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Sunday, February 4th, 2018 - AM - The Lamb upon Zion (Rev. 14:1-5)

Rejoicing Through Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:00:55
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Will you follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth?

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The Lamb on Zion with His Redeemed

Revelation 14:1–5 KJV 1900
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. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Revelation 14:1–5 KJV 1900
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. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Introduction

Get Attention:
Illustration - standing on the beach sands when the tide rolls in, as the sand washes away from underneath the feet... contrast to standing on the top of Treasure Mountain, on a rock that doesn't budge.
Raise Need:
In postmodern times like these, we must know where to find firm footing in a world of daydreamers who'd rather build their lives on sandy and weak foundations.
Orient Theme:
That which the devil and this world's system offers is ever fluid, ready wash away at a moments notice; while that which is offered us in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and the Redeemer, will never be moved. It's part of God's eternal purposes.
State Purpose:
Having started out with Christ (if you are saved), I hope to help you consider your faith's foundations, and inspect it for any places that might need spiritual shoring up.
Consider briefly just how different the Christ is from the Devil's counterfeit:
Christ
Antichrist
Christ - From above-
AntiChrist - From the pit-
Christ - Came in His Father’s name-
AntiChrist - Came in his own name-
Christ - Humbled Himself-
AntiChrist - Will exalt himself-
Christ - Was despised- ;
AntiChrist - Will be admired-
Christ - Will be exalted-
AntiChrist - Will be cast down to hell- ;
Christ - Came to do His Father’s will-
AntiChrist - Will come to do his own will-
Christ - Came to save-
AntiChrist - Will come to destroy-
Christ - Is the Good Shepard-
AntiChrist - Is the “idol (evil) Shepard”-
Christ - Is the “True Vine”-
AntiChrist - Is the “vine of the earth”-
Christ - Is the “Truth”-
AntiChrist - Is the “lie”-
Christ - Is the “Holy One”-
AntiChrist - Is the “Lawless one”-
Christ - Is the “Man of Sorrows”-
AntiChrist - Is the “man of sin”-
Christ - Is the “Son of God”-
AntiChrist - Is the “son of perdition”-
Christ - Is the “Mystery of godliness:…God manifest in the flesh”-
AntiChrist - Will be the “mystery of iniquity” Satan manifest in the flesh-
Main Thought
I hope to encourage your confidence to be fully persuaded that "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day that the Lamb stands upon Zion's hill.
Sub-Introduction
What a refreshing sight after the horrors of ! John sees the Lamb and 144,000 redeemed, standing on Mount Sion, and there is much rejoicing and much music. In chapter truth had fallen in the streets, and the saints’ blood ran like water; at the close of chapter good had been almost banished from the earth () and faith was almost unknown (). The Beast proudly proclaimed himself to be God and dictated both political and religious policies. The few faithful ones were going through such terrible persecution as was never known upon this earth, and except the Lord had shortened those days, “there should no flesh be saved.”
[Oliver B. Greene, Revelation, A Verse by Verse Study, Commentaries and Writings of Oliver B. Greene (The Gospel Hour, Inc., 1963), 275–276.]
This new chapter unfolded the next object of the Revelator’s apocalyptic vision. Whereas he had seen the deception and destruction of the Antichrist, now the Apostle viewed the triumph of Christ, the Lamb. Chapter Thirteen dealt with the Beast-Man and the destiny of his followers, while Chapter Fourteen dealt with the God-Man and the victory of His followers. The First Beast will reign for the last three and a half years and come to an abrupt end; the Lord Jesus Christ will deliver the sealed 144,000 through the whole Tribulation and into the beginning of the Millennium. Other parallels between these two chapters emerge, such as the two lambs (cf. and the two locations (cf. and the two statements of worship (cf. and enslavement versus redemption (cf. and deception versus no lie (cf. and the mark of the Beast versus the name of the Father and Lamb (cf. and and the two numbers, the number Beast and the number of the Jews (cf. and
[Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 551.]
There are seven outstanding things to be noted in our present chapter:
1. We see the 144,000 sealed ones on Mount Sion - verses
2. God’s closing testimony to earth: “the everlasting Gospel” - verses and
3. The announcement that Babylon is fallen - verse
4. The terrible doom of the Beast-worshippers - verses
5. The blessedness of those who die in the Lord - verse
6. The harvest of earth is reaped - verses
7. The fullness of God’s wrath and vengeance is poured out - verses
[Greene, 275–276.]

