfaithfulness. In these times in which we live, we, who follow Christ, need to become like the faithful 144,000 in those times of the Great Tribulation. We need to heed the call of Christ and deny self, take up our crosses daily, and follow Him … to the end.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, today and tomorrow, purity for Your glory is my focus. Amen