Father's Name Written
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54. Father's Name Written
Revelation 14.1-5

"Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 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. 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 humankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless." (Revelation 14.1-5)✞

Lamb of God

Jesus Lamb of GodJohn of Patmos's vision opened with an image commonly used of Jesus as "the Lamb of God." In John 1.29, John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Jesus, the lamb, stands in triumph on Mount Zion, and with him, the "one hundred and forty-four thousand" with the Lamb's name imprinted on their foreheads. A countless host of faithful believers surround them, all of whom also had the Lamb's name branded and the Father's name written on their foreheads. Note that the 144,000 are from all ages, places, and times. The one hundred and forty-four thousand does not refer to any particular group except to note the combinations of twelve apostles and twelve tribes in Israel. The 144,000 are from down the ages and are faithful followers of Jesus with his brandmark on their foreheads.

144,000

Jesus NameThe 144,000 are the combined prominent faithful who are often martyrs who have given their lives for their faith in God and Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation includes twenty-nine references to a "lion-like lamb." The "slain but standing lamb" delivers victory like the resurrected Christ. The lamb is worthy of taking the scroll from God and opening the seals. Revelation 21.14 tells us, "The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Saint Augustine writes in 375 AD, "Why a lamb in his passion? Because he underwent death without being guilty of any iniquity. Why a lion in his passion? Because in being slain, he slew death. Why a lamb in his resurrection? Because his innocence is everlasting. Why a lion in his resurrection? Because everlasting also is his might."

Branded

Alpha MarkIn the ancient world, a brand upon a person has several possible meanings, but sometimes it is a mark of ownership. Often a slave is voluntarily branded with his owner's identifying mark. It could stand for loyalty and devotion. A soldier would sometimes deliberately brand his hand with the name of his general whom he loved and would follow into battle. Jesus Christ owns the faithful who are immensely loyal to him!

Lamb Brand Mark

Star Shaped TattooThose who are utterly dependant on the Lamb receive the Lamb brand mark as a sign of their loyalty to him. A new third or fourth-century papyrus letter from a son to his father named Apollo, who was serving in the Roman army, recently appeared. Times are dangerous, and the son and the father are separated. The son sends his greetings and good wishes and then adds, "I have indeed told you before of my grief at your absence from among us, and my fear that something dreadful might happen to you, and that we may not find your body. Indeed, I often wished to tell you that, having regard to the insecurity, I wanted to stamp a mark upon you." The son wishes to put a mark or a tattoo upon his father's body in a worst-case scenario to identify and recover his body after a battle. Likewise, the Lamb company is known and marked with the lamb's name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. They are recoverable in life and death because they bear the Lamb brandmark and his Father's name on their forehead.

Sheik's Brand

CamelThe "Lamb brandmark" could also stand for dependence. William Robertson Smith (1846-1894), a Scottish Biblical scholar who rose to become a Professor of Arabic and a Fellow of Christ's College in Cambridge, tells of the great Arab chieftains who have clients under their control. Often a sheik brands a person with the same mark he used to stamp his camels to show that they were wholly dependent on him. The Lamb's company are those who are utterly reliant on his love and grace and, therefore, proudly bear the Lamb brand mark.

Sacred Marks

Ivy LeavesThose who do not defile themselves follow the Lamb wherever he goes and proudly bears his brandmark and the Father's sacred mark. An ownership brand mark could refer to a brand placed on a devotee of a certain god. Branding can be very cruel. Plutarch (45-127 AD), a Greek biographer, tells us in Nicias 29. "Most of the Athenians perished in the stone quarries of disease and evil fare, their daily rations being a pint of barley meal and a half-pint of water. Not a few were stolen away and sold into slavery, or succeeded in passing themselves off for serving men. These are branded in the forehead when sold with the mark of a horse. Some freemen suffered this indignity in addition to their servitude." After the disastrous defeat of the Athenians under Nicias in Sicily, the Sicilians took the captive. They branded them on the forehead with the brand mark of a galloping horse, Sicily's emblem.

Ivy Leaf Brand

Tattoo on WristPtolemy, the Fourth of Egypt, ordered that "all Jews should be demoted to the lowest rank and the condition of slaves." Those who speak against it should be taken by force and put to death. "Those who were registered were marked with a brand of the ivy leaf, the emblem of Bacchus, Ptolemy's god." 3 Maccabees 2.28-29 refers to those with the ivy leaf branding. "Those who are registered are to be branded on the body by fire with the ivy leaf sign of Dionysus and are also to be assigned to their former, limited civic status." The Syrians regularly tattoo slaves on the wrist or the neck with the mark of their god. A temple of Heracles at the mouth of the Nile possesses the right of asylum. Any criminal, slave or free man, is safe there from victims of their misdeeds pursuing vengeance. When such a fugitive reaches that temple, he is branded with certain sacred marks in token that he has delivered himself to the god and that none can touch him anymore. Herodotus 2.113.2 refers to the asylum place. "Now there was (and still is) on the coast a temple of Heracles; if a servant of any man takes refuge there and is branded with certain sacred marks, delivering himself to the god, he may not be touched. This law continues today the same as it has always been from the first." Similarly, in Revelation, the Lamb and his Father's company are those who have cast themselves on the mercy of God in Jesus Christ and are forever safe in the Lamb's ownership.

Mount Zion Lamb

Marked SheepJohn looks and sees before him the Mount Zion lamb and the 144,000 chosen faithful ones with his name and his father's name written on their foreheads. There now follows a tender vision of the Mount Zion lamb and his companions. The number one hundred and forty-four thousand represents the whole group of believers who have endured persecutions on earth, are pure, and are now ready to enjoy the endless benefits and blessings of eternal life with God. These are numbered as twelve by twelve by one thousand particular saints. Twelve represents all humanity being three the number for God and four the number for humans. They are followers of the Lamb and gather on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the traditional place where the faithful remnant, the Israel of faith, is to be collected in the messianic reign. They belong to the Mount Zion Lamb with his sign on their foreheads, in contrast to the pagans hoards who have the beast's name or number. True believers are spiritually pure, remain faithful to Christ, and free from involvement with a pagan world system. They are Jesus' first fruits and dedicated as the first part of the harvest as holy unto God.

Song of the Lamb

144,000The one hundred and forty-four thousand in Heaven join in the redeemed one's song, which only they can learn and sing before the lamb. In Revelation, the 144,000 who sing the redeemed one's song are a particular class of people in an intimate relationship with God. Chosen for their celibacy and devotion to the Lamb, they willingly accept martyrdom. "Pure" means "spiritual purity" or "chastity." They do not deny Christ or do homage to the beast. Lying is a characteristic of the opponents of Christ, but Jesus speaks no falsehood.

Worthy to Sing

Lamb ThroneThe 144,000 are unblemished, as are the sacrificial animals in the Temple worship. These followers are worthy of singing the redeemed ones' song because of their loyalty to the Lamb, their purity, and how they resist evil even unto death.

"Father's Name Written"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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