I. John Beholds the Lamb & His Redeemed ().

A. The Lamb Standing on Zion ().

Revelation 14:1 KJV 1900
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.
The contrast of the gentleness of the Lamb to the ferocity of the δράκων (drakōn, “dragon”) and the θήρια (thēria, “beasts”) is striking. He is a direct opposite of the beast with two horns like those of a lamb in .145 The beasts arise from the sea or the earth (, ), but He has His feet firmly planted, as the perfect tense of ἑστός (hestos, “standing”) suggests (Ford). He also contrasts with the dragon who “stood” (ἐστάθη [estathē]) on the sands of the sea in . He is on the rock of Mount Zion instead of the unstable sand (Swete). His pose is no longer that of a slain Lamb, but now that of a militant victor with His feet solidly fixed on the Mount of Olives (cf. ) (Moffatt).
[Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1995), 189.]
The English expression “mount Sion” occurs twice elsewhere, once referring to the literal location of the southwestern hill upon which Jerusalem was built (cf. ), and once figuratively (cf. ). The Scripture teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ will come back at the end of the Tribulation and stand on the Mount of Olives to destroy the armies of the nations. For instance, Zechariah predicted, saying, “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (). From his “holy hill of Zion” He will rule the nations for a thousand years, as David prophesied, saying, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel” (). Moreover, the Lord Jesus predicted that He would judge the nations at this time, saying, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (). These passages pre-figure the Lord’s victorious stand on Mount Zion at the outset of the Millennium with His sealed evangelists.2114
[Strouse, 553–554.]

B. The 144,000 With Him ().

Although He is in His person the Lamb, He is also the Shepherd. Remember that He started out with 144,000 and that He came through the Great Tribulation with 144,000. He didn’t lose one.
My friend, in our day when the pressures of Satan bear us down, the living, victorious Christ is available to us. Oh, that you and I might come to know Him better and that He might occupy a greater place in our lives day by day.
[J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary, electronic ed., vol. 5 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 1006.]
This is a beautiful little prophetic picture, quite complete in itself. It sets forth that which is to take place after the desolations of Israel are ended, and the glory is dawning in the land where Jesus lived and died and rose again, and to which He is coming back in person.
[H. A. Ironside, Lectures on the Book of Revelation (Neptune, N. J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1920), 254.]

— Belonging to His Father; not Beholden to the Beast

Application:
What is the real problem today? We don’t need a method; we need Christ. We need to know Him in a meaningful way. We need to draw closer to Him. By the way, when was the last time that you told Him that you loved Him? He has said that He loves you, and you ought to tell Him that in return.
[McGee, 1006.]
Transition: John has caught our attention by painting this image of the Lamb & His Redeemed firmly and victoriously planted on the hill of the City of David in the heart of Israel. Now that we have seen what John saw, let us hear what John heard!

II. John Attends the Heavenly Ode ().

A. The Sounds of the Song ().

Revelation 14:2 KJV 1900
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

1. The Heavenly Choir

— Sounding like many waters & mighty thunders

A comparison to many waters occurs also at and . In and , the simile describes the voice of God, and in , the voice of an angel. A comparison to thunder occurs also in where one of the living beings speaks, but likens the voice to that of a great multitude and to “strong thunder,” with ἰσχυρών (ischurōn, “strong”) replacing the μεγάλης (megalēs, “great”) of this verse. The author, as one of the “sons of thunder” (), refers to thunder once in and twelve times in Revelation.151
[Thomas, 192–193.]
It is described “as the voice of many waters” which is descriptive of perhaps a great waterfall or maybe ocean surf. The point is the voice he heard was overwhelming in its power. He further describes this voice as “the voice of a great thunder.” Strong thunder, especially when in close proximity is a powerful awesome sound.
[David H. Sorenson, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary - Hebrews through Revelation, vol. 11, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary (Northstar Ministries, 2007), 475–476.]

— Harpers harping on their harps

No doubt this singing accompanied by stringed instruments will be as the sweet Psalmist of Israel played, when he drove the demons away from King Saul, as Scripture states, “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him” ().
[Strouse, 557.]

