Introduction: Have you ever read a book that reminded you of a “see-saw?” You know what I mean by “see-saw” – a long board on a fulcrum
with kids sitting on opposite ends. When one child goes up in the
air, the other comes down. Last week in our lesson the Devil (the red
Dragon of unusual size) and his two Beast buddies (the Sea Beast and
the Earth Beast) seemed to be up, they were winning the conflict
between good and evil. This week things are different, lets hop on
board and find out more!

  1. The 144,000

    1. Read Revelation 14:1,4&5. Who are these people?

      1. Is this your goal? To be with this group? Do you
        want to be standing on Mount Zion with Jesus?

      2. If so, how do we get from here to there?

      3. What are the specific qualities of the 144,000 found
        in verses 4 and 5?

        1. not defile themselves with women;
        2. follow the Lamb wherever He goes;
        3. purchased from among men;
        4. no liars; and,
        5. blameless.

    2. Let’s look at this list a minute. Look at the first entry:
      “not defile themselves with women?” Does this mean no
      married men? And if you are a woman, well, you might as
      well forget the whole idea?

      1. We need to jump ahead for just a minute. Read
        Revelation 17:3-6. Is there a familiar character in
        this scene? (The seven headed scarlet beast is hard
        to hide in a crowd. This is our old enemy the red
        Dragon of unusual size.)

      2. Who is the Dragon giving a ride? (This is a woman who
        is involved in the same activities as the two Beast
        buddies of Revelation 13. When Revelation 14:4 says
        the 144,000 have not defiled themselves with women, I
        believe it is talking about this woman of Revelation
        17. This woman is false religion which attacks God
        and God’s people. So the 144,000 “pure” and
        “undefiled” are people who are theologically correct.
        They are probably the same group we find in
        Revelation 12:17 – those who obey God’s commands and
        believe in Jesus.)

    3. Let’s go back to our list from Revelation 14:4&5. What is
      meant by “following the Lamb, wherever He goes?”
      (Sometimes our Christian walk takes us places that we
      would rather not go. Last week we learned that the unholy
      trio of the Dragon and his Beast buddies were really
      hurting God’s people. Those who follow the Lamb may be
      people who, like Jesus, suffered persecution. Perhaps it
      means that their “walk” (the way they live) is completely
      in harmony with Jesus’ example.)

    4. Why mention that they are not liars? (The whole fight we
      have seen so far is between false religion and true
      religion. Between God and Satan, who is the father of lies
      ( John 8:44).)

    5. How does it make you feel to know that the redeemed are
      blameless? I have read authors who say that we must reach
      a state of perfection if we are to be saved. What do you

      1. What do you think the phrase “they were purchased”
        adds to our discussion about perfection? (The Greek
        word is a variation on “to go to market.” The idea is
        that they were bought by Jesus. His payment, not
        theirs, redeemed them. As a result, their perfection
        comes from what Jesus has done for them. (See 1 Peter
        1:18-19; Galatians 3:11-14.))

    6. Consider the number: 144,000. This is not a lot of people.
      You hear that it is tough to get into special schools: a
      certain school of music, veterinary school, medical
      school, law school, some colleges. How students struggle
      to get into these schools. If this is a literal number,
      don’t we have tremendous pressure to struggle to be
      counted among that number?

      1. Is it true that we’ve got to be one in a million? One
        in a billion?

      2. Is the 144,000 a literal number? (Read Revelation
        7:4-8. Notice that these verses speak of the genesis
        of this number. It is 12,000 from each of the 12
        tribes. Well, these tribes do not exist today in that
        form. Thus, this seems to be a symbolic number. If
        you review Revelation 21:12-17 you will find the New
        Jerusalem is is a city of “12’s.” This reaffirms my
        thought this number is symbolic.)

        1. Why would God give us a symbolic number for His
          people? (Our lesson suggests that there is this
          big global battle going on. On the one hand is
          Satan and his two Beast buddies. On the other
          hand is the Holy Trinity and Jesus’ followers
          here on earth. This is classic good guys versus
          bad guys stuff. Just as the beasts are symbols,
          so the 144,000 is a symbol of a special group of
          God’s people.)

    7. Revelation 14 now makes a transition. I imagine it does so
      because the 144,000 have been involved in spreading the
      following message while they were on earth.

  1. The Message: First Angel

    1. Imagine that you want a raise or want to change your work
      hours. Would you just walk into your boss’s office
      without thinking about how you will approach the issue?

      1. Do you remember when you were dating? Did you ask
        for your initial date with a girl without planning
        what you were going to say first?

      1. If you were a girl who wanted to date a specific guy,
        did you plan how you could meet him and what you
        would say to show that you were interested?

    1. Lets read Revelation 14:6-7. Do you think the angel’s
      words were carefully planned? Or, did God just say to an
      angel, “Say a few words about my coming to the world” and
      the angel ad-libbed a few lines? (This sounds impossible,
      doesn’t it?)

    2. Verse 6 tells us that the angel had the “eternal” (NIV) or
      “Everlasting” (KJV) gospel. What does that mean? (It does
      not change.)

    1. What part of the angel’s message in v. 7 really grabs your
      attention? (The angel ties it to the judgment. He tells us
      that the gospel is relevant now, because the time of
      judgment is now.)

