The Lamb is shown by the connection to be Christ, -- here called by one of his metaphorical names.
The Mount Zion, doubtless, symbolizes the place where, in the regeneration, the Lord will reign with his saints -- i.e. in the new earth. "The Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion," Micah 4:7. -- "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth," 5:9,10. -- "And I saw a new heavens and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.... And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall, be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God," 21:1-3.
The names of Mount Zion, and Jerusalem, were both used to denote the city which the Lord chose above all the goodly places of earth to put his name there. It is proper to designate the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, by all the names which were applied to the old. The king is to be set upon the holy hill of Zion -- "Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces," Psa.48:12, 13. "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in glory," Ib. 102:16. "For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it," Ib. 132:13, 14. "For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; and joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.... Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away." Isa.51:3-11. "Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.... How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, 'Thy God reigneth!' Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem." Ib. 52:1-9. "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord." Ib. 59:20.
The standing of the Lamb on Mount Zion, symbolizes an epoch when Christ shall assume a corresponding relation to his people. He there appears in person; and "when Christ who is your life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory," Col.3:4. It will not be till he shall have judged "the quick and the dead at his appearing," (2 Tim.4:1), that "the redeemed from among men" will "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth."
The 144,000, who are with Christ, correspond with the number which are sealed, "of all the tribes of the children of Israel," (7:4); and they are doubtless the same persons, who, under the sixth seal, are designated, among all denominations of Christians, by the mark of the living God. They are there shown to be the godly, who shall be alive on the earth at Christ's coming and shall then be changed, and, with the risen dead, caught up to meet him in the air.
The sealing process there symbolized, is here shown to be the inscribing of the Father's name on their foreheads. The subjects of the beast and its image, receive its mark; but the children of God and the Lamb, are designated instead, by the name of the Father.
The voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, with the voice of harpers, is the singing of the new song which none but the 144,000 could learn. Those who are translated at Christ's coming, will be favored above all, save two, who will have lived on the earth, insomuch as they will have been redeemed from the earth without being subjected to death.
These sing in the presence of the four living creatures and the elders, who symbolize those who also are redeemed from among men and will reign on the earth, 5:8-10. Consequently those must symbolize the resurrected dead, with whom the 144,000 will be ushered into the Lord's presence, 1 Thess.4:16, 17. The two bodies of the redeemed, are therefore both represented with the Lord on Mount Zion.
Their not being defiled with women, probably implies that they were not guilty of idolatry, which is represented by that figure, Ezek.16:15. They had not submitted to the wiles of the woman seated on the scarlet-colored beast, (17:3); had not worshipped the beast or its image (14:9), and had been true to their Divine Sovereign.
They follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. All the redeemed will doubtless thus follow the Lamb, for of all the "great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues," who stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed "with white robes, and palms in their hands," (7:9) -- it was said: "The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water," 7:17.
Those who are redeemed from among men, are called the "first fruits unto God and to the Lamb." They are not necessarily first fruits of the redeemed, to distinguish them from others of the redeemed, but are first fruits of the race: "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures," James 1:18. By his resurrection from the dead, Christ became "the first fruits of them that slept," 1 Cor.15:20. And at his coming there is to be a "first resurrection" (20:6), when the bodies of the saints will "be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil.3:21), and thus become the first fruits with their risen Head. Those who come up at the second resurrection will not attain to that beatific state.
They are faultless, and without guile. They are not perfect by reason of any inherent goodness in themselves; for "all we like sheep have gone astray ... and the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all," Isa.53:6. The redeemed church will be faultless, because its members will be sanctified and cleansed by the blood of Christ. Such will constitute "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing ... holy and without blemish," Eph.5:27. While "the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light" of the New Jerusalem, and shall "bring their glory and honor into it," there "shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life," 21:24-27.
"There awaiteth at the end