The Victorious Lamb
Lesson 10: The Book of Revelation
The Victorious Lamb
Rubel Shelly, teaching
1. Revelation 12 and 13 identified the “arch-enemies” of Christ and his church. For review, who is represented by the following: the Dragon, a Beast from the Sea, a Beast from the Land? All of these are allied against a woman and her child. Who do they represent in our drama?
2. Chapter 14 is a proleptic (i.e., anticipation of something ahead) vision of what awaits the persecuted saints who endure the assaults coming from the Dragon and two Beasts. How does verse 12 define their identity? What is the primary sign of their triumph over evil?
3. We met the 144,000 of this scene back in Chapter 7. Who are they? How is the concept of Israel as a Chosen People function in the OT? In the NT? What does this tell us about the continuity of God’s plan and purpose through the total narrative of Holy Scripture?
4. A song is being sung by the 144,000 that only they know. Can you explain why angels could not sing it? Read Hebrews 2:16 for a hint.
5. What metaphor for the purity of the 144,000 is used here? Note: Their “blameless” character is defined specifically in terms of the fact that “no lie was found in their mouths” – the lie that “Caesar is Lord and God” as opposed to the truth they have confessed about Jesus.
6. What is promised to those who “die in the Lord” during the events about to unfold?
7. The bulk of Chapter 14 is to warn those who are not “in the Lord” but who follow the Beast. Describe some of the horrors awaiting those who bear his “mark” (i.e., brand, stamp of ownership). Cf. Chapter 13 for a reminder of the meaning of this curious mark. Also, see the note below.
Against the fruitless efforts of so many to identity the “666” mark placed on the followers of the Beast of Revelation with a specific person of past, present, or future, it is better understood as a way of describing the nature and actions of all who not followers of the Lamb. One respected NT scholar has put it this way: “The number may be meant to indicate not an individual, but a persistent falling short. All the more is this likely to be correct if we translate ‘it is the number of man’ rather than ‘a man.’ John will then be saying that unregenerate man is persistently evil. He bears the mark of the beast in all he does. Civilization without Christ is necessarily under the dominion of the evil one.” (Leon Morris)