The next verses to consider are:
"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 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." (Revelation 14:4-5)
The 144,000 is a symbolic number of the small percentage of followers who see the vision of the initiate as well as a symbol of the perfected energies which flow through the perfected disciple. When all the energies and notes vibrate in harmony the Christ, or soul dominates the lower self.
"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins."
This is a prime scripture used by the Catholic church to justify the idea that the priests, as well as the hierarchy, need to be celibate.
The only trouble with this interpretation is it opposes the general teachings of the New Testament about Marriage.
Here are the words of Jesus:
"And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matthew 19:4-6)
Then Paul said:
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled." (Hebrews 13:4)
In fact Paul spoke against celibacy:
1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 "Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 "For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."
(1 Timothy 4:1-5)
Virginity, however, is written as being praiseworthy before marriage, but the main marriage spoken of in the scriptures is the marriage to Christ. A famous scripture about this is the parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins waiting for the bridegroom. The ten virgins waiting to be married to one man is generally interpreted as disciples waiting for the presence of Christ rather than a major polygamist taking ten wives.
In fact Paul wrote:
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:2)
Here Paul tells his followers that he espoused his followers to one husband (himself) that he may present them as virgins to Christ.
Whether it be symbolic marriage or real physical marriage a disciple is considered a virgin before God if he has no spiritual intercourse with false gods. And who are the false gods?
To answer this we must realize that this scripture follows the chapter on the Beast because the Beast robs the seeker of his spiritual virginity. How does he do this?
The Beast represents an outward authority who takes the place of God and when a seeker is deceived and unites his feelings and thoughts with the outer rather than the inner God he becomes corrupt and is no longer a spiritual virgin who can unite with the Christ consciousness. The true virgin spoken of here may indeed be physically married, but will have no other gods before him except the inner voice. He will be awaiting his inner spiritual marriage, having not yielded to the outer voices.
The scripture continues:
"These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth."
When the disciple dedicates himself to the inner voice he will follow the direction of the Christ consciousness wherever it leads.
"These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb."
"Redeemed" comes from the Greek AGORAZO which is usually translated as "bought or purchased." The orthodox interpretation of such a purchase is that Christ purchased us with his own blood and therefore owns his virgin disciples. To find the inner meaning we must realize that blood is a symbol of life. The life of the inner Christ descends from the higher worlds of Spirit down to our physical consciousness. This painful descent where spirit is crucified by matter is the payment the inner Christ makes to contact our carnal consciousness and unite with it, or take it as its bride. Eventually the inner and the outer become one with the Father and follow the higher Will of God.
"And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."
When the disciple is married to or unites with his Christ consciousness he can speak no deceit while in that state. The God within is blameless and thus the disciple who is one with his inner God is also blameless when he follows the direction he receives.
Here is the next scripture to contemplate:
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,
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."
"It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem."
-- Malcolm Forbes (1919 - 1990)
Copyright © 2006 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved