Revelation 14:1-5 The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion
Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. nasu
Joshua chapter 6 introduced us to the concept of first fruits. The first of everything belongs to the Almighty. The first child or animal to burst from a mothers womb belongs to the Almighty. We raise the child but we remember that he or she belongs to the Almighty, not to us. The first of the harvest of your field belongs to the Almighty and the first bread made from your harvest belongs to him.
Two different kinds of first fruits were seen in Joshua chapter 6. The first was the city of Jericho. In English this was referred to as “being under the ban” or dedicated to destruction instead of being called first fruits. As the first city to be taken in the Promised Land, all of Jericho was to be dedicated to the Almighty as a Burnt offering, which is a consecration offering to the Almighty. We get our word Holocaust from the Hebrew description of “the smoke of the burnt offering that ascends to the Almighty as a pleasing fragrance” (Remember that Jericho means Fragrant). Everything in the city that was not made of gold, silver, or bronze was to be set on fire. Every man, woman, child, every animal was to be killed with the sword and burnt with the city. The children of Israel were not to take anything for themselves, nor to have pity on any person or beast. All of it was dedicated to the Almighty for a Holocaust, consecration to YHVH (the LORD).
Does that seem harsh to you?
There is another kind of first fruits. People who dedicate themselves to the Almighty. People who say Amen to his Word (both faith and believe are needed to describe the meaning of the Hebrew word ‘amen). People who have made a choice to follow the Almighty, to be true to his word and to forsake the pagan ways that they have embraced all of their lives. Rahab and her family were this kind of first fruits. The Almighty saved her and everyone she witnessed to, people who were willing to follow the Almighty while the rest of Jericho was tightly shut against him. (Joshua 6:1 is not just about the city gaits, it is also about the people’s hearts). After the walls fell down and everything in the city was destroyed, then Rahab and all who believed her testimony were brought out. The first fruits of the gentiles; snatched from the destruction of Jericho into the life of Israel. A “living sacrifice”
From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?
Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. nasu
Does first fruits have a purpose or is it just interesting history?
Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him (Messiah), you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation (Y’shua)–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
When we are born again we are given a “pledge of our inheritance” a kind of first fruits of what we will one day have in full from the Almighty. In the same way that we trust the Spirit in us as the guarantee of our future inheritance, eternal life, we also trust that the first fruits to the LORD are not just flannel-graph stories to entertain Sunday school children but they are testimonies of what is to come.
2 Peter 3:7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Because of the first fruits of Jericho, we know that all of the world will one day be “dedicated for destruction”. Because of Rahab we know that those who place their trust in the Almighty will be snatched from the destruction that the earth is dedicated for.
Jude 20-23 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
Today’s passage from the Revelation is no afterthought. Revelation 14:1-5 gives you a glimps of just how precious the relationship is between those who are beloved of Y’shua-Jesus and the people who were first snatched from the fire of the judgment on earth. It is an image of what will be yours when you see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12). Pure joy, joy that wipes away the tears of anguish that are cried in this world.
Are you “saved”? The world is going crazy. Give your life to Y’shua-Jesus. Time is running out.
Mrs. Hagerty, November 25, 2015