Who are the 144,000 in Revelation 14?
Are they the same as in Revelation 7?
Why is no one able to learn that song except 144,000?
Do women defile men?
Were the 144,000 sinless?
My translation and notes on Revelation 14:1-5.
The Lamb With the 144,000
1 Then I looked and lo, a Lamb was standing on Mount Zion and with him a hundred forty-four thousand having his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
[Mount Zion is most likely on earth not heaven because the 144,000 Jewish evangelists are human. It seems unlikely that they would bypass death. Yet, many believe the scene of verse 1 is in heaven, the heaven Zion. Compare Revelation 7:1-8. John Walvoord ThD writes (The Revelation of Jesus Christ):
If this group is the same as the 144,000 of chapter 7, they are specifically said to be sealed and kept safely through the tribulation. In this case, they move on into the millennial earth without going to the third heaven, since this is the meaning of the seal (cf. 7:3).
Further, the argument that the 144,000 must be in heaven as they hear the song before the throne may be disputed. There is no statement to the effect that they hear the song, only the declaration that they alone can learn it. The reasons for making Mount Zion a heavenly city in this passage are therefore lacking a sure foundation. Preferable is the view that this is a prophetic vision of the ultimate triumph of the Lamb following His second coming, when He joins the 144,000 on Mount Zion at the beginning of His millennial reign.
Israel is Israel, not the church. The church, New Testament believers are not called Israel. Israel always refers to that group of people who are descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. See Luke 2:32, Acts 9:15, and Romans 11:25. Wilbur Pickering PhD writes: Only 2% of the Greek manuscripts do not have “His name and” (as in KJV and NKJV), so they had two names written, the Father’s and the Son’s—much better than having the name of the Beast. Compare Revelation 3:12].
2 I heard a sound from heaven, like the sound of many waters and loud thunder. I also heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
[An immense crowd of people can create a lot of noise—loud noise].
3 They were singing a new song before the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders. No one could learn that song except the hundred forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
[When John received this revelation, the 144,000 of Israel had not been born. This is a prophetic statement of believing Jews in the future. The text does not explain why no one could learn this song. Some have suggested that only true Christians could sing this song. That makes no sense. Are those teachers saying that only 144,000 are saved? Perhaps, the experiences these believers went through were so unusual that only they could understand the significance of the words].
4 These are those who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
[14:4 Defiled doesn’t mean women are more sinful and sex is not proper. It is understood that these 144,000 male evangelists were celibate. The defilement would have been sex without marriage. The women could be non-believing women as in Numbers 25:1, Jeremiah 34:16, and Malachi 2:11].
5 No deceit was found in their mouth, for they are blameless in the presence of God’s throne.
[Note, ‘in the presence of God’s throne’ is found in the Jerome’s 405AD Vulgate Clement VIII Revision. No deceit does not mean these never lied, rather it means they do not deliberately conceal, make appearances, or lie for their advantage to control, manipulate, and even destroy. They make every effort to tell the truth in life and message. Compare Matthew 24:6, Acts 13:10, 1 Peter 3:10, and Ephesians 4:25. The Scriptures tell us they were blameless. It does not say sinless].