The 144000 in Heaven Rev. 14:1-5

The 144000 in Heaven – Rev 14:1-5

In this passage of the Revelation, we see the 144,000 who were sealed in Chapter 7 now together with Christ in heaven.  There are some wonderful revelations of truth associated with these men and so we will expound on these truths in an effort to edify the saints.

14:1 – a Lamb – Jesus Christ Revelation 5:6 – notice the reference to his Father also in v. 1

On the Mt Sion – this is Mt Sion in heaven [not the one on the earth] – Hebrews 12:22, Psalms 48:1-2 – this is the mountain that the devil wanted, Isaiah 14:12-13; Ezekiel 28:14

One hundred forty and four thousand – 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel – see Revelation 7:4-8

His Father’s name written in their foreheads – this is how they were sealed in Revelation 7:3-4

14:2 – John heard a voice from heaven – signifying further that this mountain is in heaven and not on the earth – he was very familiar with this voice because he had heard it before, Matthew 17:5, John 12:28-29, Revelation 1:15 – it sounded like:

  • Many waters – Ezekiel 1:24
  • Great thunder – Psalms 29:3, John 12:29

He also heard harpers harping with their harps – indicating that there are musical instruments in heaven – here’s a truth – some congregations and denominations think it is wrong to have musical instruments in church because Paul doesn’t say anything about them – however, they were plentiful in the OT 1 Chronicles 23:5; 1 Chronicles 25:1, 6 – they are in heaven Revelation 5:8, 15:2 – and we are instructed to sing Psalms in Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16, which were sung to instruments Psalms 150 – certainly the right instruments should be used the right way, but they should not be excluded

14:3 – A new song – this is a song that is expressly for the 144,000 – no one else is able to learn it and it is sung specifically before the throne where the beasts and elders can hear it – so the words to that song are not recorded for us – contrast the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, Revelation 15:3-4, Deuteronomy 31:30-32:44, Exodus 15:1-21 and the song of the church age saints in Revelation 5:9-12

They were redeemed from the earth – 1 Peter 1:18-19 – in the OT there are numerous references to the Lord as the Redeemer of Israel [like Isaiah 54:5] – these saints that are redeemed from the earth escape the hand of the oppressor and are gathered with the Lord in heaven – when he returns at the 2nd Advent, they will return with him [Isaiah 51:9-11] – these redeemed souls are typified by the Jews of the exile who were taken by the Lord to the promised land, Exodus 15:13

14:4-5 in these next two verses we see that these redeemed 144,000 are just like the Lord [1 John 3:1-3] – they:

  • Were not defiled with women; they were virgins – likewise Jesus never married
  • Follow the Lamb – 1 Peter 2:21
  • Had no guile in their mouth – 1 Peter 2:22-23
  • Were without fault – John 19:4, 1 Peter 2:20

Now there are some interesting things on which we need to comment regarding these 144,000 – there are some comparisons between them and Paul and yet there are some contrasts between them and the church age saints – Paul said he was “as of one born out of due time” [1 Corinthians 15:8] – that’s because Paul’s life typified the life of tribulation saints –

  • The Lord appeared to him [1 Corinthians 15:8] – and he will appear to the tribulation saints who are looking for him [Hebrews 9:27-28; Matthew 5:8]
  • He entered the kingdom of God through much tribulation – Acts 14:22
  • He was a virgin – 1 Corinthians 7:7-8
  • He followed the Lord – 1 Corinthians 11:1
  • He had no guile in his mouth – 1 Thessalonians 2:3
  • He was without fault – Acts 23:1, 24:16

While Paul had some likeness to the tribulation saints, the church age saints are substantially different –

  • Tribulation saints are virgins [as in Matthew 25:1-13] whereas the church is A virgin [2 Corinthians 11:2]
  • Saints in the church are born again and baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:3] whereas the tribulation saints are born again [1 John 2:29] but are not in the body of Christ because Christ’s body will have been raptured before the Tribulation
  • Church age saints are eternally secure [Ephesians 1:13, 4:30] whereas tribulation saints can lose their salvation by taking the mark of the beast [therefore they must keep the commandments of God – particularly 1, 2 and 9] – for instance, tribulation saints can have their names blotted out of the book of life [Revelation 3:5] – their names are put in there when they receive Christ and blotted out when they take the mark of the beast

One other thing; in verse 14, the 144,000 are firstfruits unto God and the Lamb – compare James 1:18 where they are a kind of firstfruits of his creatures – they are the first fruits of those redeemed in the tribulation – contrast these verses –

Christ is the firstfruits of them that slept – 1 Corinthians 15:20 – the first one to rise from the dead and live forever

We have the firstfruits of the Spirit – Romans 8:23 – as those who have been born again in the church age and have the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23]

When these Jewish saints are redeemed, they will be the firstfruits of the Tribulation and they will be the fulfillment of the new covenant [Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-13] made with the firstfruit [Israel, Romans 11:16] – Israel was at fault under the first covenant [Hebrews 8:7-8] but will be faultless before the throne under the new covenant [Revelation 14:5; Jude 24]