Revelation 14-1-20 Part 2



1)    Then I looked and, lo, a Lamb having been standing upon the mount – Zion; and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousands having had His Name and His Father’s Name written on their foreheads.

2)    Then I heard sound from the heaven as sound from many waters and as sound from great thunder; then the sound that I heard as harpers harping in their harps;

3)    and they sing a new song before the throne and in the presence of the four creatures and the twenty four elders, and no one is enabled to understand the song except the hundred and forty-four thousands of the land who have been bought.

4)    These are the ones not defiled with women, for they are chaste; these are the ones following the Lamb wherever He leads; these firstfruit were bought from the men to God and to the Lamb,

5)    and falsehood was not found in their mouth; they are blameless.

6)    Then I saw a messenger flying in mid-heaven having age-enduring proclamation to proclaim against those dwelling on the land, and upon the nations and tribes and tongues and people

7)    declaring in a great sound ‘Fear ye The God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and do homage to The One having made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.’

8)    Then another, a second, followed saying ‘Fallen!  Babylon the great, from whom the wine of the passion of her fornication all the nations have drunk, is fallen!’

9)    Then another messenger, a third, followed them saying in a great sound ‘If anyone adores the beast and the image of it and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10) he will also drink from the wine, having been previously prepared unmixed, of the wrath of God in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of holy messengers and in the presence of the Lamb,

11) and the smoke of their torment rises into ages of ages, and they have no rest day or night.’  These are the ones who adore the beast and its image and anyone taking the mark of its name;

12) whereas the perseverance of the saints is in this:  they are keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13) Then I heard sound from the heaven telling me, write ‘Blessed the dead who die henceforth in Kurios; the Spirit says that they will receive rest from their travails for their works follow together with them.’

14) Then I looked and, lo, a white cloud; and on the cloud the seated likeness of Son of Man having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.

15) And another messenger came out from the Holy Place crying out in a great sound to the One seated upon the cloud, ‘Send in Your sickle and reap for the hour is come to reap, for the harvest of the land is ripened.’

16) And the One sitting upon the cloud thrust His sickle upon the land and the land was reaped.

17) Then another messenger came forth from the Holy Place in the heaven, it also having a sharp sickle.

18) Then another messenger came forth from the altar having authority over the fire, and it called out with a great sound saying to the one with the sharp sickle, ‘Thrust your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the land, for her clusters have ripened.’

19) And the messenger thrust its sickle into the land and gathered the vine of the land and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20) And the winepress was trodden outside the city; and blood came forth from the winepress as high as the horses’ bridles for a thousand six hundred stadia.



Having prophesied and foreshadowed His Messiah/King all through His history, and having promised to redeem “all Israel”, and having declared that He had “set” His King over His holy mount – Zion (Psalm two), Yahveh now shows the Lamb of God to the apostle John here “in the last days” (verse one of our text).

And Yahveh’s King is standing on Mount Zion appearing as The Lamb of God having made atonement for His people.  All hundred and forty four thousand of the ones God has kept for Himself are standing with Him and have been “marked out” and “rescued” from the wrath to come; and they have The Father’s Name and His King’s Name on their foreheads. (That’s in contradistinction to the mark of the beast on all the rest.)

A “stone” has been cut out of the mountain of Israel that is called “’Zion”; and that Stone will grow to be a great mountain over all the mountains of the earth due to the atonement of God’s sacrifice. He is The Lamb that God provided for Himself.  The old Mount Zion will shortly be thrown burning into the sea and pass from existence.

But because of the atonement made by Son of Man/God the Son, God’s promise all through history to save Israel has come to pass; and all nations will acknowledge His King and His eternal Kingdom.  It is a “mountain paradise” in Christ Jesus the Lord (as we learned last Lord’s Day); for all His people have peace with God and fellowship in Him.

This is a monumental and overwhelming view that is shown to John here, for it reveals the entirety of the work of the Savior of the World.  And all who are rebirthed into Him must hold to what is revealed here.  It is the testimony of Jesus.

At the appointed time in God’s history, God the Son took on the form of man in order to be the sacrificial Lamb that God provided for Himself, in order that His wrath toward depraved mankind might be satisfied.

