Who will be in heaven? — Revelation 14:4-5


John saw the 144,000 around the throne as representatives of God's elect. The number is not to be taken as a literal figure. It represents a great multitude, which no man can number, out of every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue upon the earth, the whole Israel of God. Yet, it is a specific number, because there it is a definite number of elect sinners, chosen of God from eternity, who will make up that great multitude. Who will they be? John tells us.


They are all chaste virgins. — “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.” Though polluted and defiled by nature, grace has made them pure. They are washed in the blood of Christ, sanctified by the Spirit and justified by God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Though persecuted by the beast and surrounded by the delusions of the false prophet, they did not become unfaithful to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:1-3). Being preserved by grace, they could not be enticed into the bed of the great whore and her daughters, — freewill/works religion (Revelation 13:8).


They are followers of the Lamb. — “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” They follow the example of his life, the rule of his Word and the direction of his Spirit. — And they follow him all the way home. By nature they all went astray; but grace bought them, sought them, found them, brought them to the Lamb and keeps them in the fold.


They were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. — “These were redeemed from among men.” This is special, particular, effectual redemption! They were redeemed “from among men,” because they are God's elect, “being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” All who were chosen by God the Father in eternal election were redeemed by God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at Calvary. — And all who were redeemed by Christ shall be with Christ in heavenly glory.


They are without guile. — “And in their mouth was found no guile.” These are Israelites indeed, true, sincere, unpretentious worshippers of God (Philippians 3:3), “children that will not lie” (Isaiah 63:8). Four times in Holy Scripture do we read of people being free of guile (Psalm 32:2; John 1:47; 1 Peter 2:22; Revelation 14:5). We read in Revelation 21:27 that none can enter that blessed place called heaven who have any guile. All who are accepted of God are without guile; and when God declares them without guile, there is no exaggeration in the declaration.


Guile is hypocrisy, deceit, cunning, craftiness, duplicity, dishonesty. That man in whom there is no guile is a man who is forgiven of all sin by the precious, sin-atoning blood of Christ (Psalm 32:1-2). God’s elect are a people in whom there is no guile, no duplicity, no hypocrisy, nothing false! This is not a declaration of personal, or personally accomplished holiness. Those who know the plague of their own hearts know better. God’s people are a people with no guile…

Š      Representatively — We stand guileless before the holy Lord God because we are in Christ and one with Christ.

Š      Eternally — We have been accepted in Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, from eternity, “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6).

Š      In their Record — The Lord God declares that there is no sin, no iniquity, no guile recorded against us in the record books of heaven (Jeremiah 50:20).

Š      In Spirit — In the new birth God the Holy Spirit creates in the chosen, redeemed sinner a new nature that is truly righteous and holy, a nature that cannot sin (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; 1 John 3:6-10). That new nature is “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27; 2 Peter 1:4).


Because they are in Christ and Christ is in them, every saved sinner is, like Nathanael, an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile! — And…


They are without fault before the throne of God.” — This is the finality of the work of grace, the fruition of God’s purpose. They were chosen, redeemed and called to be holy and without blame before him; and holy they shall be, holy as God himself, in Christ Jesus. Grace will accomplish its work!







Don Fortner



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