Intro: Today we are going to take a look at a point in time when God finally separates the sheep from the goat or the wheat from the tares. Have you ever asked yourself how long will God allow injustice to go on? I think this is one of those questions that we ask and are asked by non-believers. We me not know how long for sure but we do know for sure that it is going to happen. Jesus is coming back, just as He promised. Let's take a look at what events are going to be surrounding His Second Coming.
1. The Lamb and The 144,000 Revelation 14:1-5 We are looking at God's Firstfruit. God's sealed His people and they come through the Tribulation with a song that is unique to them.
1. Revelation 14:1 Some think Mt. Zion is spiritual mount Zion in Heaven. Literally it is on the western of the two hills on which Jerusalem is on. It is also called the City of David in which was at one time the Jebusite city that was conquered by David.
2. It seems to be contrasting those who have taken the mark of the beast.
3. Revelation 14:2 This seems to be the heavenly hosts singing and worshiping God. This is a song that is related to what they have gone through personally, probably during the tribulation. This makes this song a very personal one.
1. Chinese officials from the Public Security Bureau invaded a Sunday school room at a church in early 2005. They found thirty children inside and herded them into a van. Despite the scary situation, one child started to sing. In a few moments, all the children were singing. Upon arrival at the police station, the children marched bravely into the interrogation room, still singing to the Lord. The Chinese officers attempted to force the children to write, “I do not believe in Jesus,” telling them that they had to write it a hundred times before they would be released. Instead, the children wrote: “I believe in Jesus today. I will believe in Jesus tomorrow. I will believe in Jesus forever!”Exasperated, the officials called the children’s parents, some of whom renounced Christ. However, one widow refused to deny Jesus when she came to pick up her twin sons. The officers threatened her, saying, “If you do not deny Jesus, we will not release your sons.” She replied, “Well, I guess you will just have to keep them, because without Jesus, there would be no way for me to take care of them!” The exasperated officials said, “Take your sons and go!” —Lee Eclov, “Chinese Children Stand for Christ,” PreachingToday.comLarson, C. B., & Ten Elshof, P. (2008). 1001 illustrations that connect (p. 198). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
4. Revelation 14:3 Who was
2. The Proclamation of the Three Angels Revelation 14:6-13. Jeremiah 25:15. This verse will have a special meaning for those who die in that special day, although it is true for all believers in all ages.
1. Revelation 14:6-7. Jon Courson believes that it is literal angels and it is this ministry that they have been preparing for.
2. Revelation 14:8. Is there a Throughout the history of the Old Testament we see Babylon as a city that oppressed the nation of Israel. They even took Israel captive. This could be literal Babylon as the scriptures say that Babylon will be completely destroyed and it hasn't yet, but is in the process of being rebuilt, or it could be Rome. In chapter 17 we see it is a city that is built on 7 hills. Incidentally Rome is built on 7 hills. The first century Christians could have seen that as a possibility of who John was referring to as Babylon. Today we would be wise to note at the very least it is at least mentioning a system that is oppressing God's people as the literal Babylon did in the past. The fact that Babylon is mentioned twice, some say it is referring to the False religion from the False Prophet and the False economic system that is set in place by the anti-christ who would be the then world leader. They both will fail and fall as Jesus comes to rule and reign. This is the announcement of it and it seems that will actually be taking place in chapters 17-18.
3. Revelation 14:10. God's righteous anger will be poured out, undiluted or unmixed with water on those who reject him.
4. Revelation 14:11. They won't have rest from the torment and torture from the punishment of hell... To have rest means not only to not be in torture but also that we can be in the presence of God. There is no true rest outside of being in the presence of God. Ill. Finding rest when I worked at Alorica on my drive to work.
5. Revelation 14:13. Is this a contrasting statement? Vs 12 and 13 are both contrasting statements from the previous torture that Christ rejectors will face. These are the things that believers have hope in and hope of. This is true for us as well, even though it is stated in a future context for us. In the fist century this was set in a context of hope. Likewise, we have this promise as well.
3. Reaping the Earth's Harvest. Revelation 14:14-16. Matt. 13:36–43; Joel 3:12–16. One day the world will reap what it has sown, this is going on with the agricultural motif.
1. Revelation 14:14. I don't know exactly when this is happening. It would seem that it matches us and describes the sheep and goat judgement which takes place at the end of the 70th week. When it happens though isn't as important as the fact that it happens.
1. Give example of trying to take the tares out this last week.
2. Revelation 14:15-16. It seems these people are reaped for heaven as the contrasting statements and the next angel comes to get what is left. Thus the sheep are being seperated from the goats.
4. Reaping the Grapes of Wrath. Revelation 14:17-20.
1. Revelation 14:18. This seems to be the people who follow the evil one. It is interesting that just like our fruit bears witness of the vine that we belong to, so do the ones who are evil... They represent the vine to whom they belong.
2. Revelation 14:20 As we look at this, it could be literal red juice from grapes, but more than likely it is going to be human blood from the final battle of Armageddon
Conclusion: How does this apply to us today. Well, I believe that, after studying today's chapter, we can have confidence in not only the Second Coming of Jesus, but also that we need to remember that we are not the ones who have the jobs of separating the wheat from the tares. When we do we accidentally tear up possible seeds that God has been working with within peoples lives. We need to remember that Jesus will do this, but it is important to know that He will do this separation. We don't have forever to come to the Lord. There will be a literal and real judgement for those who don't have a relationship with the Lord. Don't be fooled. If you have a relationship with the Lord, nothing will keep you safer, and know that He will pull you through. He will produce in you a song that will be beautiful and glorify God.