And that “Lamb”, having made the sacrifice and having arisen out of death, secured the salvation and resurrection of all who belong to Him.  And the victorious Lamb of God – The Overcomer – will now reign as King of Kings over all the nations, tribes and tongues, restoring “paradise” to God’s creation – after the fashion of God’s original mountain paradise.

And while I’m here preaching the work of the Christ, let me just expand on the answer to a question from the second hour last Lord’s Day.  This is a good place to do that, because we are hearing about the “work” of God the Son here in The Revelation.

The question had to do with Holy Spirit and our defense of the Faith against fundamentalists who preach a “two-religions” view of Scripture.  It is said by them that the “old testament” was a Jewish religion of law, and the “new testament” is a Christian religion of grace.

The Father’s “legal requirements” didn’t work (they say); so the Holy Spirit steps in and abrogates the law, offering instead love and grace in Christ Jesus.

That’s very simplistic; but it is, indeed, the core of the issue!

But, as God has declared in His Own Word, He is the same yesterday, today and into the ages.  He doesn’t “change”.

The “religion” (quote – unquote) that is revealed from creation is Christianity.  The Faith has always been the same.  The prominence of the Father, the prominence of the Son, and the prominence of Holy Spirit are all through the older Scripture; and the same is true of the newer Scripture.

The work of the Father, the work of the Son and the work of Holy Spirit are prominent from creation to the present.  And that’s not based on man’s personal experience (which is called evidentialism), but it’s the Revelation of God in His Word.

The work of the Son has always been the work of the Son; the work of Holy Spirit has always been the work of Holy Spirit. 

The idea (idolatrous idea) of two “religions” (one legal, the other gracious and loving – and coming in different “dispensations”) is deviant; it’s delusional; and it’s absurd.

The “Persons” of Triune God – Father, Son, Spirit – have not become something other than Father, Son and Spirit.  And the Word of God has not become something other than the Word of God.  As we’ve seen, The Word is perfectly consistent from beginning to end.

The “work” of Father, Son and Spirit is revealed from the beginning; and at the appointed time in God’s history, that work is accomplished.  The “appointed time in history” is that which is mis-perceived, you see; what is absurd is that it is counted as a change in Persons and roles!

In other words the legal system of the old (they say) has been changed to a grace system in the new; therefore the Persons and work of Father, Son and Spirit are different now from what they were before!

Therefore there has to be some kind of a “mutation”, or a “metamorphosis” in the personages and roles of our Triune God!

Absurdity!  Heresy!  The work of God the Son is accomplished in God’s created space and time.  And that work isn’t different than what is revealed of Him, and by Him, from the beginning.  What He has done, and what He is now doing was revealed from the beginning.

The work of God the Spirit is accomplished in God’s created space and time; and it is not different than what is revealed of Him, and by Him, from the beginning.  So the issue is “the point in time” – the appointed time – for the work to be accomplished, and NOT a change in Persons or roles in Triune Godhead.  The Person of God the Father, the Person of God the Son, the Person of God the Spirit is exactly the same as it’s always been.

The demeanor of God the Father, the demeanor of God the Son, the demeanor of God the Spirit is exactly the same as it’s always been.  But the point in time (God’s history) – the appointed time – in which the Son’s work and Holy Spirit’s work become more prominent in God’s history has been mis-apprehended; it is taken to represent a “change” in God’s Person and His demeanor.  That’s a deviation from The Faith.

This is a space/time creation; and just because God the Son appeared at a certain time and location doesn’t mean that God has changed His mind or His demeanor about how to deal with depraved humanity!  And just because Holy Spirit anointed the entire body of The Christ at Pentecost (a specific time and place) doesn’t mean that God has changed His mind about how to deal with His cursed creation!

Just as the Lamb of God was the Lamb of God before the foundation of the world, so the decree of God for the outpouring of Holy Spirit at Pentecost!  Holy Spirit’s work of rebirthing The Lord’s people and “connecting” us to Him and causing us to feed on His body, took place at the time that it did because Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again at that time!  There was no “change” in Holy Spirit’s work or demeanor… it was the appointed time!  It was decreed from the beginning!

