During the rule of the wicked King Ahab, God told Elijah that 7,000 people in Israel remained loyal to him (God). During the terrible rule of the antichrist (the great enemy of Christ), God showed John 144,000 people who would remain loyal to God.
John had heard about these people before, in Revelation 7:2-8. They were not all of the people who served God, but a group of people from Israel. At that time, they had not yet received the seal of God. A seal means a mark; this mark is to show that they belong to God.
Now, however, they have that mark. It is the name of God and the name of Christ, and it is on their heads. At this terrible time, they very much need that mark. The antichrist has ordered that nobody may buy or sell anything without his (the antichristís) mark (13:16-17). People who refuse the antichristís mark cannot even buy food; but these people have God, and not the antichrist, as their master. Therefore, God himself provides for them.
These people have an especially close relationship with Christ. Here, he is again called the Lamb, to remind us about his death. Formerly, lambs (young sheep) and other animals died as sacrifices (gifts to God), so that people could have a relationship with God. It is the death of Christ that gives these 144,000 people, and all Godís people, a right relationship with him.
Zion was the mountain in Jerusalem where the temple (Godís house) stood. However, in Hebrews 12:22, it is a name for heaven. Perhaps these 144,000 people are now in heaven, or perhaps they are still on earth. Revelation 14:2-3 seems to say that they are singing in heaven. However, in Revelation 7:2-8, they were clearly still on the earth.
Next part: The new song (Revelation 14:2-3)
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 700+ page course book.
© 2016, Keith Simons.