    2. We were talking about planning important discussions. If
      God especially planned to start out with a declaration
      about the judgment, why do you think He started that way?
      (This message is to make us think seriously about our
      relationship with God.)

      1. Let’s step back just a moment. The Dragon and his two
        Beast buddies, according to Revelation 13, are trying
        to get everyone to worship the Sea Beast (and,
        ultimately Satan) by deceit or terror. At the same
        time, the First angel’s message is to worship God
        because God’s judgment is at hand. What will it be
        like to live in that time? (What a challenge!)

        1. Are we now living in that time?

    3. What does Revelation 14:7 suggest is the eternal gospel?
      What are the elements of the message? Let’s list them:

      1. Fear (respect) God
      2. Glorify God
      3. Hour of judgment has come
      4. Worship the Creator. Verse 6 adds that this is a
        universal message.

    4. What does it mean to fear God? (Fear (“phobeo”: to be in
      awe of) God.)

    5. What does verse 7 suggest is the reason for us to fear
      God? (This is not some little story about a teacher, who
      we decided to follow, who it turns out died like a
      criminal and we are ashamed about it. This is the
      watershed event in the history of the world. And our God
      prevailed! We can choose Him or the Dragon and his
      buddies. The final decision time is here for all the
      inhabitants of earth. So fear God. Be in awe of Him and
      what He did to defeat the Dragon and give us free-choice.)

    6. What do you think it means to “give God glory?” (The Greek
      word is “doxa.” Vines says “always `good opinion, praise,
      honor, glory, an appearance commanding respect,
      magnificence, excellence, manifestation of glory.'”)

      1. Let’s get practical: If I said to you, give God glory
        this week, what would you do?

    7. When we read that we should worship God, what comes to
      mind? That is, what does it mean to worship?

      1. Consider that the Greek word for worship is
        “Proskeneo” which literally means to “pros” “towards”
        and “kuneo” “to kiss.” Kisses to God! (Strong’s
        suggests like a dog licks his master’s hand.)

    1. The angel links fearing God to the judgment. To what does
      the angel link worshiping God? ( Revelation 14:7 tells us
      to worship God because He is the Creator.)

      1. Is believing in the Creation, and rejecting
        Evolution, a key element to worshiping God?

      1. If you do not believe in Creation, are you able to
        properly worship God?

      2. If you did not believe in Creation, on what basis
        would you be worshiping God? (A literal Creation is
        one of the most controverted aspects of the Bible.
        Many people say they believe in God, “believe” in the
        Bible, yet do not believe in a literal Creation.)

      3. Is a literal Creation a fundamental truth? Or is
        this just one of those debated and debatable things
        that has little, if anything to do with your
        salvation? (It is fundamental. Consider the first
        chapter of the Gospel of John. If you do not believe
        that God made us, then it is more difficult to
        believe that He “recreated us” when He arose. If you
        do not believe either of those (Creation or
        recreation), it is hard to understand the basis for
        your worship.)

    1. When you put these two concepts together: worship and
      Creation, what immediately comes to mind? ( Exodus 20:8-11:
      the Fourth of the Ten Commandments. It tells us to keep
      the Sabbath because it is a memorial to God’s act of
      Creation. This puts the issue of worshiping God on the
      seventh-day as “front and center” in the final conflict
      between the special messengers of God and the Dragon and
      his beast buddies. Compare Revelation 12:17)

  1. The Message: Second Angel

    1. Read Revelation 14:8. What is Babylon? (In Genesis 11 it
      began with building a city that could survive another
      flood. So this is the ideology of not believing God, but
      man trusting himself.)

      1. What is the “good news” about Babylon? (That it has
        fallen. This system of belief has been defeated.)

    2. Is there a relationship between the messages of the First
      and Second angels? (Yes! They both teach us that the
      controversy is over “God worship” versus “man worship.”
      This reminds us that the efforts of the two Beast buddies
      is to promote “works oriented” religion. A “works
      oriented” religion includes all of the major non-Christian
      religions of the world from Islam to Buddhism to Judaism.
      In addition, it sweeps in classic Catholicism and any
      Protestant religion that blurs the line between works and
      salvation by faith alone. (Regular readers of this lesson
      might very well believe that I blur the line by my strong
      emphasis on a changed life. I trust I am not helping the
      “Beast buddies!))

  2. The Message: Third Angel

    1. Read Revelation 14:9-11. Some awful stuff, right? How
      are the people identified who have these terrible things
      happen to them? (The mark of the beast.)

      1. How do we get the mark? (Worshiping the Sea Beast
        ( Revelation 13:1, 11-12) and his image.)

    2. We have two groups: one having the seal of the living God,
      and another having the mark of the beast. These two
      groups seem to have the mark or the seal in a common
      place. Where is that?(The forehead. Compare Revelation
      14:9 with Revelation 7:3.)

      1. What is the significance of that?(Notice that the
        seal of the righteous is only on the forehead. The
        seal for the wicked can be on either the forehead or
        the hand. This indicates that choosing God can only
        be a mental decision. On the other hand, choosing
        Satan can either be a mental decision or just going
        along with the crowd or going along with coercion.)

    1. Friend, do you want to be part of the 144,000? God asks
      you to make a decision for Him today. Will you join Him
      and help spread the messages of the three angels?

  1. Next Week: The Climax of Apocalyptic Expectation: The Blessed