I hope that lends some clarity to the whole issue. 


Now.  Revealed from the beginning (as we’ve already heard) is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, standing on God’s holy mountain – Zion.  And with Him, at the appointed time in God’s history, are all of the elect of God from all the tribes of Israel.

They are marked out as belonging to The Father, through the atonement of The Son; and they have been “rescued” from the wrath of God shortly to come.  And in God’s perception they are all standing with Jesus here at the end of the age.  They are the only ones; and they are the “firstfruits” of the resurrection.  All the rest (if I might use the current dispensationalist terminology) have been “left behind”.

At this point we’ll now turn to the “sounds” that John now hears in the heaven.  And these sounds are heard by John in connection with the Revelation of the Lamb of God standing on Mount Zion with His elect from the house of Jacob.  A most glorious time is about to come to pass in God’s history of redemption (as we read here), and great sounds herald the event!

They are most awesome sounds; and, as I said, they accompany the sight of the Lamb and every single one who belongs to Him.  It is the sight of victory; for, as the apostle Paul had said, nothing and no one can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus the Lord.  (Paul wrote that, by the way, some twenty years before they are shown to John here.)

And the sounds that John hears accompanying the sight are as wondrous and overwhelming as the sight itself, for they had all been heard previously and recorded in Scripture.  And upon hearing these majestic sounds himself, all coming from the tabernacle of God in the cloud of glory, he is to “write” what he heard for all the Church; and they too (we too) are to be reminded from whence they come.

And the first sound is the great roaring that filled the heavens – a sound as that of many rushing waters all at the same time… a tremendous roar filling the heaven!

We’re going to leave an exposition of God’s perception of His “waters” to chapter seventeen.  Here we’re concerned with the sound from the heaven, the sound “as the sound of many rushing waters”.  And please note that it is not rushing water; it is the sound “as” the sound of many rushing waters.

And we need to remember where this mighty sound comes from, and under what circumstances.  And first let’s hear from the prophet Isaiah at chapter seventeen.  This is two hundred and fifty years after the writing of Psalm two in which David writes of the nations “setting” themselves against Yahveh and His Messiah.  Here it is from Isaiah:


12) Ah!  The roar of many peoples they roar like the roaring of the seas (the raging of the nations) they rage like the rushing of mighty waters.

13) The nations rage like the rushing of many waters. He rebukes them, and they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills and like dead thistles before a gale.

14) In the evening—sudden terror!  Before morning—it is gone!  This is the fate of those who plunder us and the lot of those who ravage us.


Prophesied by the psalmist (Psalm two) a thousand years before the events in our text; prophesied again by Isaiah seven hundred and fifty years before the events in our text, the roar of the nations gathered against Yahveh and against His anointed King are laughable in comparison to the sound as of the sound of many waters that fills the heaven as the Lamb of God stands in victory on Mount Zion with His people.

But the sound…!  Where does it come from?  From whence does it arise in the heaven as The Overcomer is seen with His redeemed people?

Listen to Ezekiel as he is shown the very throne-room/tabernacle of God in His heaven.  Here in chapter one he describes the four cherubim that exist just below the firmament – over which is the indescribable glory of God… beginning at verse twenty-two:


22) And a likeness over the heads of the living creatures of an expanse (a firmament), as the color of a fearful crystal stretched out over their heads from above.

23) And under the expanse their wings straight, one toward the other, to each are two covering their bodies on this side, and to each are two covering their bodies on that side.

24) And I hear the sound of their wings as the sound of many rushing waters, as the sound of the Almighty, in their going -- the sound of tumult, as the sound of a host; in their standing they let down their wings.

25) And there is a voice from above the expanse that [is] above their head: in their standing they let fall their wings.

26) And above the expanse that [is] over their head, as an appearance of a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne, and on the likeness of the throne a likeness, as the appearance of a man upon it from above.

27) And I see as the color of gleaming bronze, as the appearance of fire within it round about; from the appearance of his loins and upward, and from the appearance of his loins and downward, I saw as the appearance of fire and brightness round about it.

