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Back To The Future – Sermon #34


Revelation 14:1-5


Intro: If you have been studying along with us as we have moved through this amazing book, you know that the last two chapters have been dark, depressing and discouraging. We have been talking about the devil, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. We have witnessed the depths of depravity as man abandons his Creator to worship the devil through his false Christ.

      Now, the scene changes! Chapter 14 is like a glorious rainbow after and fierce storm. God takes the brush of His grace and repaints the landscape of the Revelation. He gives us a breath of heavenly air in these verses. Only God can do that! Only God can take that which is horrible beyond words and turn it into a thing of glory. That is just what He does in these verses.

      In this passage we are allowed to get a little glimpse of heavenly glory. We are allowed to see the Lamb of God. He is the theme of the book and He is center stage in these verses. It would be a blessing if we could figure out how to keep Jesus at the center of everything we do in our lives as individuals and in the life of the church.

      In these verses we meet again the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who were selected and sealed in chapter 7. These men have preached the Gospel of the Kingdom during the darkest days of the Tribulation. They were persecuted by the Antichrist, but they were preserved by God. At some point during the Tribulation, when they have served their purpose, God will allow the 144,000 to be killed by Antichrist. These men will then join their Redeemer, the Lamb of God, in His glory in Heaven.

      That is the scene we are going to investigate today. These men have weathered a terrible storm here on the earth. Now, for them at least, the storm is over and they are home with the Lamb. I want to show you the facts revealed in these verses concerning the 144,000. I want to preach on the though After The Storms Have Passed.


  I.  v. 1              THEY ARE A RESCUED ARMY

A.  They Are Protected By God – When we first met this group of men, it was in Rev. 7:3-4. There the Bible says, “Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”

            These men have been sealed by God and have been protected by Him through the darkest days of the Tribulation. Hundreds of millions, perhaps even billions of people have die, but these men have been protected through it all because they have been sealed by God. The earth will be stained red with the blood of holy martyrs, but these men will be protected through it all! Satan will hunt them and harass them, but he will be powerless to kill them because they have been sealed by God. They have His Name in their foreheads and they are untouchable! Satan marked His people and they are headed to Hell, God sealed His servants and they are bound for glory!


(Note: I would just remind you that Satan marks his people, Rev. 13:16. In the Tribulation he will mark them with the Mark of the Beast. Today, he marks their bodies, their hearts and their minds with the scars of their sins. Satan marks all those who follow him.

      God, on the other hand, seals His people. He places His seal upon them and labels them as His Own possession, Titus 2:14; 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30. The Spirit of God took up residence in our hearts and He sealed Himself in and He sealed Satan out!)


B.  They Are Preserved By God – When these men arrive on Mount Zion there are just as many there were when they were sealed back in chapter 7. God sealed 144,000 and now 144,000 stand with the Lamb in glory. There are not 143,999; there are 144,000. He brought in just as many as He called out!


(Note: The same is true for all of God’s saints! According to His Word, we have been “sealed unto the day of redemption”, Eph. 4:30. We are also told that Jesus will not lose a single on of those given to Him by His Father, John 6:37-40. Those who are saved are as sure for Heaven as if they were already there, Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 2:6. Jesus gives eternal life and eternal security to every single person who trusts Him for their salvation.

      When the roll is called in glory, not a single person will be missing. When the family gathers for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, there will not be an empty seat at the table! God will bring ALL His children home!)


C.  They Are Presented To God – We are t old that these men meet the Lamb on “Mt. Zion”. This is an ancient name for the city of Jerusalem, 2 Sam. 5:7; Psalm 48:2. Jerusalem is referred to as Mount Zion at least 21 times in the Word of God.

            Some commentators believe that John is referring to the earthly city of Jerusalem. They think we are seeing a vision of the coming Millennium, when Jesus will rule on the earth for 1,000 years.

            I just happen to believe that we are seeing a heavenly scene! These men have served their time. They have fulfilled their mission and they have been brought in the presence of the Almighty. Verse 3 talks about heavenly singing. Verse 5 shows them standing before the throne of God in glory. These men have been rescued out of a world gone mad and they are home in the presence of the Father and the Lamb of God.


