The Final Generation
Lesson 42

Revelation 13 closes with a view of the people of God as a small and apparently defenseless group against whom all the powers of earth are arrayed. By decree they have been denied the freedom to buy or sell and it has been decreed that they are worthy of death. To all appearances they will soon be overwhelmed. Then, before the eyes of the prophet another scene opens, and he sees this small group standing upon Mount Zion, victorious over the beast and the allied world powers that had joined together to force all to accept his mark.

1. Who does the prophet John see on mount Sion with the Lamb?

Revelation 14:1
Revelation 14:1

Note: the redeemed of the Lord are an innumerable company, which no man can number (see Revelation 7:9); but among that multitude is one separate company, a group who are designated by their number—one hundred and forty-four thousand. This company is composed of twelve divisions, each made up of twelve thousand souls; and each group bears the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

2. What does this group have in their foreheads?

Revelation 14:1
Revelation 14:1

3. What is another term for the Father’s name in the forehead?

Revelation 7:2–4
Revelation 7:2–4

Note: While the ruling powers on earth are striving to gain recognition for the beast and his image, there is a sealing process going forward among those who have refused to recognize this sign of apostasy. See Ezekiel 9:1– 4. All heaven is interested in this group who remain loyal in the midst of almost universal apostasy.

Many give a mental assent to following Christ, and many worship Him outwardly; but only a few are willing to be so closely identified with Him that their characters become assimilated into the divine likeness. This, however, is the experience of the 144,000.

4. What are the angels of God doing while the sealing is taking place?

Revelation 7:1–3
Revelation 7:1–3

Note: As we have seen, winds represent strife and war. Although there are wars and rumors of war (see Matthew 24:6), there is not a general engagement. Though we cannot see them, angels of God are holding the nations in check until the sealing of God’s servants can be completed.

5. What does John indicate has not defiled these faithful few?

Revelation 14:4
Revelation 14:4

Note: The church is represented by a woman; and the relationship of Christ to the church as of a husband to his wife. In Revelation 17:5 we have pictured an impure woman who had daughters of the same unholy nature. The 144,000 are not defiled by these women, or these apostate churches. They have a pure faith that is undefiled by false teachings.

6. What is it that defiles?

Matthew 15:18–20
Matthew 15:18–20

Note: It is sin that defiles. The only Bible definition of sin is “transgression of the law.” See 1 John 3:4. The popular churches are teaching that there is salvation in disregard of God’s law; it is this that defiles the people. “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:5

The prophet Isaiah describes this situation. “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” Isaiah 4:1. The husband gives his name to the wife and supplies her with food and clothing; but apostate churches, while claiming the name of Christ (Christian), eat their own bread and wear their own apparel.

A seal is that which authenticates a document or enactment of law, rendering it legal, and giving it the force of all the authority of the ruling power. We read in 1 Kings 21:8 that Jezebel “wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal.” These letters then had all the authority of King Ahab.

7. What did the Lord say to do with His law?

Isaiah 8:16
Matthew 15:18–20

8. What is the New Covenant promise?

Hebrews 8:10
Hebrews 8:10

Note: While the mark of the beast can be received in either the hand (symbol of service) or the head (symbol of the mind); the seal of God can be found written only in the forehead. Works will never be a qualification for the reception of that seal.

9. What sign did God give His people to show their acceptance of His authority?

Ezekiel 20:20
Ezekiel 20:20

Note: The basis of all worship is the fact that God is the Creator. The fourth commandment is the sign God has given us by which we show Him respect as Creator. While there have always been some upon the earth who have kept the Sabbath, before Christ returns, there is to be a special work of restoring the breach made in the law of God. See Isaiah 58:12 –14. This will be the work of the 144,000. While the vast majority of the world will be accepting the counterfeit sign, that of the man of sin, these few will firmly hold up before the world the obligation of the fourth commandment. Cut off from all earthly support and with the laws of the land deeming them worthy of death they will stand unmoved.

Paul likened the Christian walk to the efforts that are put into a race. See 1 Corinthians 9:25–27. Victory in a race is obtained only with wholehearted and continual effort. Many will spend a lifetime in merely seeking to enter in, only to find that it has all been in vain. Jesus said that it was only the striving ones who would make a success of their goal of gaining eternal life. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24

The good news of the gospel is that there is a power in the gospel to keep us from sinning and to restore in us the likeness of the divine. When Jesus returns, He will see in the face of every waiting believer His own divine likeness, for by beholding Him, they will be like Him when He comes. See 1 John 3:2.

10. Following the warning against apostasy in Revelation 14, whom did John see?

Revelation 14:14
Revelation 14:14

11. What does He do at this time?

Revelation 14:16
Revelation 14:16

12. What is the reaping time, or harvest called?

Matthew 13:39
Matthew 13:39

Note: When Jesus returns there will be a people in whom the character of Jesus is faithfully reproduced. As maturing wheat produces the seed from which it gained its life, each true Christian will be a reproduction of Jesus, the source of his life. See Colossians 3:4. Because Jesus is in him, the believer will live the life that Jesus lived, one of obedience to His Father’s commandments. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” 1 John 3:9

This likeness to Jesus is developed by beholding Him. See 2 Corinthians 3:18. It is by prayer, Bible study and meditation on heavenly things that we are, imperceptibly to ourselves, changed into the likeness of those things upon which our thoughts are centered.

While this ripening process is going on, there is at the same time another ripening process taking place. Speaking with His disciples of the harvest to take place at the end of the world, Jesus told them that there were two crops growing together. Side by side with the wheat was a crop of tares. While some center their interests upon eternal things, there is another, larger group, whose thoughts and interest are absorbed in the things of this world. As they develop, they are just as surely developing the mind-set and likeness of that which they are beholding. Just as some become like the God of heaven by the contemplation of heavenly things, other, whose interests are centered upon earthly things, become like the god of this world.

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