Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Easter

Revelation 14:1-13

A Blessed Scene of the Righteous in Heaven

After such a horrifying vision in chapter thirteen (dragons and seven-headed beasts and such), the Lord rewards us with a refreshing and truly glorious vision in chapter fourteen.  God has a way of doing this for His saints.  He never leaves us to despair, no matter how dark things become.  He constantly places before us our heavenly abode and eternal city; otherwise, how could any of us stand?  God knows our frame – how weak we truly are (Psalm 103:14).

So we arrive at Mount Zion, another name for our heavenly home.  I have already indicated my belief along with many that the 144,000 represents the entire Church of the redeemed from every age and nation.  Their virginity is not so much a reference to physical celibacy as spiritual fidelity.  Thus Paul says to the church in Corinth: “I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2).  Marital fidelity or infidelity is often used in the Scriptures to symbolize one’s faithfulness, or lack thereof, to God (the Book of the Prophet Hosea, for instance).  Celibacy does not commend us to God, unless we are first commended to God in our hearts.  And we certainly cannot think that only men would be in heaven!  These must be the full number of the redeemed who have not defiled themselves by committing adultery with the world by compromising the gospel.  They have remained faithful in the midst of hardship; they have endured to the end.

This is a most blessed vision, especially as the saints sing “a new song.”  Not so, the wicked.  The angels fly overhead, one with the “eternal gospel” which unregenerate men refuse to believe.  A second angel follows proclaiming the doom of Babylon, not the ancient city in Mesopotamia, but any city which sells itself to the Antichrist and his diabolical world system.  A third angel warns of the eternal punishment awaiting those who receive the mark of the beast and worship at his footstool.  We may be shocked to read that these will be tormented in the presence of the angels and the Lamb, but the Bible would have us know that we worship a righteous God whose holiness is uncompromising.  He has given his Son for our salvation, and to reject His Son is the greatest of offenses.  The salvation of the righteous serves to magnify God’s grace, while the punishment of the wicked serves to magnify His justice.  And who are we to answer back to God or to question His will (Romans 9:19-29).  In the meantime, we are called to endurance by the hope of our reward.  We shall one day rest, and our labors will follow.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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