These are the ones who have not been defiled with women. They are virgins. These follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouths, they are blameless. Rev 14:4-5.
If the 144,000 have been redeemed from among men, they are certainly not blameless in the absolute sense. Every human being, except one, has sinned in the past and continues to fall short of the fullness of God's glory (Rom 3:23). The community they have achieved is not based on a perfect record from the past, it is based on the way God relates to their record and the way they relate to each other's records.
Brennan Manning tells the story of a Catholic woman who was rumored to have had visions of Jesus.1 These rumors eventually reached the archbishop in that area and he decided he had better check her out. It seems that there is often a fine line between a genuine mystic and the lunatic fringe. The archbishop asked her, "Is it true, Ma'am, that you have visions of Jesus?"
"Yes," the woman replied simply.
"Well," he said, "The next time you have a vision, I want you to ask Jesus to tell you the sins that I confessed in my last confession."
The woman was stunned. "Did I hear you right, bishop? You actually want me to ask Jesus to tell me the sins of your past?"
"Exactly. Please call me if anything happens."
Ten days later the woman notified her spiritual leader of a recent apparition. "Please come," she said. Within the hour the archbishop arrived. He trusted eye-to-eye contact. "You just told me on the telephone that you actually had a vision of Jesus. Did you do as I asked?"
"Yes, bishop, I asked Jesus to tell me the sins that you confessed in your last confessional.
The bishop leaned forward with anticipation. His eyes narrowed.
She took his hand and gazed deep into his eyes. "Bishop," she said, "these are His exact words: I can't remember".
Whether or not this story actually took place it illustrates a great truth. When we accept Jesus as our savior, we are treated by God as if we had not sinned (Isa 43:25). Genuine community can happen when people gather in the name and spirit of the one who cannot remember the sins of the past. When we learn to do the same with each other, our communities will become places of healing that truly "follow the Lamb".