Revelation 14 – The Lamb on Mount Zion & The Ability to See God 

Ma’at
Although she was often personified, Ma´at is perhaps best understood as an idea, rather than a goddess, but she was central to conceptions of the universe, balance and divine order in Ancient Egypt.

The name Ma´at is generally translated as “that which is straight” or “truth” but also implies “order”, “balance” and “justice”.

Thus Ma´at personified perfect order and harmony.

She came into being when Ra rose from the waters of Nun (Chaos) and so she was often described as a daughter of Ra.

She was sometimes considered to be the wife of Thoth because he was a god of wisdom.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the universe was ordered and rational.

The rising and setting of the sun, the flooding of the Nile and the predicable course of the stars in the sky reassured them that there was permanence to existence which was central to the nature of all things.

However, the forces of chaos were always present and threatened the balance of Ma´at.

Each person was duty bound to preserve and defend Ma´at and the Pharaoh was perceived as the guardian of Ma´at. Without Ma´at,

Nun would reclaim the universe and chaos would reign supreme.

The Egyptians also had a strong sense of morality and justice.

They felt that the good should prosper, and that the guilty would be punished.

They praised those who defended the weak and the poor and placed a high value on loyalty especially to ones family.

However, they also understood that it was not possible to be perfect, just balanced.

Ma´at transcended specific ethical rules (which differed according to different times and different peoples) and instead focused on the natural order of things.

That being said, certain actions were clearly against Ma´at as they increased the effect of chaos and had a purely negative effect on the world.

Each Egyptian’s soul was judged in the Hall of Ma´at (depicted in the book of the dead and book five of the book of gates) when they died.

Their heart (conscience) was weighed against the feather of Ma´at (an ostrich feather) on scales which represented balance and justice.

If their heart was heavier than the feather because they had failed to live a balanced life by the principles of Ma´at their heart was either thrown into a lake of fire or devoured by a fearsome deity known as Ammit.

If, however, the heart balanced with the feather of Ma´at they would pass the test and gain eternal life.

At certain times it was Osiris who sat as judge in the ritual, and many other deities were involved in the ceremony, but the scales always represented Ma´at.

The Ancient Egyptians also had a well developed legal system to ensure that Ma´at was preserved in daily life.

It is thought that the Priests of Ma´at were involved in the justice system as well as tending to the needs of the goddess.

All rulers respecte

d Ma´at, but Akhenaten in particular emphasised his adherence to Ma´at, despite (or perhaps because of) his rather unconventional approach to the gods.

Hatshepsut also emphasised her reverence for Ma´at by taking the throne name Ma´atkare (justice is the soul of re), again possibly because as a female ruler she needed to show that her position was in line Ma´at. She also built a small temple to Ma´at within the precinct of Montu in Karnak.

Ma´at was depicted as a woman wearing a crown with a single ostrich feather protruding from it.

She is occasionally depicted as a winged goddess.

Her totem was a stone platform representing the stable foundation on which order was built and the primeaval mound which first emerged from the waters of Nun (chaos).

I don’t see how anyone cannot believe in You.  Ancient man believed in You and we can’t dispute their existence especially since there is nothing we have today that we have not copied or made adjustments to.

Anywhere from electricity, computers, toilets and even beer was taught to us by Ancient man.  

Some say that Jesus was married, but the Bible doesn’t say that.  Tomorrow we’ll look at…

Revelation 14
The Lamb on Mount Zion

1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

“Mount Sion” – in the Old Testament it was first the fortress of the pre-Israelite city of Jerusalem (2 Sam 5:7), captured by David and established as his capital.

Later it became a virtual synonym for Jerusalem.  In Revelation, as in Heb 12:22-24, it is the heavenly Jerusalem, the eternal dwelling place of God and His people.  It comes to the new earth in 21:2-3.

2 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:

3 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.

4 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 firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

“Not defiled with women” – this could be a symbolic description of believers who kept themselves from defiling relationships with the pagan world system, or it could signify that the 144,000 are only males.

“They are virgins” – this phrase could confirm the literal interpretation.

“Firstfruits” – the word is used figuratively in the New Testament for the first converts in an area (Rom 16:5) and the first to rise from the dead (1 Cor 15:20).

In Revelation believers are considered as a choice offering to God and the Lamb.

5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

“Everlasting gospel” – the content of this “good news” is perhaps found in v. 7.  Angels are given the task of preaching at this point.

7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

“Babylon’ – Ancient Babylon in Mesopotamia was the political, commercial and religious center of a world empire.  It was noted for its luxury and moral decadence.

The title “That great city” is taken from Dan 4:30.  According to some, it is used in Revelation (e.g., here in 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, 10, 21) for Rome as the center of opposition to God and His people.

According to others, it represents the whole political and religious system of the world in general.  According to still others, it is to be understood as literal Babylon – rebuilt and restored.  Babylon’s fall is proclaimed in Is 21:9; Jer 51:8.

“Wine of the wrath of her fornication” – Here Babylon (Rome?) is pictured as a prostitute whose illicit relations are achieved by intoxication.

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

“Cup of his indignation” – in the Old Testament God’s wrath is commonly pictured as a cup of wine to be drunk.  It is not the outworking of impersonal laws of retribution, but the response of a righteous God to those who refuse His love and grace.

