The Lamb on the Mount

Rev. 14:1-5

Reminder – what kind of literature, all of it made some sense to original readers/hearers, blessed all who read. Histories of various entities ch. 12-14 give insight – scope… breadth / intensity of spiritual conflict since Satan’s defeat at Calvary. Just because defeat is inevitable, Satan has not given up. May be absolutely no hope of winning game, losing team continues on with every effort. So with Satan, yet more so – never tires, fights more desperately as end approaches. His fight will continue for all eternity, attempting to escape punishment and overthrow God.

People of God best able to resist and endure spiritual conflict when adequately prepared – expecting conflict, able to recognize signs, strengthened and equipped for battle. Large part of purpose – why Revelation included in Bible. Have been wonderfully spared painful experiences of spiritual warfare for many generations. Satan has used other means to gain territory here in America – primary weapon so far… deception and distortion of truth. If church proclaims false Gospel, even better than shutting it down… has become ally of Satan. Same is true when church affirms and promotes what world desires.

Still leaves us, true church, standing firm on God’s word the Bible. Culture around is changing, becoming more ungodly and less restrained. Increases contrast between true people of God, all the rest – means we stand out more, more apt to become targets of persecution. Are by no means unique – has been the lot of God’s people somewhere in world in every generation beginning with Abel. Is especially for us in times like these that message of Revelation is important – that we can “be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”Phil. 2:15

Once again the scene changes, John describes for readers what he saw – this time real lamb, not counterfeit, along with those who have different mark.

A. the purpose

why this… here

need comfort, hope, encouragement… given descriptions of previous/following chapters, and what is happening in real life

“If the coming days will be filled with as much suffering and death as depicted in chapters 12 and 13, what comfort is there for the faithful? If Satan and his cohorts are able to wreak such havoc on God’s people, is there any hope? Chapter 14 answers those questions through visions of reward for God’s people and punishment on the wicked.” Reddish

need perspective – from heaven, on earth… iow, visible and invisible

listen to media, friends, family, neighbors and field of view funnels down – ultimate focus for unbeliever is self, personal needs/desires

read God’s Word and perspective broadens – big picture from Bible not self, instead is God.. his purpose.. activity in world

to grasp real significance of events, to have hope that endures, need to understand at least some of what God is doing

cancer about more than who dumped chemicals on ground, covered it up; financial hardship about more than guy that sold lemon; child growing up in single-parent home about more than deadbeat dad; chronic pain about more than jerk that ran stop sign

same true about legislation in this country, Russia, elsewhere; beastly behavior of ISIS and others; list goes on and on

all are evidence for / consequences of battle over souls of men/women/boys/girls in all the world in all generations

also things in life of Christian that God uses to test strength of faith/dependence, conform us to image of Christ as are transformed by Word – at same time demonstrating his grace and power

remember Elisha, servant – 2 Kings 6:15-17servant arose, went out, an army surrounding the city. “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”“LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” The LORD opened the eyes, he saw, the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire

B. what he sees v.1

who – the Lamb… standing

already acquainted with Lamb, know he is exalted one identified on earth as “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”

something striking about posture: standing; most often think about Jesus as seated at right hand, not standing – what’s up?

turn to Psalm 2 (pg.617) – v.1-3 describe ch.13, activity of beast and false prophet; v.4 God’s attitude toward man’s kingdom; v.5-9 God’s purpose that cannot be frustrated

where – Mount Zion – God’s dwelling place… on earth

God has appointed his king over his kingdom – even though unseen except with eyes of faith, Christ is King of this world

even though unseen, Christ is present with his people – is in Zion, place where God said his name would dwell forever — 2 Chron. 7:16“I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”

with whom – 144,000

will consider more of their description in few moments – firstfruits (4c), representative of the whole company of redeemed

not one missing from company of God’s elect – all present and in presence of one who is their head, their very life

mark of the Father’s name

acquire a book, take home, first thing: write name in front… show ownership; God does same with his people

clearest way we know who has mark of the Father and mark of the Beast – how person thinks, what they actually believe… because that governs behavior

notice: only two marks / seals referenced in Revelation – one that comes from God, other from Satan; indicate both ownership and destiny

C. what he hears v.2-3

countless multitude from heaven

saints and angels looking on from heaven, giving praise and worship to conquering Lamb who is worthy “to receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”Rev. 5:12

when we recognize Christ’s victories and sing his praise, are adding our voices to those of saints and angels – every time sin is restrained, righteousness promoted, new believer added to company of God’s people

singing “new song” – song of victory

dragon/beast/false prophet may appear invincible – may look like evil is advancing in world and our culture, cannot be stopped

from heaven’s perspective, Lamb is conquering all his enemies for his own glory and sake of his people

protects his people – never allows more to come their way than what they can bear, as needed provides way of escape

reserved for the saints – all others have been defeated

if you are not numbered among people of God here on earth, wearing name of God, will not be able to sing of victory in heaven

only redeemed can grasp what victory has been won – conquering sin and its agents, what we cannot see directly

and… only redeemed want to learn the song, desire to sing the song – reality is: song of defeat for all who are lost

D. who they are v.4-5

remained pure

throughout Bible, esp. Revelation, marital unfatihfulness applied to matters of faith – chasing false gods equals adultery

these are those who have stayed faithful to the Lamb – keep their distance from things that would cause moral/ethical/theological impurity, stay close to the Lamb

follow the Lamb

willingly follow Jesus – copy his way of thinking and feeling and acting; notice who is in front… and who is keeping close enough distance not to get lost, off track

“wherever he goes” – is Jesus who chooses route we follow, people we encounter, situations we experience, but Jesus there with us

redeemed from among men

do I have to follow anywhere? well, he bought you at cost of his own life, has placed mark on you showing ownership… that answer the question?

besides, why wouldn’t you want to? only if looking more at circumstances than at Jesus, at surroundings than at Cross

authentic – no deceit

clear contrast with beast and his followers who also follow father of lies – people of God are sincere, transparent, known for truth

must be true of Christians if others are to believe their witness; will be true of those who close follow One who is the Truth

blameless

the good news: those who have been redeemed will stand blameless before throne of God – truly no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1)

E. the take-away

DO NOT BE AFRAID… if you fit the description

first, are you part of that number seen by John? redeemed from the earth, from among men, faithful to the Lamb, following him closely, authentic and blameless before God

no need to be afraid because: “behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand”

no one can take anything of ultimate value away from believer; even life itself only for brief time, and God himself numbers our days

and… if you are not afraid, speak up

out on trail hiking, far from any medical help; see someone stung by bee, discover they are severely allergic; you have epi pen, refuse to give it to them

stakes are truly immeasurably higher: bee sting puts physical life in danger, without the Gospel soul in danger of eternal death

Can “afford” to put our lives on the line because Jesus already gave his for us. Not in the battle alone; Commander in Chief present with us at all times to guide, strengthen, protect. And eventually, lead us all the way home.

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