The era of modern sects is also covered in other places in Revelation, for the ecclesiastical history of the Christian dispensation is described under different parallel series of symbolism. In the other series, however, the symbols representing Protestantism stand so closely connected with predictions of the last reformation that I shall not attempt to enumerate them in this chapter, but shall consider them briefly in connection with those symbols describing the great final religious movement toward which all the prophetic lines of truth converge and which forms the special subject of the present work.
THE LAST REFORMATION
The scene changes, and again we have the picture of God’s chosen people set in bright relief against the dark background of Protestantism and the still darker shades of papal apostasy.
[Sidenote: The 144,000 on Mount Zion]
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Rev. 14:1-5).
What a contrast with the beast powers described in the preceding chapter of the Revelation! This redeemed company is on Mount Zion, not hidden in the darkness of the wilderness. They are with the Lamb, not wandering after the beast. Instead of being oppressed and overcome by opposers, they are singing the joyful song of redemption and harping with their harps; and instead of having the “mark of the beast,” they have their “Father’s name written in their foreheads.” The manner in which this joyful, redeemed company is distinguished from the host of beast-worshipers brought to light under the preceding symbols, proclaims unmistakably the fact that we have here a description of the true people of God who have obtained victory over the apostasy. In other words, a distinct reformation is predicted.