“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” Revelation 14:1-3.
It is interesting that often before a new prophecy scene is shown in Revelation, we are given a glimpse of the time when all the faithful will be in heaven, and how happy they will be, singing and shouting praises to Jesus, as they realize their trials are over and they have won the victory through the Faith of Jesus & the power of the Blood of the Lamb.
So here we see a special group, the 144,000. They are the faithful remnant who will stand through the times of trouble and live to see Jesus come in the clouds and go home with Him without ever dying. These are the ‘First-fruits’ we learned about earlier. There will also be many, many more people who will be raised from the dead and go home to heaven.
It tells us that they ‘sing a new song’. In prophecy a ‘new song’ means that they have had a special experience. That’s why nobody else can learn this ‘new song’, because nobody else has had an experience quite like this group.
They have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the distress of the time of Jacob’s trouble; they have lived through the time when Jesus was no longer pleading for sinners in the heavenly sanctuary; and have seen the terrible seven last plagues fall on the earth.
They have seen famine and war and sickness hit the earth like never before. They have seen what happens to men when the Holy Spirit leaves them forever, and they are left completely controlled by Satan. They then will look and act like demons.
During this time, these living, faithful ones will have Jesus in their hearts. They will act and think like Him. They will have the Holy Spirit and holy angels with them to protect and strengthen them through this time, but the wicked will have nothing. They refused all efforts by God to save them, so they are left to the rule of Satan, which they chose to have.
Why do these things have to happen? Well, it is so the whole universe will see what sin really is, and what it results in. Never again will anyone think that God’s Law should be thrown away.
I know of people who have stopped hearing the truth, because the time of trouble, and things like that made them feel afraid, and they didn’t want to think about it. But God’s true people will have all the help and protection they will need at this time. The wicked will have nothing. Those people are part of what is meant by the stone ‘cut out without hands’ in Daniel 2. They come into such a close relationship with God, that His Holy Spirit is their teacher and guide.
“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:4, 5
Now here in these verses we have some important clues about what the faithful are going to do. It says they are ‘not defiled with women’. In prophecy a ‘women’ is a church, but this says women, plural. In our day we are seeing churches from all over the world gathering together, claiming to worship God, but really seeking to force people to worship man, and obey traditions, councils, man’s decrees, priests and pastors instead of obeying God’s Word. We have the World Council of Churches and other groups that try to get everyone to follow one set of ideas, and these ideas actually come from the Roman church, and they got them from paganism. They are not God’s truths, and to obey them, we must disobey God.
The true and faithful ones will have to leave all church tradition and the rules of men, and stand faithful only to Jesus and His Holy Word. They will say to these ‘churches’ that try and force people to obey man’s laws, “Show us from the Bible where we are wrong and we will obey the Bible.” They will say like Peter, “We must obey God rather than man.”
They ‘follow the Lamb’, wherever He goes. This means that no matter what troubles result from obeying God’s Word, and keeping His holy Sabbath day, these wise virgins obey God faithfully. It is in His strength they have gotten the victory over all their sins, and now in His strength they stay faithful to the end.
‘In their mouth was found no guile’. Guile, means to lie, or be dishonest. It means that these people do not tell anything but the truth. They are not claiming to be good when they really are doing wrong. They are not hypocrites.
This verse proves to be in error, those who try and tell us that God’s people don’t have to overcome and stop sinning, and they will still be sinning right up to when Jesus comes. The true people of God will have the character of Jesus and act just like He did. They will be ‘without fault’. Jesus needs people who choose to really live like He did; in total obedience to God’s Law.
THE FIRST ANGEL
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:6, 7.
Here comes the first angel and his message. This message went out with great strength through the earth in the early 1800s and especially in 1843-1844. The long time prophecy, found in Daniel 8:14 was coming to it’s end and the Holy Spirit stirred up deep interest all over the world. It is still going out, as each angel adds his message to the messages of the ones before him. So at the end, three messages are going out, and later we will learn that a fourth one joins the three.
What does this message tell us in brief? Put God first in our lives; Honor God above men; Honor Him as Creator. Honor Him as Redeemer. Fear Him and obey Him. Keep all His commandments including the fourth. Did you know that the fourth commandment is the only one that tells Who God is? And why He has authority? It tells us why we should obey Him.
