Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
III. God in Majesty and Judgment (4:1-16:21) pp. 218-602.
B. Great Conflict between God and the Forces of Evil (12:1-16:21) pp. 451-602
b. “Song of the 144,000 (14:1-5) pp. 523-532
Osborne notes that Revelation chapters 12-14 are a series of juxtapositions between heavenly and earthly events. 14:1-5 moves us back to a heavenly vision of those who have chosen faithfulness to God rather than mortal life (Osborne 2002, 524). Instead of having the seal of the Beast on their foreheads, they have the name of God. Instead of being before the dragon on the seashore, they are before the Lamb on Mount Zion. There is a sound in heaven, which leads Osborne to view this as a heavenly Zion (Osborne 2002, 525). The song is one of victory, for those people standing before the Lamb have overcome, with God’s seal, previously seein in Revelation 7:3.
In Revelation 14:2-3 the saints sing a song, described as vary loud. Osborne observes that the four hymns in Revelation show a progression in the life of the Christian. This, the second, celebrates victory over the beast (Osborne 2002, 526). The fact that the redeemed need to learn the song suggests to Osborne that this is actually sung by an angelic choir, but for the benefit of the saints (Osborne 2002, 527). The song is clearly sung in the presence of God’s throne.
Revelation 14:4-5 describes the redeemed as triumphant in their sexuality, a statement which sparks considerable debate. Osborne considers that the text probably refers not only to sexual chastity, but to moral purity in general, as a symbol of being a pure bride for Christ (Osborne 2002, 529). The second way the redeemed are triumphant is in their relationship to the Lamb, following as faithful disciples (Osborne 2002, 530). Finally, they are those who have been purchased and presented to God. this further suggests to Osborne that the entire description has to do primarily with an ethical purity, setting the redeemed apart from the earthly people (Osborne 2002, 531).