The Followers of the Lamb
Imagine this incredible scene! John now sets his eyes on The Lamb, standing on Mount Zion. Hope and victory are seen! Christ is there with those who are loyal to Him in faith and deeds, who have not allowed themselves to be deceived. Their focus is Christ and they follow Him as He leads and loves. They have been faithful and have kept themselves from sin even through the toughest of circumstances and temptations. John not only sees His Lord and great Hope, he also sees some of the wonders and sounds of things to come. John sees that Faith is tangible as God’s majesty is shown in is splendor and power. Yet, it was smooth and soothing, a great comfort and reassurance. The mark of the beast was rejected and the mark of Christ was received. The result was faithfulness and glory to Christ the Lamb. The faithful fruits that we display are also the encouragement others need and a testimony of conviction to those who struggle. Beware that there will be judgment for those who scorn righteousness and the precepts and plans of God.
How would you feel and think if you set your eyes on The Lamb standing on Mount Zion? How does Christ help you with your dependability to His precepts and call?
This passage uses agricultural images given to an agrarian people living in a city. John receives another vision and gives it to us with a play on words (Ezek. 10:1; 44:4; Dan. 10:5). The call here is to be faithful or be harvested for judgment, because God wants the best for Himself just as He offered His best to us. Continuing the theme of allegiance, this is about the contest and contrast of the mark of loyalty versus disloyalty. Will our loyalty and faith be to ourselves and/or evil, being easily led by manipulations, or will our allegiance be to the Lord and marked by Christ? Previously, the Dragon and the Beast, representing evil and disloyalty has manipulated and twisted truth and deceived people. Then, in Chapter 13, evil’s intentions are made fully known and clear, so there is no excuse. There is no excuse of manipulation or deception; evil is what evil does and you either follow it or God. This passage refers to those who are saints, people who are the elect, saved by grace—the redemptive work of Christ. These are the people who are sealed by their faith, motivated by their devotion and trustworthiness to Christ, and marked by the flow of their faithfulness and Fruit. This is not some esoteric, metaphoric number or flutter for speculation. It is quite clear; it is us, those who are Christians, all who have ever been and will be—Christianity in completion and in unity with Christ. In this passage, these followers, the 144,000—all of faithful Christianity who are consecrated to give worship and praise to God on Mount Zion (Ezek. 9:3-f; Rev. 5:10; 7:4-8).
This passage testifies to the fact that our faith is our benefit. When we are faithful and keep ourselves from sin—even through the toughest of circumstances and temptations—we persevere into greater use and maturity. How has this been so for you? What prevents this from happening?