Revelation 14:1-5 / God’s Untouchables

Posted on January 18, 2016

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This is the thirty-seventh in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on January 17, 2016. This message looks at the 144,000, and their impenetrable shield – Jesus Christ. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.

SERMON AUDIO:

Revelation 14:1-5

SERMON NOTES:

V.1:
This chapter provides another interlude in the book of Revelation. It interrupts the introduction of the seven major players of the tribulation, and gives believers a vision of hope and victory.

Mount Zion is in Jerusalem, which will be the place of Jesus’ earthly throne.

  • Psalm 2:6

Christ on the mountain is also a symbolic contrast to the dragon standing on the shifting sands of the seashore.

  • Revelation 13:1

Christ is a firm foundation. A rock, immovable like a mountain.

  • Isaiah 28:16

Satan, on the other hand, will not long stand. He is like the shifting sands of the sea shore, quickly eroding, being swept away.

The 144,000 are 12,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel. They are simply God’s witnesses on earth, and will be instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and gentiles. They will be the firstfruits of a new, redeemed Israel. Finally, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the OT. They will be sealed, and will be spared judgment during the tribulation.

They are absolutely secure, because they are sealed with the Father’s name (in contrast to the mark of the beast). They are firmly planted on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. They will all be drinking the same spiritual drink:

  • 1 Corinthians 10:4

Their protection and perseverance during the tribulation is further proof of the security of salvation. They are sealed with the Holy Spirit. . . the King’s seal, and the King’s seal cannot be broken by any man! Don’t you wish you could be sealed that way? You can!!!

  • Ephesians 1:13-14

All believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Whether you are a saint during the tribulation or a saint in this present age, you have eternal security, if you have trusted Christ. Salvation bought by the perfect blood of Christ, cannot be lost.

  • John 10:28-30

Vv.2-3:
This voice unidentified, but likely a heavenly chorus, the same who are singing this new song. Their song of praise is accompanied by harps. This is the second mention of harps in Revelation. Perhaps that’s where we get the image of people in heaven playing harps.

But this new song is one that can only be sung by the redeemed 144,000. Their experiences are unique. Not many, even among our Biblical heroes, have walked through such tribulation as God’s untouchables. There has been a Shadrach, a Meshach, an Abednego, perhaps, and a Daniel in the lions’ den. According to Hebrews 11:33-34, there were certain saints “who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens”.

There have been a few, but only a few. Never before has there been an army of saints like this, marching unharmed through all types of terror. They will have preached the gospel in the face of unimaginable dangers. They will be surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of protection, and they will be victorious. They will celebrate that victory in a new song before the throne of the Lord. The words of that song will be theirs, and theirs alone to sing. No one else will be able to learn its words, never having had their unique experience.

V.4:
The conduct of these saints shows us that God is able to keep believers remarkably pure in the midst of even the greatest of difficulty. They will have resisted the evil system of the antichrist. They will have resisted all forms of sexual temptation. They will not marry, most likely due to the very unique circumstances of the great tribulation, and the need to be totally set apart to God.

In contrast to others of their day (and even today), they will follow the Lamb. . . wherever He goes. Of only a few, can such a claim be made. We like to say that where He leads me I will follow, but will we really? Will we actually go anywhere He leads? We tend to pick and choose.

V.5:
These saints are truly amazing. They are 100% genuine, not deceitful in any way. They have learned from the Word of God, and God’s Word is truth.

  • Romans 3:4
  • Proverbs 30:5

However, for all of their great attributes, keep in mind that they are blameless, not sinless. No one is sinless.

  • Romans 3:10
  • Romans 3:23

The good news is that Christ seeks to present all believers as blameless.

  • Ephesians 1:4
  • Colossians 1:21-22

However, you must be willing to follow the Lamb. . . wherever He goes.

These saints will speak the truth of God’s Word with the utmost precision. There will be no exaggeration and no understatement.

  • Zephaniah 3:13

Because they will place their trust in God, He will be a shield to them, just as His word promises. No matter what you are going through, God will be a shield to those who place their trust in Him.

  • Psalm 18:30

Just as He put a hedge of protection around Job, He can do the same for you, but it won’t happen apart from faith in Jesus Christ. No amount of good deeds will be enough to earn God’s favor. We must place our faith in Jesus Christ.

  • John 14:6
  • Romans 10:9

If you have done that, then trust Him. Trust Him to be your provider and your protector. With Christ, you won’t have to fear the trials and tribulations. You won’t have to fear the difficult times. With Christ, you already have the victory.

  • Romans 8:31
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Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons