|Revelation 14:1-5 |
1 Then I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him one hundred and forty four thousand, having his Father's name written on their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpists playing their harps.
3 And they sang a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song except the one hundred forty four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are those who are not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are those who follow [in obedience] the Lamb wherever he goes [whatever he commands]. These were redeemed from among all humanity [all men and women], being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. [According to the Word of the Lord within, those virgins are: "male or female who have overcome their desire for sex. Sexual desires can be overcome." Every person's heart is filled with evil and defiled until the Lord cleanses their heart of all lusts, (including sexual desires), sexual immorality, pride, anger, etc.; thus to become like little children, innocent and virgins. In heaven there is no marriage or giving in marriage, there is no male or female, all are sons of God, and all are like the angels of God. Paul wrote: "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have betrothed you to one husband [Jesus], that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." 2 Cor 11:2]
5 And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God.1
1 The 144,000 were redeemed from all the men and women of the earth as first fruits to God. The men were not defiled with women. The men and women were all as virgins who followed the lamb wherever he went. This verse speaks only of undefiled "men," but according to the Word of the Lord within, it is both "males or females who have overcome their desire for sex;" and the Word of the Lord within has further stated, "sexual desires can be overcome." This applies to both males and females, to both heterosexual and homosexual desires, providing there is a fervent commitment to become completely free of them — but, as Mat 19:11-12 states: "all men cannot receive this;" (because they cannot believe overcoming sexual desires is even possible). Think spiritually: virgins, not defiled by sex are those who have become like little children, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. They are chaste, having been made chaste virgins by the spirit; the lust having been removed, the defilement having been removed. Every person's heart is filled with evil and defiled until the Lord cleanses their heart of all lusts, (including sexual desires), sexual immorality, pride, anger, etc.; thus to become like little children, innocent and virgins. Paul wrote: "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have betrothed you to one husband [Jesus], that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." 2 Cor 11:2 The 144,000 are the spotless bride of Christ. Most important: they put to death the deeds of the body to become the sons of God who were led by the Spirit of God, following in obedience, the Lamb wherever he goes [and whatever he commands] unto perfection, without blame before the throne of God. These are redeemed from the earth. They are of the tribes of Israel, because they became spiritual Jews, by the circumcision of the heart: But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom 2:29.
Jesus told us in Matthew and Luke that those in the kingdom "do not marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven and sons of God." So, there is no sex in the kingdom of heaven; and so, your sexual desires must be eliminated to enter the kingdom.
In early Quaker, kingdom-dwelling Stephen Crisp's several sermons, he spoke of the necessity to overcome sexual desires as extracted below:
The faith that falls short of sanctification, and redemption from sin, is such a faith as God never gave his people; it came some other way into the world, and it has captivated most of the sons and daughters of men, and they have expelled the true faith (as much as in them lies) that saving faith that purifies and cleanses men from sin, and gives them victory over the world, and have got another faith in the place of it; and they live in their sins, and in their lusts and sexual desires, and still remain in captivity.
Let me tell you, men of the greatest wisdom, courage and strength, of the most excellent natural talents that any man can have, are not able to grapple with their enemy the devil by their own power; there are seeds of sin, and lust, and sexual desires sown in all their hearts; so far this is right and sound doctrine, that no man can do anything in his own power and strength.
For so long as men or women stand in unity with their lusts and sexual desires, with the spirit of this world, and the way of it, they are not capable of receiving what should lead them into the way of holiness;
And when a man finds such divine assistance, his faith is strengthened and confirmed, and so he fights the good fight of faith, and at last gets the victory; victory over his sin, and his own lusts, and sexual desires, and victory over the assaults and temptations of the adversary; and at last he comes, through the grace of God, to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live righteously, soberly and godly in this present world.
