Segment 30 - 14.01 - The lamb and the 144000
Let’s talk about the third portent here, which is the coming of, it’s a greater picture now, the triumphant Christ, a little expanded picture of the triumphant Christ. We saw the kingdom of the Christ announced back here with the seventh trumpet. When the angel blew the seventh trumpet, this was announcing the coming of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of the Christ. Now we have the picture of the triumphant Christ coming onto the scene, and this is in chapter 14. I better get my Bible turned to the right spot here. What happened? Okay.
This chapter in a sense too is kind of a brief interlude, another breathing spell, we’ve seen a couple of these far. The purpose once again is to encourage all of the faithful to continue to be faithful, to encourage the Saints to be faithful. Today, we think of a saint as a very special person in Christian history. In the Roman Catholic Church, various people have been canonized as Saints. It gives them a special position.
Well, the term is also used in the Scripture. But in the early days, in the early church, the Saints meant all the baptized members of the church. Anyone who had been baptized into the early church was referred to as a saint. So, here the purpose of this section here now was to encourage these Saints to continue to be faithful. Three visions of the future are given, but we get an entirely different message than was given in the first and second portents.
In the first message, we’re going to go back to the 144,000 once again. He describes the glory of the martyrs in the messianic kingdom, and he sees the lamb here on Mount Zion. Who is the lamb? Of course, that’s a reference to Jesus. The lamb is on Mount Zion with 144,000 around him. Let’s read just the first few verses of chapter 14 if you’d follow along with me.
“Then I looked and lo, on Mount Zion stood the lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” See that business once again of the name? We just got through with chapter 13, the last section of which had to do with the number of the beast and the foreheads marked. Now, these are marked with the name of God. “And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpers playing on their harps, and they sing a new song,” a new song, a new picture if you will. A new consciousness is being born.
“And they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.” Once again our four living creatures and 24 elders. This is all a picture of the heavenly council that represents God. “No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.” Here the 144,000 represents the elect, elected. Only they could sing the new song, only they achieve spiritual understanding. In other words, they were the ones who understood and they would sing this new song of what God was about to do. This represents spiritual understanding.
Those who turn to the Christ within. Those who are willing to work with a concept of God is absolute good and know that life is good and principles and ideas like that, then we too will sing a new song and you know exactly what I mean because we’ve changed our consciousness to put ourselves more in tune with that. Then literally you feel like bursting forth with a new song. Why? Because you have achieved a higher degree of spiritual understanding and only those who have the understanding can sing the new song, and he goes on to develop that idea. This represents the elect.
Segment 31 - 14.06 - The message of the three angels
Then suddenly here he starts talking about another vision. He has another vision, and in this vision he sees three angels. This begins with verse six. He says, “I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue.” And this eternal gospel is to worship God, to worship God, who’s about to reveal himself, in contrast to worshiping the ember. He speaks of the eternal gospel. This is just building up this whole idea that he’s involved in here, that the writer is.
The second angel announces the fall of Babylon. Look at verse eight. “Another angel, a second followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of her impure passion.’” Babylon is a reference to Rome. Why does he use Babylon? Because the people remember very well their ancestors’ time of Babylonian captivity, so Babylon comes to be a symbol for captivity and is simply a reference to Rome, not literally to Babylon but to Rome. The identification is made, okay?
Then the third vision here, or the third angel comes into the picture, and proclaims something with a loud voice once again, and just warns against worship of the beast. If you worship the beast, then you’re going to be punished. The beast, once again, is symbolic of the Roman Empire. That’s the second vision in this third portent. You see how all these numbers within seven, then you got three and three. It gets kind of complicated after a while.
Segment 32 - 14.14 - Reaping of the harvest
Then he has a third vision here, which begins in Verse 14, okay? Begins in Verse 14 here. First of all, in Verse 13 there’s a little message of comfort to all the people. Look at Verse 13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth, blessed indeed says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” Then he’s talking about those who are willing to die for what they believe in. He says, “In the long run, you’re going to be blessed by it.” He tries to encourage the people in that way, because that was the fact of life in those days. Many people were being persecuted and killed as a result of this emperor worship, and so he speaks to that idea. In the third vision, Verse 14 on down to the end of that chapter, we see the appearance of the Christ, and the judgment is pronounced on all heathen nations. Talks about the son of man coming with a sharp sickle. When you think of a sickle, what do you think of? A time of what? Harvest.
Looks like the harvest is near. God is ready to reap His harvest, to reveal Himself, have this great conflict between the powers of good and evil, and set his kingdom up, and so forth. Looks like we’re almost there, but not yet, okay? We got a little bit more to go, all right? Little while ago we said that the seven seals can represent the process of denial, seven affirmations. The seven trumpets blown represent the process of affirmation, and then we saw the heralding of the coming of the Christ, the kingdom of the Christ, denial and affirmation produces that kind of demonstration, a real realization within us of our own Christ consciousness, or Christ in dwelling, I should say, in our ability to achieve Christ consciousness. Then we had the three great portents. Maybe on a metaphysical level, we can see the three great portents tell us of the awakening of spiritual consciousness. With the coming of the Christ comes spiritual consciousness, and now comes this awakening, and once you’ve been awakened to spiritual consciousness, a number of beautiful things can happen, but it can also shake you up.
It can also shake you up. In our book lessons in truth, the process of chemicalization is described, and that has to do with introducing new thoughts of truth into old concepts that we hold in consciousness, and it says for a while, there’s an agitation. When you start to mix these new thoughts of truth with some of the old concepts that we’ve held for years, there’s a time of agitation, and it may be even painful, and I can identify with that. I remember when I first came into truth. Headaches and glazed eyes. You think, well, what kind of a ... Are things really getting better? Yes, because there was a breaking up of the old consciousness. Told this story so many times. My first trimester in the ministerial school, I found myself carrying an image of a big slab of concrete. You know how images will come to mind, and I just saw this rectangular slab of concrete, and I was in pain in those days, because it was just so new, and so different, all these ideas, and then suddenly I began to see cracks in the concrete. They just came on their own, and then I saw big chunks of concrete all broken up.
I didn’t have a real deep metaphysician to figure out that that slab of concrete was my old consciousness, and that I was breaking up the old consciousness in the process of chemicalization that accompanied it. Suddenly when I worked through it, then I began to see something very different, a new slab of concrete was laid. I began to wonder about that, too. Do I need more concrete? What was symbolized anyway was the old consciousness is broken up, then the new consciousness comes. This is what happens, in a sense, with the three great portents, that there is still a further breaking up of the consciousness. There’s still a spiritual disturbance that takes place, but you hang in there, and it’s all right, because finally you come through it, and you don’t ever have to repeat that process again. Oh, we’ll still have discomfort, and even pain from time to time, but not like it was in the old days, and you all know what I mean, okay? These three great portents can tell of this awakening of the spiritual consciousness, the coming of the Christ, and also tells about the disturbances that may accompany these great events, but hold onto the truth, and all will be well. Okay?