Rev 14 History as God sees it!

 Note:  I ran out of time to write a manuscript for this sermon, but here are my notes.

  1. History is always written from someone’s perspective, neither good/bad, just is
    1. Russian History of WWII much different than US History
    2. US History of How West Won, differs from 1st nations tellings.
  2. Whose perspective matters? GOD’s
    1. Rev 13 history of world from view of the Dragon, (maybe even beleaguered church) dragon appears victorious
    2. Rev 14 corrects these misinterpretations, City of Man not victorious, City of God IS!

i.     Rev 14:1-5 How God’s people are really pictured – Victorious!

ii.     Rev 14:6-20 How World is really pictured – Defeated!

  1. The Defeated – Rev 14:8-11 There are people not purchased by God, living his kingdom charge
    1. Rev 13 – might thought they victors: buying, selling, awed, living while Christian defeated, killed, imprisoned (13:10) but NO they are

i.     Defeated/fallen (v.8), tormented (v10), trampled (v20), consumed (v10) = DEAD

ii.     Why? They participated in the adulteries of Babylon the Great (BtG)

  1. Explore more of BtG in a few weeks but now, failed to worship Christ alone
  2. Punishment is

i.     Future

  1. Rev 14:10 he will drink of the wine of God’s fury…He will be tormented…and the torment rises for ever
    1. Sodom Gomorrah, Flood

ii.     Present also

  1. 1.     Rev 14:11 There is no rest day or night for them…
  2. 2.     Idolatry is merciless.  When one other than God is your god, you can never please them, satiate their hunger…
  1. The Victorious – Rev 14:1-5
    1. Christ is at the Head of the Victorious.
    2. Notice where Christ is standing.

Rev 14:1 the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion

i.     Zion

  1. Physical Importance
    1. Strategic – 2Sam 5:7ff city David attacked.  Secure fortress, one who controls it controls the rest of land
    2. Spiritual Importance
      1. a.     Place the King Reigns with Salvation Zech. 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
      2. Purification and Protection Is. 4:2-6 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. 3 Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. 4 The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. 5 Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. 6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
      3. Unshaken Kingdom of God exists Heb. 12:22,28 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
      4. Does battle Is. 31:4-5 This is what the LORD says to me: “As a lion growls, a great lion over his prey —and though a whole band of shepherds is called together against him, he is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamor —so the LORD Almighty will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights. 5 Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will ‘pass over’it and will rescue it.”
      5. The Lamb is in Zion, even now.  His fortress is secure!
  1. Believers

With him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads (Rev 14:1)

i.     All believers stand with Christ in the victorious and secure position of Zion

ii.     We are the 2 witnesses from Rev 11:1-2 who come from the temple to the world

iii.     We are the possession of God

  1. Rev 14:1 …His name and his Father’s name [are] written on [our] foreheads
  2. We are true worshippers of the one true king
  3. Rom 12:2 be  transformed by the renewing of your minds
    1. Thoughts are changed and so are our actions
    2. We are redeemed from the earth (Rev 14:3)
      1. Trade term, used in markets, esp. in slave markets
      2. b.     1Cor. 6:20 you were bought (same word) at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
      3. Rev. 5:9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased (same word) men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
      4. Owned by God to do his will, live for him, carry out his charge
    3. What tangibly marks a believer as belonging to God?

i.     Spiritually Pure

Rev 14:4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure

  1. Isn’t about being a celibate monk, eunuch
  2. Scriptures use the image of Adultery to equal idolatry – Hosea
  3. Rev 3:4 Pure life describes as a few people in Sardis who have not soiled (same word) their clothes
  4. They have kept themselves pure is lit. They are virgins.
  5. Paul uses same kind language 2Cor 11:2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to 1 husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
  6. Saved, dedicated, enraptured with only one, intimate with only one
  7. Don’t dabble with other gods

ii.     Devoted Life

Rev 14:4 …They follow the Lamb wherever he goes…

i.     Like a good slave, wife, the 144,000 are always close to their master or husband, to do what he says, needs.

ii.     Like psalmist, the one who follows the Lamb declares Psa. 86:2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.

  1. Where did the Lamb go? Who did he follow?

i.     Denied himself, took up Cross and died for glory of Father

ii.     Listened to the Father John 8:26 he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.

iii.     How can we begin and stay on the path of following Christ and maintaining spiritual purity?

  1. 1.    

Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

  1. 2.     James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
  2. 3.     Titus 3:14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.

                                          iii.     Recognize they are a sacrifice

Rev 14:4 …They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.

Rom 12:1 Offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God.

i.     Sacrificial language of that which is given to God

iv.     Maintain truth

Rev 14:5 No lie was found in their mouths…

                                                                         i.     Psa. 43:3 Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.

                                                                       ii.     Mt 12:34 Out of overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks

iii.     Lies are from devil, Jn 8:44

                                                                       iv.     If spiritually pure, devoted th Xp and sacrifices for God, then no way our heart can be anywhere but with God and his complete reliability.  1Jn 2:21 …no lie comes from the truth.

                                              v.     Be Perfect      

Rev 14:5 …They are blameless

                                                                         i.     Mt 5:48 Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.        

                                                                       ii.     Culticly pure, without defect

                                                                     iii.     Word describes the blood of Christ, the offering of Christ

                                                                       iv.     Only possible when we are purchased by Christ

  1. 1.     Jude 24-25 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord

                                            vi.     This is the charge because this is the Gospel, the eternal gospel…for all who live on the earth…”Fear God and give him glory…Worship him who made [it all]. Rev 14:7

  1. V.             Given the two groups of people, those on Mount Zion and those in the Kingdom of the Beast, the choice seems simple enough doesn’t it?  But John reminds us that though the choice seems simple when cast in such colorful symbolic language, in real life, it is much different

Rev 14:12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus

  1. a.     As we live in the world, we will need endurance b/c the temptation to compromise is great.  WE can’t always see from God’s vantage point and so we are prone to wander and make expedient choices in the short term instead of viewing life from the long term.
  2. b.     It will take endurance, like running marathon, training for Olympics, if we are to train for godliness, purity, devotion, truth and perfection.  In short, if we are going to be a sacrifice for God it will be hard, painful but oh so worth it.  For we are the people of God, purchased, empowered and clothed in the Righteousness of the Lamb.  Let us go forth into this life as reflections of all that we truly are and will be so that God may receive the glory.
  3. c.     Let us see History as God sees it!

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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