28) As the appearance of the bow that is in a cloud in a day of rain, so the appearance of the brightness round about.


Once again we see the continuity and perfections of God’s Revelation, don’t we?  At John’s sight of the Overcomer with His elect people on Mount Zion, he also hears the tumult – the roaring – as the sound of many rushing waters.

It’s the same sound that Ezekiel heard from the heaven… it is the sound of the wings of the cherubim underneath the glorious Presence of Almighty God. 

The sight of the victorious Christ and His people is accompanied by the incredible sound from the heaven; and this sound makes a complete “mockery” of the paltry sound of the nations gathered together against Yahveh and against His anointed King!

The sound that the nations make in their roaring against Yahveh is “nothing” in comparison to the sound from the heaven at the sight of the victorious Christ on the mount!

When he hears it, John is to make that connection.  And he writes it for the Churches so that they, too, make the connection.  And it is for us, as well.

John then hears sound as from “great thunder”.

Please note that there is no “storm” in the heaven producing thunder.  That would be ludicrous.  What John hears is sound “as” from great thunder.  It is a “thundering” sound!

There are many instances which we could cite; but let me take you to only a couple in order for us to see the continuity and precision of God’s Word.  From whence comes the thunder?  And when is it heard?  This is from First Samuel:


6)    Yahveh kills, and He makes alive: He brings down to Sheol (the grave), and brings up.

7)    Yahveh makes poor, and makes rich: He brings low, he also lifts up.

8)    He raises up the poor out of the dust, He lifts up the needy from the dunghill to make them sit with princes and inherit the throne of glory: For the pillars of the earth are Yahveh's; and he has set the world upon them.

9)    He will keep the feet of his holy ones; but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for by (his own) strength shall no man prevail.

10) They that strive with Yahveh shall be broken to pieces; against them will He thunder in the heaven: Yahveh will judge the ends of the earth; and he will give strength unto His King and exalt the horn of His Anointed.


And here is a Psalm of David as it appears in the text of Second Samuel:


2)    …Yahveh is my rock, and my fortress, and a deliverer to me;

3)    God, my rock, in him will I take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge; My savior; out of violence You shall save me.

4)    I will call upon Yahveh, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

5)    For the waves of death compassed me; the floods of ungodliness made me afraid:

6)    The cords of sheol were round about me; the snares of death came upon me.

7)    In my distress I called upon Yahveh; yea, I called unto my God, and he heard my voice out of his tabernacle; my cry came into his ears.

8)    Then the earth shook and trembled, the foundations of the heavens quaked and were shaken, because he was wroth.

9)    There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it.

10) He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and thick darkness was under his feet.

11) And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly; yea, he was seen upon the wings of the wind.

12) And he made darkness pavilions round about him - gathering of waters – thick clouds of the skies.

13) At the brightness before him coals of fire were kindled.

14) Yahveh thundered from the heaven; the Most High uttered His voice.


And just one more… here is God’s Word through Isaiah, from chapter twenty-nine:


2)    …and there shall be mourning and lamentation; and she shall be unto me as Ariel.

3)    And I will encamp against you round about, and will lay siege against you with posted troops, and I will raise siege works against you.

4)    And thou shall be brought down and shall speak out of the ground, and your speech shall be low out of the dust; and your voice shall be as of one that has a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.

5)    But the multitude of thy foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be in an instant suddenly.

6)    She shall be visited of Yahveh of Hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great sound, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.

7)    And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel (another reference to Jerusalem), even all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her, shall be as a dream, a single vision of the night.

8)    … so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.


It is the sound of Almighty God as He speaks in His great anger; and His sound shakes the heavens and the earth.  And His “heaven and earth” – Israel – Mount Zion, passes from existence… its former existence as only a fleeting memory, as only a dream that occurred during the night. 

That’s what’s prophesied; and that’s the second great sound that the apostle hears in the heaven.  First, the mighty wings of the cherubim filling the heaven as the sound of great rushing waters.  Then the voice of The Almighty as He thunders in His great displeasure.