This message about the judgment, the Law of God and how He is the Creator of all things, is to go to all the earth. Everybody is to hear about it, and make their choice; to worship and obey God, or to keep right on doing whatever they feel like, and obeying their own made up rules. It is sad that most people will refuse to listen to God and truly worship Him, but at the same time they will claim they are worshipping God.
Each one of us has to decide what we will do; will we obey God and keep His commandments or not? Remember the 144,000 who are ‘without fault’? They are the ones who choose to obey and Jesus gives them the power to do it. In different places in the Bible, God tells us He created all things and this is the reason He, and He alone is the only real God there is.
THE SECOND ANGEL
“And there followed another angel saying “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 13:8
In 1843 and 1844 especially, the message was linked with the cry; “Behold the Bridegroom cometh, Go ye out to meet Him.” It went with great power. On October 22, 1844, the prophecy of the 2300 days would come to its close, marking the start of God’s investigative judgment, where all who have ever claimed to serve God will have their life records examined to see if they will be taken home when Jesus appears.
These messages set off a chain of reactions. People began to show their true colors. Did they really love Jesus and long for Him to return? Or were they more in love with worldly pleasure?
Those who were teaching about the coming of Jesus, became known as ‘Adventists’. As these ‘Adventist’ preachers put forth the warning, all over the world churches at first revived and came alive, but then a division occurred. Those who wanted to see Jesus come, became more godly in their lives, and those who wanted a life of worldly pleasure, became more worldly. Then the worldly ones began to hate the godly ones. This is the way it always is in this sinful world. This is the work of the ‘Everlasting Gospel’.
Soon churches were closing their doors to the Advent Message. In 1842 a tremendous change took place. The popular churches began to mock the message of the prophecy of Daniel 8:14. Then they began holding big feasts and entertainments at which the message and the messengers were made fun of. Then solemnly the 2nd angel’s message went forward: ‘Babylon, the proud, worldly churches, have fallen.’ It was added to the 1st angel’s message in the summer of 1843, and was sounded especially in America.
This ‘Fall’ has kept on going, as the churches today are more interested in entertainment and feasting than repentance and obedience to God. It includes all churches, and this is why the 144,000 will not be found obeying any of those man-made organizations that are showing by their lives that they are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Instead, they will ‘Come out’, by following the Word of God faithfully.
This message will be repeated in our day as shown in Revelation 18:2. This time it will be warning all to come out before it is too late.
Now new light was to come as Jesus had entered the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary to carry out the ‘Investigative Judgment’. The 3rd angel took flight:
THE THIRD ANGEL
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night , who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11.
Any situation that would cause a God of Love to give a warning like that, must be taken seriously. We urge you not to rest until you understand what is involved, because the Time is upon us. This is perhaps the most solemn warning in the entire Bible. Surely it is serious, and all people must be interested in what it means, because it effects us all.
As the Most Holy Place in heaven was opened in 1844 at the end of the 2300 days, God’s Ten Commandment Law was revealed more clearly, and students of the Bible found that they had been breaking the fourth commandment and didn’t know it. Attention was brought to the seventh day Sabbath all over the world. This was the third angel’s message beginning.
It is most interesting that each church had its attention drawn to the Sabbath question in the mid 1800s. From Catholic Priests to Baptists ministers, in each denomination, someone arose to proclaim that the Sunday was not the Bible Sabbath. Councils were held, and in each case, although some individuals chose to keep the Bible Sabbath, the churches decided to stick to their traditions.
This is part of the continued ‘Fall of Babylon’ and if you study the history of these churches after they rejected the Sabbath, they became even more worldly in their practices. They also do not have the blessing of the Holy Spirit to help them correctly understand prophecy. This is because as you do correctly understand it, you see that you need to obey God and keep His Sabbath, and they have already decided not to do this. So they make up weird ideas about the prophecies that sound like science-fiction movies.
The ‘Mark of the Beast’ is the changing of Sabbath to Sunday by the Beast power, Rome. It actually is the very thing they claim shows their ‘authority’ is higher than that of God’s Word. Why does God tell us such terrible things will happen to those who ‘receive this mark’?
