“And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with him 144,000, having His name, and the name of His Father, written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sing as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders: and no man could learn the song save the 144,000, even they that had been purchased out of the earth. These are they that were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were purchased from among men, to be the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no lie: they are without blemish” (Revelation 14:1-5).
This passage portrays a particular group of victorious saints. Spiritual virginity such as they are said to have must be the utmost gift to bring before the King of Heaven.
To me, this passage speaks of true perfection, not of people saved only from the effects of sin, but saved completely from all sin which could result in the loss of “virginity.” In the words of Romans 3:23, “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God,” but these conquerors, not “defiled with women,” have left that sin behind—forever. In His good time we will understand just what that looks like. Perhaps, even among readers of this magazine, there are members of this exclusive company. Perhaps it has not yet been revealed just who stands with the Lamb of God in that wonderful group. And perhaps it has not yet been revealed even to themselves.
Perhaps. But we know they comprise a rare and special body of companions to the Lamb.
Then they are described as “firstfruits.” One significance of that word is certainly that more fruits are sure to follow. That’s encouraging for us all. Probably every one of us would say, “I am not worthy to be one of the firstfruits,” but that doesn’t mean we’ll be left out entirely. Only when we are all gathered in God’s presence will it be plain why people are or are not included in the 144,000. These amazing people were not defiled, were virgins, followed Jesus everywhere He went, and did not tell lies. That’s a high calling, but maybe we, too, will be singing the new song with them. Revelation 2:17 says, “To him that overcometh, I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it.”
New name, new song. Glorious prospect!