From the beginning of the New Testament era and the ending of the Old, the Lamb of God has been announced by the last Old Testament prophet, John the Baptist, and highly exalted by the the last New Testament prophet, the Apostle John, in his Gospel and his final work, the book of the Revelation where the Lamb of God is mentioned 28 times.
It is this last book of the Bible, that focuses on the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ, which also gives the most information on this the most descriptive title of the Savior of the world. It was John, who, after reviewing the work of the three other Gospel writers, some three decades later, supplied us with the announcement of John the Baptist, �Behold the Lamb of God� (John 1:29,36), and the many references to the Lamb of God in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which thoroughly reveals Him as the Lamb of God!
He is introduced as the Lamb having been slain in chapter five of the Revelation, Who is the only One worthy to take the book and to loose the seals, however, He appears in the �midst of the throne� which is the throne of God and this is the focus as and God the Father on His throne and the Lamb are mentioned together six times in this opening throneroom scene (5:6, 5:13, 6:16, 7:9, 7:10, 7:17).
These six references showing the God the Father on His throne and the Lamb occur in heaven with both God and the Lamb appearing in the throneroom. But the last four references in the book of the Revelation where God and the Lamb are seen together occur after the �new heaven and a new earth�new Jerusalem� are present (21:22, 21:23, 22:1, 22:3). Now, God and the Lamb are united as they are �the Temple� and �the Light�, with the throne belonging to both God and the Lamb.
However, the reference to God and the Lamb that provokes the most interest is the one found in (14:4) where the 144 thousand Hebrews appear with the Lamb and are described as �the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb�. Heaven and earth share this scene as �the mount Zion�(14:1) is on earth, and the sounds of �many waters�great thunder�and harpers harping with their harps; And they sung as it were a new song before the throne� (14:2,3) are simultaneously heard in heaven.
This magnificent event occurs at the end of the Seventieth Week of Daniel when the Redeemer comes to Zion (Isaiah 59:20, Romans 11:26) bringing redemption to Israel which is the second act in the Revelation�s unfolding story of redemption, the first being the redemption of the saints when He resurrects, raptures and redeems all those who have been saved by grace in history past (7:9-17) and the third when He comes in glory to redeem those who were martyred along with those saved during the Day of the Lord (Daniel 12:3; Revelation 20:4-6) with His final act of redemption being the resurrection of the Millennial saints following the Millennium.
So, these 144 thousand Hebrews who first appeared in (7:3-8) are �sealed the servants of God�sons of Israel� with twelve thousand coming from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. But, this title here in (14:4) �the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb� is unique to this group and must be defined in order to give a clear definition of just who these men are and how they fit into God�s plan for the end of the age.
The word �firstfruits� appears in the Greek New Testament eight times referring to the first in order of a spiritual harvest with one reference showing the Lord Jesus Christ as the �firstfruits� of those resurrected (I Corinthians 15:23). In the Greek Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, the word appears over seventy times most of which refer to the first of any crop or offspring of livestock which typically was God�s portion.
These 144 thousand Hebrew men must then be the beginning of a certain spiritual harvest �to God and to the Lamb� which in this case refers to the first of those Hebrews who are saved during the Day of the Lord. This conclusion can be easily discerned from the record given in Revelation chapter six and seven.
In Revelation chapter six, six of the seven seals are opened, the first four are grouped with horsemen and riders showing conditions on earth prior to God�s Day of the Lord judgment which is also known as the Wrath of God from which the saints are delivered.(I Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9)
The last three seals focus on the Day of the Lord as the martyrs in the fifth seal ask �how long� until God�s Day of the Lord judgment comes, and the sixth seal is the well published sign of the Day of the Lord as it appears on numerous occasions in both Testaments (Isaiah 13:6-13; Ezekiel 32:7,8; Joel 2:10, 30,31, 3:14,15; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Matthew 24:30,31; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:25; Acts 2:19,20).
This sign here in Revelation 6:12 ff is fully described displaying to all on earth that God�s Day of the Lord�s Wrath is impending and will begin when the seventh seal is loosed (8:1), opening the scroll, thereby revealing the trumpet judgments which are the seven first plagues or judgments (Revelation 8-11) that God brings upon the unbelieving world with the seven last plagues or judgments, also known as the vials, following in order (Revelation 15,16).
But, first, the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb, the 144 thousand Hebrews are sealed (7:1-8) providing them with supernatural protection. Then, the dead in Christ rise first and the living saints are raptured (7:9-17). These 144 thousand select servants, sons of Israel are set apart unto God, Old Testament type saints if you will, for the New Testament saints have been removed from the earth, delivered from the wrath of God, raptured into heaven and fully redeemed by the Lamb of God to be with the Lord.
Therefore, the Lamb of God is the focus, and redemption is the continuing theme with the 144 thousand Hebrews perfectly meshing into the plan of God carrying the torch of the Gospel as they �follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth� (14:4). Ya� gotta� love it!! Amen? For, the Lamb of God is exalted through it all as He continues His march toward the full and complete redemption of believing mankind!