REVELATION 9Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of John
WITNESS OF THE 144,000
One of the major themes of the Book of Revelation is that the world has been deceived by the false religious system known as Babylon, and that God is calling people out of Babylon to be a part of His kingdom. The most powerful call to come out of Bbylon will be given by 144,000 "angels" (messengers) during the chaos of the seven trumpets. In chapter 14 the 144,000 are portrayed (verses 1-5), followed by a picture of three angels giving a powerful call to worship the Creator and escape from "fallen" Babylon (verses 6-12). Chapter 18 repeats the same language of chapter 14, with a powerful angel giving more details of the danger of Babylon and an even clearer appeal to escape: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons…Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:1-4). In chapter 7 the 144,000 are also portrayed, being sealed out of “all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Immediately after this John saw “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues…clothed with white robes” (Revelation 7:9). John heard the question, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” (v. 13). The answer was, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” To summarize the important points of these three passages:
· In chapter 7 the 144,000 are described, and then a great multitude are seen “coming out of the great tribulation.”
· In chapter 14 the 144,000 are again portrayed, and then they (as symbolized by three angels) give their message, which includes “Babylon is fallen.”
· In Chapter 18 “another angel” gives the same powerful message, “Babylon is fallen…come out of her my people”.
Comparing these passages, it is obvious that it is the 144,000 who will call the great multitude out of Babylon during the great tribulation (see 7: 9,10, The Great Multitude and 11:3-6, Who Are the Two Witnesses?). A multitude came out of Egypt with the children of Israel, convinced and convicted by the distinction they saw between the children of Israel (who were protected by God) and the Egyptians (who arrogantly rejected Him). Likewise, in the time of trouble a multitude will be convinced and convicted when they see not only the protection of the 144,000, but also when they hear their powerful message and see Christ’s character reflected in their lives (the seal on their foreheads). That story is told in chapter 11.