      (Note: I praise the Lord that there is a better place waiting on the people of God! If this world was Heaven as some groups claim, I would want it. No, there is a better place waiting on the children of God when we leave this world! Jesus told us a little bit about it, John 14:1-3. John told us a lot about it, Rev. 21-22. My mind has tried to think about that place. But, one day, these eyes will see its glory! These feet will walk its endless streets. These ears will hear the sweet songs of Zion and they will hear the sweetest sound to ever fall upon them. They will hear the Savior say, “Enter thou in to the joy of thy Lord!” Praise God! One day, we are going home!)


  I.  They Are A Rescued Army


 II.  v. 2-3           THEY ARE A REJOICING ARMY

A.  v. 2  A New Setting – These men have been rescued from the terrors of the Tribulation. They have witnessed death and destruction on an unprecedented level. They have watched the world turn its back on God and embrace the devil as their new god. They have seen this world fall at the feet of the Antichrist and worship him as god. They have seen things more horrible than anything you and I could ever imagine. But, this verse finds them home, in Heaven, in the presence of the Lord Jesus. They are home! And Heaven is filled with the sounds of their worship and their praises. Heaven is filled with joy because of the presence of the Lamb.


(Note: What a contrast there is between this world and Heaven. This world is a world filled with pain sorrow and tears; none of those things will be allowed over there, Rev. 21:4. This world is marred by disease and death; they will not be found over there. This world is in the grip of sin and Satan; both will be banned in Heaven, Rev. 21:28. This world is perishing; that world will endure for all eternity!

      They are rejoicing in Heaven today. We will join them one day soon! One day, we will take our last steps in this wicked, harsh world. We will leave here and we will fly away to be with the One Who died for us on Calvary’s cross. We will see the One Who took loved in spite of our sins. We will see Jesus and the will be Heaven! We are headed to a city, and one day we will be home!)


B.  v. 3  A New Song – The 144,000 are overcome with joy because they are in the presence of God and the Lamb. They are overwhelmed and they burst into song. They sing a song that is unique to them. It is a new song and no one is qualified to sing it but them! The word “learn” means “to understand”. No one can understand their song because no one has had their experiences.


(Note: A new song is mentioned some seven times in the Old Testament. It is always used as a means to praise the Lord for some great, amazing thing He has done, Ill. Psa. 98:1.

      Ill. There was a day when the Lord saved my soul. When He did, He placed a “new song” within my heart! The only songs my soul knew were the songs of the world. All my soul knew were the laments and dirges of a life of sin and sorrow. But, when He saved me, He gave me a brand new song, Psa. 40:1-3. If you are saved, you know what I am talking about!

      I went down that day singing the song of the broken hearted lost sinner. I came up singing “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Since that glorious day, God has been adding verses to my song of praise! That day, I knew that He had saved me and that was about all. Now, I can sing of His faithfulness, His blessings, His glory, His goodness, His grace, His presence, and His provisions. I can sing because He has changed my life and given me a new song. He has given me a song that is as unique as I am. If you are saved, He has done the same for you!

      I can’t put every word of my song into verse down here, but when I get home to glory, I will sing the new, new song with glory in my soul. I will have the vocabulary and the means with which to praise Him in glory!

      While I may not be able to sing the whole song now, I do want to lift my voice ad share the parts I can put into words. I want to praise Him for saving my soul! He is worthy of our love and praise!)


  I.  They Are A Rescued Army

 II.  They Are a Rejoicing Army


III.  v. 4-5           THEY ARE A REDEEMED ARMY

(Ill. These 144,000 are a special group of people. They represent the choicest of God’s servants down through the ages. There have been many men and women who have made their mark for Jesus, but these men stand a little taller than the rest.

      These next two verses describe these men. What the Bible says about them should be true of every saint of God. These men have not even been saved yet, but their dedication to the Lord Jesus already serves as a model for every believer.)

A.  v. 4a  They Are Spotless – We are told that these men have maintained their physical purity. They have not fallen prey to the sins of the flesh that will mark the last days.

Beyond that, they have not succumbed to the spiritual fornication that will run rampant in the world during the Tribulation days. The world will go after the “great whore”, Rev. 14:8; Rev. 17:1, but these men will state separated and holy during an apostate age.


(Note: God expects the same from His children in all ages. His command is for us to stay separate from this wicked world, 2 Cor. 6:17. We are to hate “even the garment spotted by the flesh”, Jude 23.)