And then… the third sound.  And, as you can see, they’re in a particular order here.

From Second Chronicles we read of King David’s preparation on Mount Zion – Jerusalem – for the Ark of the Covenant.  As you may remember, the ark was the man-made replica of the mercy seat in the cloud of glory.  Here in the Chronicles text, the ark is moved to the location on the dome of the rock atop Mount Zion.  Listen carefully:


1)    And David made him houses in the city of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tabernacle.

2)    Then David said, none ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them Yahveh has chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him into the age.

3)    And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Yahveh unto its place which he had prepared for it.

25) So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of Yahveh out of the house of Obed-edom with joy.

26) And it came to pass when God helped the Levites bare the ark of the covenant of Yahveh, that they sacrificed seven bullocks and seven rams.

27) And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers; and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers.  And David had upon him an ephod of linen.

28) Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of Yahveh with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, sounding loud with psalteries and harps.

29) And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of Yahveh came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out through the window, and saw king David dancing and playing (in his harp); and she despised him in her heart.


Now, our text says that John heard sound in the heaven as harpers harping in their harps.  And as we’ve seen previously, the sound in the heaven is the “original” sound.  As with the sound “as many rushing waters”, and the sound “as mighty thunder”, so the sound as harpers harping in their harps.

The fact that the original sounds are the sounds in the heaven is the reason John writes as he does here.  The sound of many rushing waters, and the sound of thunder, and the sound of David and the Levites playing their harps and singing a specific song, are the earthly “likenesses”, or copies, of the original sounds in the heaven!

All the creation is made in the likeness of the cloud of glory; but the tabernacle and all its ceremonies were man-made “copies” of our God’s tabernacle with the four cherubim at the four corners of the mercy seat below the firmament – over which is the glorious Presence of The Lord of Hosts.

And all three of the majestic sounds that John hears are the original sounds proceeding from the tabernacle in the heaven, and they are heard by John at the Revelation of the Lamb of God standing on Mount Zion with His elect Israel!

He hears the great “rushing” sound of the cherubim filling the heaven as they proceed now to do the will of Almighty God here in the last days.  And John then hears the mighty thundering voice of God.  His elect are now safe in the Lamb; and His wrath is to be poured out on all the rest until His justice is satisfied.

And then the third sound proceeding from the tabernacle is the sound of great joy in so great salvation.  The sound is “as the sound” of David and the Levites playing and singing in their harps as the ark of the covenant was placed at the top of Mount Zion.

The Will of God; and the Justice of God; and the Mercy of God is about to be accomplished here in the last days.

John does not say that he “saw” any creature playing and singing in their harps… only that he heard a sound “as” harpers harping in their harps – as it was when the ark of the covenant was brought to the top of Zion.  There they sang a very specific song of joy that was taught by the master musician (as we heard from the reading).

But here in John’s text, he says he heard the sound emanating from the tabernacle itself, in the presence of the four cherubim and the twenty-four elders; and it was a new song understood only by the hundred and forty four thousands standing with the Lamb.  It was a sound from the Master Musician Himself, for His King had been “set” on His Holy Mountain; and His King had “overcome” and had created salvation for all of God’s people.

And only His people who were bought by the atonement of the Lamb could understand it.  All the rest would be bundled up and cast into the furnace of fire, and there would be wailing and gnashing of the teeth (Matthew thirteen, verse fifty).

Just as there was joy in Jerusalem at the appearance of the ark of the covenant on Mount Zion, so there was that specific sound of joy in the heaven at the appearance of the Lamb on Mount Zion; for He had “overcome”.

He had overcome the serpent; He had overcome the four great beasts of history; He had overcome the nations gathered together against Him; He had overcome Israel (later called the great harlot of history); and He had overcome death itself; and He had overcome the curse once pronounced against the creation and depraved mankind.

In the order of the sounds that John heard in the heaven, the third was the overwhelming, heaven-filling sound of joy in the sight of the Lamb on Mount Zion – the new one!

And the “new song” that only the redeemed can understand is the testimony of Jesus… that He did come at the appointed time; He did overcome; He did redeem His people, and He is the Savior of the world.