Summary: This is a sermon taken from the author’s book on Revelation.
THE LORD GOD TRIUMPHANT: Part One
This is a chapter that very much is in contrast to chapter 13. In chapter 13 the emphasis is on what Satan is doing to bring about his wicked program of evil. It is a wonderful breath of fresh air to step from chapter 13 to chapter 14. In chapter thirteen, as the number 13 implies, we see Satan at the height of his rebellion with his unholy circus. In chapter fourteen we see seven recorded visions that show the Lord in control. This is not to say that the Lord has not been in control, it just shows that his control is being greatly emphasized in this chapter. We need the constant reminders that come from God’s Holy Writ to keep us encouraged in the Lord. Chapter fourteen gives us this kind of encouragement.
A study of this chapter will reveal that this chapter does not follow a strict chronology. This does not in any way imply or suggest that John, the writer, was unsure of what was taking place as he wrote or when it took place. We know better. It appears that the writer is not trying to emphasize chronology but instead is detailing that which the Lord wants us to see by way of importance or significance. This chapter is answering any concern involving the totality of Satan’s attack on the tribulation saints and what will ultimately happen to the beast and to his followers.
I. THE GATHERING OF THE WITNESSES AFTER THE TRIBULATION. (Vv. 1-5)
It has been said that this chapter is like an index of those things which are to follow. In these several verses there are capsule descriptions, or summary statements, of the different events that will be transpiring. It is almost like this is a word of prophecy located within the greater Book of Prophecy. The first thing mentioned in this chapter is that of the Lamb of God standing on the mount called Sion. There are 144,000 sealed male virgin Jews who are seen standing with the Lamb. The time that this is taking place brings no little concern as Luke would probably put it. Where it is taking place is also of great concern. If it takes place upon the earth at any time other than the conclusion of the tribulation that would mean that the Lord would be coming to the earth before the tribulation ends. There is no clear indication that this will happen. Most all of the Scripture makes clear his coming to the earth is at the very end of the tribulation. If this scene describes the Lord standing upon the earth, He very likely is doing so at Jerusalem and it is taking place at the end of the tribulation showing that the 144, 000 survived the tribulation.. It was back in chapter number seven that we noted that the 144 thousand were being sealed for service.
Therefore, it must be understood that this is a prophetic glimpse into the future, where the victorious witnesses are seen standing, giving glory to the Lord before they enter into the millennium. It is as though the Lord is giving visions of victory to bring increased faith to the tribulation saints. The tribulation saints will have the Bible and will find faith and encouragement as they read it, even as we do now.
A. The Witnesses Were Standing In The Presence Of The Lamb. (V. 1)
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (V. 1)
These witnesses were standing in God’s presence. How thrilling this must be for the Lord to be seen standing among those whom He had sealed. The counterfeiter in chapter 13 required his followers to be marked. This again shows the lengths that Satan will go to achieve his wickedness at being nothing more than what we would call a “copy cat”. His followers, just as he, can only be pretenders. Pretenders of the worst kind were they. They and their leader, Satan, will come to an utter end. God’s witnesses, however, will survive and be met victoriously by the Savior. He will stand with them.
The Lord will stand with the 144,000 witnesses and He also stands with us who are now the redeemed. When the three Hebrew children were cast alive into the fiery furnace, they were seen in the flame unharmed, but we also know that there was another who was there with them. We know from God’s Word that the other person was the Lord. The Lord is always there at the right time. Or should we say that the Lord is there all of the time.
B. The Witnesses Were Singing In The Presence Of The Lamb. (Vv. 2,3)