Many, in our days, have put up their petitions and prayers to God, that he would reveal to them the state and condition of their souls. The Lord has answered them, and despite all the profession that they have past made of his name, and of their faith in his Son Jesus Christ, and of the work of redemption, yet he has often declared: you are still unredeemed, you are still in your sin, and lusts, and sexual desires prevail over you; you are still in bondage. This is God's answer to many; but there is something arises in their minds, that they are not willing to believe this; they think they are better than God has told them.
If a man is ever so wise, and rich, and great in the world; if he is a prince or an emperor, without being a partaker of the divine nature, he is a child of wrath. Now if these children of wrath meet with something that convinces them; if they are touched and become a sensible people, then crowns and diadems are nothing to them. Such a one will say, "if I am a child of wrath, a captive to sin and my own lusts and sexual desires, yet for all that I will go to a religious meeting, where I hope the word of God will be preached; I hope to meet with something there that will do me good; and I have a desire that I may be translated out of a natural state, from being a child of wrath, to be brought into the kingdom of God.
Let your supplication therefore be poured forth unto God, to endow you with power and wisdom to subdue all your spiritual enemies, and to conquer your sexual desires, and the inordinate desires and affections of your own hearts, that you may take up the cross of Christ and follow him as your great pattern, and in his name, and by the help and assistance of his Holy Spirit, you may know how to overcome all temptations.
Paul wrote in 1 Cor 7:5-7: Do not deprive each other of your body, except by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to fasting and prayer; and then resume relations so that Satan cannot tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I speak this as a concession, and not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were like I am myself. But every man has his proper gift from God, one in this manner, and another in a different manner. There is a gift from God to be freed from lust: there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it. Mat 19:12. To receive this gift from God, a person must hate their lust for bodies of others with a passion.
It is impossible to overcome one's sexual desires until one of the following happens: 1) a person, (married or unmarried), becomes painfully aware that their desires apply to attractive persons in general, and that awareness then leads to a strong desire to be rid of them; or 2) in sympathy for the weakness of a person's spouse who is committed to ridding his or her sexual desires for attractive persons in general, that he or she is a willing and enthusiastic supporter to their spouse's efforts, which support would include consent to withdrawal from relations according to Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 7:2,5-7.
Any decision to strive to live as brother and sister, has to be one of mutual consent. If either spouse desires to continue sexual relations, the other must comply, according to the tenet of love: love is not self-seeking; for marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled. Even if a seeker is married to a non-believer; or if a seeker is married to a believer that has no interest in overcoming their sexual desires; if that seeker truly desires to overcome his or her sexual desires, it is possible with the Lord's help, (for all things are possible with God). However, sexual relations with that uninterested spouse would not be withheld because that is firmly stated by Paul as requiring mutual consent; in that case the seeker's participation in sexual relations would be an act of submission or deferral to their spouse.
If you independently, (without mutual consent), withhold sexual relations with your spouse, you risk major alienation of your spouse. The devil would love to successfully order you to cease sexual relations independent of your spouse's desires in order to create a hostile relationship in your marriage, destroying your peace and confidence, possibly even your marriage. In my experience I never heard the Lord suggest I give up sexual relations; and I don't think you will either because I know from His messages to me that He wants us to become so sick of our weakness that we ourselves decide to do something about it. My motivation was simple — the lust for most any attractive woman that I knew was adultery, and had to be overcome in order to enter the kingdom. (In heaven there is no marriage or giving in marriage, there is no male or female, all are sons of God, and all are like the angels of God). There were several times of abstinence with return to relations after a time. The final time my wife and I had agreed the time had come to cease sexual relations; and when that had begun, the Lord then encouraged me to continue that abstinence, and the sexual desires melted away within several months.
Whatever the motivation, the overcoming of sexual desires is a gift from the Lord, given over time to those who desperately want to be rid of them.
Jude 1:14 speaks of Enoch's prophesy: "Behold the Lord has come in tens thousands of his saints;" in which tens thousands means at least 20,000 but is less than hundreds of thousands, (less than 200,000); this number (in tens thousands), from Jude is compatible with the 144,000 of this verse.