B.  v. 4b  They Are Surrendered – These 144,000 preachers had followed the Lord Jesus wherever He lad them. They did not turn back through fear. They did not turn away from their task, even though it was dangerous and costly. They stayed the course. They followed the Lamb. The word “follow” means “to be in the same way as”. These men walked in the ways of the Lord. They made His way their way and they stayed the course for the glory of God.


(Note: Again, this is just what God expects from each one of us. He saved us to walk in His will and to follow His ways. He wants us to be obedient, surrendered followers. He wants us to make His way our way! Of course, this means that we have to see things the way He sees them and do things the way He does them, Ill. Amos 3:3. The Lord wants us to follow Him wherever He leads us with no regrets, no refusals and no reservation. He is looking for obedient servants!)


(Ill. William Borden was born into wealth as an heir to the Borden dairy fortune, but he soon recognized true wealth was to be found in a different inheritance—being a child of God and an heir with Christ. Borden lived a short but high-impact life. He graduated high school at age 16 and quickly decided to become a missionary after seeing the global need for Christ on a trip through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. He memorialized this decision by writing “no reserves” in the back of his Bible.

After revolutionizing the campus of Yale University by starting a weekly prayer and Bible study group attended by three-fourths of the student body, Borden could have started his career with any corporation he desired. Rather, he stood firm in his decision to become a missionary and enrolled at Princeton Seminary. Once again, he made a record of his decision in the back of his Bible: “no retreats” was his entry.

After finishing Princeton Seminary, Borden studied Arabic in Egypt to reach Muslims in China. He died from spinal meningitis shortly thereafter. Though he never reached his intended mission field, Borden impacted many people during his life. The last entry in the back of his Bible was “no regrets.”

God wants all of His children to live lives of great impact, and He gave us the example of William Borden as inspiration.

No reserves—Sacrifice yourself, Rom. 12:1. Offer your entire being (body, mind, and soul) to God as a living sacrifice. Allow Him to use you as He desires, and discover His perfect will for your life.

No retreats—Press on Phil. 3:14. After totally surrendering to God, you will face distraction and discouragement that will make you want to revoke your sacrifice and not follow God’s will. Stay focused on God and rely on His resurrection power to reach forward for what lies ahead.

No regrets—Finish the course 2 Tim. 4:7. Offering yourself unreservedly and unrelentingly requires great faith. But God honors your faith, and He will help you fight the good fight so that you can live without regrets and hear Him say: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”, Matt. 25:21.[1])


C.  v 4c  They Are Symbolic – These 144,000 were chosen, saved and sealed at the beginning of the Tribulation. They went out and preached the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

      Just as the first sheaves of grain were taken into the Temple and waved before the Lord as a symbol of the harvest that was to follow, these men are symbolic of all those who will be saved through their ministry, Lev. 23:10-11. They were the first, and they were the guarantee of more to follow! (Ill. Rev. 7:9-17.)

      I cannot imagine how hard the ministry of these men is going to be. It is hard in these days, but it will be far harder then. What a comfort it is to know that God is going to use them to reap a vast harvest of souls during the Tribulation. Only in Heaven will they know the impact of their ministry.


(Note: By the way, the same is true of us! We will not know until we arrive home in glory just how the Lord has used our lives. Therefore, let is stay the course for His glory and allow Him to use us when and where He sees fit. Until He calls us home, may we “do the will of God from the heart”, Eph. 6:6.)


D.  v. 5  They Are Sanctified – These men stand in the presence of God complete and perfect. The Bible says that there was no “guile” found in them. The word “guile” means “deceit”. The word was used to speak of something that was “a decoy”. Something that gave the appearance of being real but wasn’t. These men claimed to be the servants of Almighty God and their walk matched their words. They were not fakes; they were the real deal!

The word “fault” means “blemish”. These men had no flaws in their lives that could be pointed out by men. Now, even in the presence of God, they are declared faultless by Him!


(Note: Again, there is a word here for saints living in this day and age. Like the 144,000 our walk is to match our words. We should live out before men what we claim to be before God, 1 John 2:6. We should live lives that are without blemish so that we might stand in His presence with confidence one day, 1 John 2:28.

You and I are faulty at best. We all fail and fall short of the glory of God down here. There is coming a day when this evil flesh will drop away forever and we will stand perfect and without fault in His presence! What a day that will be!)



[1] http://www.walkthru.org/site/PageServer?pagename=growV1give

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