Summary: The human mind can take only so many pictures of tragedy before it needs an infusion of hope. That is what chapter 14 is, a picture of victory. In this chapter, John is given seven visions that show the triumph that lies ahead for those who follow the L
In our study, we are in the middle of the great tribulation. Satan is unleashing the fury of his wrath on earth. He sends forth his own spirit to enter into one man and he uses this man to offer the perfect utopia to the world amidst all the chaos. This man is the antichrist and Satan is going to empower him to build up all the hope that man has ever had for this utopian world. Man places all his hope in this one world ruler.
But then the antichrist turns against millions on earth, against all those who have strong religious faith: the Jews, Christians, Moslems, Hindus, and all others. He will slaughter any who don’t give their first loyalty and allegiance to the state and its leader, the antichrist himself.
This is what we have seen thus far. Last week we see the chief executive officer of the antichrist introduced, the false prophet.
Now, in this vision, we have seen a lot of bad. John was experiencing this in his vision. He, and we, need relief from these horrors. The human mind can take only so many pictures of tragedy before it needs an infusion of hope. That is what chapter 14 is, a picture of victory. In this chapter, John is given seven visions that show the triumph that lies ahead for those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ and endure to the end.
Keep in mind that John is seeing into the future. He is seeing the future triumph. The first vision of triumph concerns the redeemed. The redeemed are seen as victorious. They are seen with the Lord. PRAYER. READ v. 1.
The redeemed will be seen with Jesus. The Lamb is Jesus Christ. He stands on Mount Zion. Mount Zion was another name for Jerusalem. It has always been used to refer to heaven itself, to the heavenly Jerusalem. Here Mount Zion means the heavenly city of God. So the believers are seen with Jesus in heaven.
There are 144,000 Jews who had taken a vow to stand up for Christ, the Christian Jews who had not denied Him during the holocaust of the antichrist. Their commitment will be rewarded: they will be with Jesus Christ in heaven.
They are sealed with God’s name. They will be identified with Christ and God. They have refused to take the seal of the antichrist. They will make a vow to serve God and to take His seal. There are a lot of antichrists in the world now, many false teachers, who deny that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We need to remain strong in the Lord. We need to be identified with Him.
Read v. 2. The redeemed will hear the voice of God. Imagine having the privilege to hear the voice of God. The voice of God is like the sound of rushing water: forceful and mighty. Yet waters can also be quieting, comforting and peaceful. So God’s voice will be both powerful and peaceful.
The voice of God is like the sound of thunder: deep, rumbling, stirring. When He speaks we will be aroused and stirred from what we are doing. His voice will demand attention. What a lesson for us today. How we should be listening to the voice of God in His Word. His Word is just as powerful as His voice will be when we get to heaven. The problem is that we are not listening to His Word, nor nearly as much as we should be.
The voice of God is like the sound of many harps: restful, calming, soothing. Music can calm our hearts in the most troublesome of times. And oh how the voice of God will need to be heard in the tribulation.
READ v. 3. The redeemed will be uniquely privileged. They will have a song of victory to sing before the heavenly host. The words of the song are not here or anywhere else. We won’t know the words until the day of redemption comes.
That creates a beautiful image in our minds. Those who receive Jesus Christ during the great tribulation will be given a special song of victory. When they arrive in heaven victorious and triumphant, they will have something to sing about, the glorious victory given them in Jesus Christ our Lord.
READ v. 4 & 5. The redeemed will be clearly identified. They will be virgins: they will never marry. The days of the end time will be filled with horror after horror. Apparently, these 144,000 form a body of believers who vow and commit their lives to never deny Christ. They apparently take a special bow to be the ministers to the people who will be so severely attacked and persecuted by the antichrist.
They will be followers of the Lamb—wholly committed to Jesus Christ and separated from the sin and evil of this world. They are separated from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and from the pride of life. They will sell out completely to the Lord Jesus Christ.