One Last Swing: Revelation 14 – 15

The Lamb Leads the 144,000. Three Angels Praise God. Blood through the Winepress. The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath Prepared.

And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
Revelation 14:3 (NIV)

What does a Godly man look like? We are told often that we will know a man by his actions, that if he truly believes in God, then his behavior will change to line up with such a belief. Is he humble and patient? Does he love and encourage others? Is his faithful? How does he show it?

I almost wrote this opening with a gender-neutral word (alt: What does a Godly person look like?), but I figured it would open up another topic altogether. Is there a difference between how a man ought to act and how a woman should, in the eyes of God? I think it depends on the person you ask. Biblical literalists would say “Of course!” Modern apologists would counter, “Not so much in this day and age!”

Glad we had that argument. Can we move on now?

I am curious about these 144,000 redeemed souls. As a refresher, God selected 12,000 people from the 12 tribes of Israel to be saved during the Tribulation. They will incur tremendous hardship in the wake of all the destruction and overthrow, and they will be glorified in a special way upon the second coming of Christ. The rhetoric is clear here: these are “chosen” people. They are not the top 144,000 that made the cut. God pre-selected them for an important purpose. But how must one act in order to become one of these individuals?

These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (14:4-5)

So, from this, we learned they…

…are men.
…are virgins.
…follow God.
…are honest.
…are blameless.

…oh, and they were “purchased” (read: predestined).

Now is this one of those sneaky metaphors or are we meant to take this all literally? Is a man so defiled when he has sex with a woman? Speaking of women… where are all of them? So, none of the 144,000 are women?

I asked a record 13 questions today, just in the course of a single page entry.

The number “13” may signify something, but I am too afraid to dig into it.

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