“Fire and brimstone” – Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by a rain of fire and brimstone.  Psalm 11:6 speaks of a similar fate for the wicked.  The figure occurs elsewhere in the Old Testament and the Apocrypha.

It is used several times in the final chapters of Revelation (19:20, 20:10, 21:8).

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

“Torment…forever and ever” – Revelation offers no support for the doctrine of the annihilation of the wicked (also compare 19:20 with 20:10).

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.

14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

“Sickle” – the Israelite sickle used for cutting grain was normally a flint or iron blade attached to a curved shaft of wood or bone.

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reaps: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

“Harvest of the earth” – symbolizes in a general way the coming judgment (see Matt 13:30, 40-42).  Some interpreters think it refers to the ingathering of the righteous at the return of Christ.

Ra (Re) was the primary name of the sun god of Ancient Egypt.
He was often considered to be the King of the Gods and thus the patron of the pharaoh and one of the central gods of the Egyptian pantheon.

He was also described as the creator of everything.

Ra was so powerful and popular and his worship was so enduring that some modern commentators have argued that the Egyptian religion was in fact a form of veiled monotheism with Ra as the one god.

This seems to be somewhat of an overstatement, but underlines his primary position within religious texts throughout Egyptian history.

It is sometimes proposed that the pyramids represent the rays of light extending from the sun and thus these great monuments connected the king with Ra.

The Egyptians also built solar temples in honour of Ra.

Unlike the standard type of Egyptian temple, these temples were open to the sunlight and did not feature a statue of the god because he was represented by the sunlight itself.

Instead the temple centered on an obelisk and altar.

The most significant early solar temple is thought to be the one erected in Heliopolis, sometimes known as “Benu-Phoenix”.

Its location was thought to be the spot where Ra first emerged at the beginning of creation, and the city took its name (“Iwn”) from the word for a pillar.

16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

“Another angel…which had power over fire” – the angel of 8:3-5.  Fire is commonly associated with judgment (see Matt; Lk 9:54; 2 Thess 1:7).

“Sharp sickle” – the context suggests (in contrast to the sickle of v. 14) the smaller grape-knife with which the farmer cut the clusters of grapes from the vine.

19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

“Great winepress” – a rock-hewn trough about eight feet square with a channel leading to a lower and small trough.  Grapes were thrown into the upper vat and tramped with bare feet.  The juice was collected in the lower vat.

At times mechanical pressure was added.  The treading of grapes was a common Old Testament figure for the execution of divine wrath (see Is 63:3; Lam 1:15; Joel 3:13).

20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

“Without the city” – Bloodshed would defile the city (see Joel 3:12-14; Zech 14:1-4; cf. Heb 13:12).

“A thousand and six hundred furlongs” – the approximate length of the Holy Land from north to south.

The Ability to See God 

A patient came to my clinic in Saudi Arabia with a history of sudden and profound visual loss.  I looked at the optic nerves in the back of his eyes, and they appeared chalky white.  Such an appearance is typical for damage caused by drinking methanol.

In the culture in which I was working, it was forbidden to drink alcohol.  Therefore, it was difficult for the average man on the street to find legal sources of alcohol.  I questioned this man about drinking, and he steadfastly denied he had ingested any forbidden substances.  The appearance of his optic nerves told a different story.

For about fifteen minutes I questioned him on different things he might have imbibed.  Finally, he admitted he had taken a bottle of perfume, poured it into a cup, and drank the whole thing.

When he awoke the next morning, he noticed that his bedroom seemed dark.  He asked his wife to open the windows so light could shine into the room.  His vision was so bad he didn’t know there was daylight streaming into the room.  He had irreversible blindness caused by drinking perfume containing methanol.

I have examined many patients who are blind from putting methanol into their body.  No one can tell me it doesn’t matter what you put into your body.

I have also examined many people who have put toxic waste into their mind.  They are now spiritually blind and have lost their ability to see God.  No one can tell me it doesn’t matter what you put into your mind.

What you put into your mind affects your inner vision.  When you spend years polluting your mind with toxic waste, you become spiritually blind and lose your ability to see God.

People act as if what they put into their mind doesn’t matter.  They freely sample everything on the smorgasbord of life and fill their mind with garbage and toxic waste.  One day they wake up and realize they can’t see God.

The “blessed dead” (those who passed the “weighing of the heart” in the halls of Ma´at) were thought to live eternally in a paradise with the gods.
However, they did not like to be unprepared and so their tombs were equipped with clothing, games and furniture as well as food and drink.

Offerings were presented to the images of gods in order to nourish and sustain them, and the Egyptians also believed that the deceased could derive sustenance from offerings presented to them.

Offerings were brought into the chapel of the tomb and presented in front of the false door.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”  Jesus was talking about the Law of Spiritual Vision.  What is this law?

The Law of Spiritual Vision states: “Only the pure in heart  can see God.”  The pure in heart have a special blessing.  They have twenty-twenty spiritual vision, and they can see God at work in their life.

What you put into your heart and mind is vitally important because it determines your ability to see God at work in your world. 

…ancient papyrus found that says Jesus Christ was married.