B. The Singers of the Song ().

1. The Singers’ Passion ().

Revelation 14:3 KJV 1900
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

— Their excitement; their audience

2. The Singers’ Prerequisites ().

a. The Number of the Choir ().

— 144,000 exclusively could learn the ode

...learning that comes through discipleship. For instance, the Lord said to his disciples, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (), and Paul rebuked the Ephesians, saying, “But ye have not so learned Christ” ().
[Strouse, 558–559.]
...note that this is an exclusive song: none but those sealed by the Father, redeemed by Jesus, can learn this song. There will not be Hindus, Buddhists, or Muslims singing that song, nor will there be decent people who were consistent with their own atheism. Only those who put explicit faith in Jesus will sing this song.
[James M. Hamilton Jr., Preaching the Word: Revelation—The Spirit Speaks to the Churches, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 282.]

b. The Nature of the Choir ().

— Redeemed from the Earth

...stand here the redeemed, “the divine kernel of humanity, the positive fruits of the history of the world ...” [Auberlen].... redeemed—literally, “purchased.” Not even the angels can learn that song, for they know not experimentally what it is to have “come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb” ().
[Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 585.]

i. Free from Defilement

Revelation 14:4 KJV 1900
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Reference to the purity of the 144,000 could be recognition that during the difficult times of the Tribulation they could not have led normal married lives. Or it may refer to spiritual purity, often symbolized by virginity (cf. ; ; ; , ; ; ).
[John F. Walvoord, “Revelation,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 964.]
When the Rapture occurs, no one left on earth will be a believer until God quickly seals the 144,000 (cf. ). Therefore, the 144,000, who will be servants of God, with the primary ministry to evangelize saints who will quickly become martyrs, consequently will have no one to marry at the outset or through the duration of the Tribulation. Furthermore, with the perverse wickedness of a demon-possessed, drug-induced, fornication-loving population, worthy marital partners will be scarce (cf. ; ). Who could they marry among unsaved humanity in the beginning stages of the Tribulation? These saints will emulate Jeremiah who was not to marry prior to the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC (cf. ),2148 and they will avoid temptations to fornicate (cf. ),2149 but instead fulfill Christ’s evangelistic purpose single-mindedly (cf. ).
[Strouse, 561.]

ii. Followers of the Shepherding Lamb

iii. God’s First-fruits from Humanity

The reference to the 144,000 being firstfruits may have to do with the fact they are the beginning of the conversion of Israel to Christ. They indeed are the firstfruits thereof.
[Sorenson, 477.]
As the 144,000 of Israel are “the first-fruits” (), so “the harvest” () is the general assembly of Gentile saints to be translated by Christ as His first act in assuming His kingdom, prior to His judgment (, the last seven vials) on the Antichristian world,
[Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, 585.]
The term firstfruits means “the very finest.” But it also carries the idea of an expected harvest. On the Feast of Firstfruits, the priest waved the sheaf before the Lord as a sign that the entire harvest belonged to Him ().
[Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 607.]

iv. Blamelessly Loyal to the Cause of Christ

Revelation 14:5 KJV 1900
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Note - the CT changes the wording from treachery to lies (from dolos to pseudos); the sense behind
Application:
The blessing of pronounced upon the man in whom is no guile, the blessing that our Lord pronounced upon Nathanael, is the portion of this special company. A guileless man is not a sinless man; he is one who has nothing to hide. When sin is all confessed and judged in the presence of God, guile is absent. And so this guileless company are described as without fault before the throne of God; not, indeed, that they appear there in any righteousness of their own, but saved by the same precious blood that to-day makes faultless every believer in our Lord Jesus Christ.
[Ironside, 256–257.]

Conclusion

Summary/Review:
One day Jesus will stand on Mount Zion. One day He will reign from the city of Jerusalem in Mount Zion (read , , and )....
Isaiah 35:10 KJV 1900
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, And come to Zion with songs And everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Jeremiah 3:17 KJV 1900
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
Psalm 2 KJV 1900
Why do the heathen rage, And the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, And cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, And vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king Upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; This day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, And I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, And ye perish from the way, When his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
John saw this great company standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb of God.
[Greene, 277.]
God Wants You To:
Remain confident of this very thing: that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
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