Now you have to realize that God does not punish someone for breaking a law that he honestly knows nothing about, and never had a chance to learn about. The final test will be set up with two choices; obey God and keep His Seventh day Sabbath, be persecuted by man and be saved; or obey man-made laws to force people to keep Sunday, receive the seven last plagues and be lost.
It seems hard, but when you really know God and His promises, you see that He is going to take good care of all who choose to obey Him. The Beast power will not be able to overcome them.
Remember, the Beast is not able to save anybody; it can’t even save itself. The Bible tells us it will be destroyed; come to its end with none to help it. Choosing to obey man’s power is to leave yourself with no help at all. Only lovers of the Truth who are willing to obey it, will understand God’s Word correctly.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:12, 13.
Here is a special blessing pronounced on those who have lived in the faith of these three angel’s messages. They will be raised before Jesus comes and see His coming. Christians need never fear death; especially those who have accepted this end-time message and chosen to obey it. To them death will be like taking a nap when weary, after your work is finished, and then waking up to enjoy the results of your labor.
“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” Revelation 14:14, 15.
In the last part of Revelation 14, we have another word-picture about two harvests. It is telling us what is going to be the result of this test that God sets up, to let people choose whether they will obey Him or not. Two groups are formed, first the wheat is gathered. In Matthew 13, God’s true and faithful are called ‘wheat’. They are prepared to go home with Him.
“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” Revelation 14:17-20
Then there are the grapes; what an interesting word-picture for the wicked of the earth, the ones who have decided to do what they please and refuse to obey God. They are compared to fat, purple grapes. Grapes are full of wine, and these wicked are full of the ‘wine of Babylon’, which is the false doctrines of Rome and the fallen churches. The grapes don’t go home; instead they are thrown into a wine-press and crushed. This means that these wicked ones, who after God has done everything in His power to get them to decided to obey Him, still refuse and choose their own wicked ways, will be crushed and destroyed by their own wickedness and the seven last plagues.
It is most interesting that in these harvests, both the wheat and the grapes are ‘fully ripe’. This means that there is no doubt any more about who belongs to Jesus and who does not. Sometimes we see someone and we are not sure about whether he loves Jesus or not. We think that most people are basically good, but in this final harvest, the grapes will act just like Satan and the wheat will act exactly like Jesus. All can see it clearly.
The reason why so many seem to be basically good at present, is because of the grace of God in the presence of the Holy Spirit, working with all people, trying to woo them to Jesus. However, when that grace of the Holy Spirit is finally withdrawn from the earth, it will be seen that fallen man has absolutely no good in him at all.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Do You Hear Them?
On earths busy highways the traffic is dense.
The trading on Wall Strret is eager and tense.
The TV is blaring, The rock bands play loud
To the hurrying, flurrying, scurrying crowd.
Oh, moneys the object, and winnings the goal.
And nobody has any time for his soul.
The poor man, he envies and steals from his brother.
And the rich are as busy defrauding each other.
So love hides her face while self sits on the throne.
And each man is occupied seeking his own.
While dark clouds are threatening above them, unseen:
Soon, Soon they will sweep away all the bright dream,
And far in the heavens there sounds a wild cry—
As wide as the earth and as high as the sky—
Swift on the winds the stern message is hurled,
Three high-flying angels are warning the world,
The storm’s mad approach meets their far-seeing eye
And they shout out the warning to men as they fly:
”Come and flee to the shelter: Oh, flee while ye may:
Your last precious moments are ticking away.
”Death threatens! Why linger here in the storms path?
Soon, Soon all will drink from the cup of God’s wrath.
Listen. oh listen. Hush all of the noise—
Silence the music— Lay down your bright toys.
”Soon the tempest will strike with it’s death-dealing shock.
Oh, Jesus will hide you. Then flee to the Rock!”
The cry floats through jungles of steel and concrete.
But the earth-ears are tuned to the rock-music beat.
Their eyes on their treasures, their hearts full of sin,
Their ears are so deadened by earth’s frantic din
That few are the earthlings who lift up their eyes
Or hear the wild voices that sound from the skies.
Hark! Hark! Pause and listen. Have you ears that hear?
The voices are urgent. The message is clear.
While mercy yet lingers respond to the cry—
For why will you die? Oh, why will you die?