The book of Revelation is the last book in the New Testament. Apostle John recorded the book during a period when the persecution of the church was at its greatest. He lived through difficulties of not being able to eat properly nor sleep while writing it. This book teaches how the saints are to believe and live before tribulations befall them. In other words, the believers must be blameless in their words, actions, mind, or body.
Those who gossip and talk about others fail the qualification to be a saint. Revelation is also a book that gives comfort andhope to the church. It admonishes the church to keep their faith until the end, to preserve the living hope of Jesus, not to be discouraged, and above all to be patient and endure. Those who fail to endure and those who are impatient will not be able to achieve the kingdom of God (James 1:20). Such men do not stand upon the Word of God. With eyes like venom and lips like the serpent, they pour down curses upon anyone who does even the slightest wrong to them.
The book of Revelation also teaches that those who read the word, listen to the word, and obey what is written are blessed (Revelation 1:3). If you keep the word of God you will never see death (John 8:51, Matthew 19:17, 1 John 2:25). He gives you blessings as you ask (Luke 11:28). He acknowledges that you love God (John 14:23). Of course, it is not easy to obey the word of God. It is difficult to believe and it is difficult to understand the parables and signs. However, God tells you not to worry. If you sincerely believe, the Holy Spirit comes upon you and grants you the wisdom, knowledge, and enlightenment to understand the scriptures. Those who keep the word must bear fruit through endurance. They do not retaliate to another’s curse. Unbeknownst to them, in the perseverance they build stronger faith.
God takes care of such people until the very end (Revelation 3:10, Psalms 17:8).
God teaches us to long for His Word like little children (1 Peter 2:2). It means that we should love the Word just as an infant ceases crying the moment he receives his mother’s milk. All the evil in your heart flees the moment you read the Bible. Even your thoughts of cursing others disappear.
When there is little oil left in the lamp, the light begins to flicker and dim; however, the light becomes bright again when the oil is refilled.
Those who pray never perish
If you do not pray you begin to think with the thoughts of man. Human thoughts and calculations are useless. Instead of relying on the plans of man, kneel before God in prayer and say, “Forgive me for not living in accordance with the Word of God. I failed to live according to Your will. I did not pray. I relied on the wit and scheme of man. I tried to solve my problems with the strength of my friends and my peers, but I failed. Please forgive me; I did not have faith.” Then God will draw near. He hears our prayers. The moment God listens to us the problems are already solved (Deuteronomy 4:7). Every year we age, we draw closer to the kingdom of God. It is already destined for man to be born once and then to die.Afterwards there is judgment before the great white throne (Revelation 20:11-15). There is no need for witnesses, for the moment the sinner stands before the great white throne he knows to move to the left, without anyone telling him to do so. It is the lake of brimstone and unquenchable fire.
However, those who endured, persevered, and prayed in tears will move to the right. These are the ones whose names are recorded in the book of life before creation (Matthew 25:31-36). God sends His Holy Spirit to intercede on behalf of those who cannot pray (Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit knows our past, present and future and prays on our behalf. God and Jesus, who stands on God’s right side, listen to all of our prayers (Romans 8:34, Psalms 65:2). Prayer is not a product of words being put together. Even if an infant mumbles inaudible sounds, the mother understands her child.
God, our Creator, knows our heart and even knows the very hairs on our body. He does not rely on man nor seek his counsel.
The 144,000 are the first fruit who have been redeemed.
The 144,000 recorded in the book of Revelation are the first fruit thathave been redeemed (Revelation 14:1-4, 7:1-8, 17:14). Some say that only 144,000 will be saved. However, that isn’t what the Bible says. The 144,000 is made by bringing together 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes.
The 144,000 are those who sing the new song. The Bible then introduces us to those who have been atoned by the blood of Christ shed on the cross and are clothed in white linen. The Bible records that they are a great multitude which no one could count (Revelation 7:9-14). From Adam until now the number of people who lived on this earth is countless. It doesn’t make any sense that only 144,000 would receive salvation. Whoever believes in Jesus is saved. As the resurrected first fruit who overcame the power of death, Jesus stands on God’s right side until the very end. There He intercedes on our behalf and prays, “Be patient a bit longer,” even for those who wandered off from their faith because of the lies, thievery, and betrayal committed out of their greed, so that they may repent and return (Romans 8:34, 1 John 2:1).
From Adam until now there have been two men who have ascended to heaven without seeing death: Enoch and Elijah. Among the saints there are those who die and take part in the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6), and there are those whose perishable bodies are made imperishable and are transfigured (Romans 8:11, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
The record of 144,000 relays the message “Do not worry” to believers
The book of Revelation prophesies the seven seals (Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-5), seven trumpets (Revelation 8:6-9:31, 11:15-19), and seven bowls of God’s wrath (Revelation 16:1-21) that take place in order. Seven intermediate revelations are recorded intermittently throughout the execution of the three main plagues. The two accounts on the 144,000 take place within the intermediate revelations. The recordings among the prophecies of the plagues are to give hope and comfort to the church and the saints. God is telling us not to worry. He guards us so that the evil one cannot even touch us. He is telling us to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:5-9); that He is with us wherever we go and He will help us until His Word is fulfilled, so there is no need to worry. These words are given for us. We fail to believe and so our hearts flutter back and forth in doubt. Yet when we believe, the clouds of doubt roll away. We will not waver.
The 144,000 are the servants of God.
God’s servants love Him with all their heart and all their strength, and they obey in absolute faith.
Someone who does not have faith and go to and from church out of habit like clockwork is not a servant of God. A servant is not someone who acts like he believes nor does he fail to focus on reading the Bible, praying, hearing the word, and giving praise. A “servant of God” is not a title easily given. A servant of God is one who devotes himself in fasting and in prayer, in praise, and inceaseless reading of the scriptures. A servant of God is one who regards the church as his own body, his own life. Look at Abraham’s faith: a faith that, in obedience to the word of God, was prepared to slay his own son borne to him at the age of 100. Genesis 22:18 testifies that God knew then that Abraham believed in Him. It was then when God acknowledged Abraham’s faith. You do not become a servant of God through your own accord. Those who believe and obey in God’s word, those who ceaselessly pray are servants of God. The 144,000 are the servants of God, chosen from among Jesus’ believers today, to answer an extraordinary calling (Revelation 7:3).
Servants of God are those who know mysteries of God (Amos 3:7)
The servants of God do not anticipate reward. They never think, “If I do this I may be able to reserve myself a seat” nor “If I do this he may praise me and give me a reward.” They are always humble (Luke 17:7-10). Apostle Paul told the church of Corinth, “In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Such a person seeks the heart of God our Father. Such a person can receive the seal on his forehead (Ezekiel 9:4, Revelation 7:3-4). The seal of God is the evidence and symbol of His acknowledgment and certification. It marks God’s property. Those sealed by God fall under His absolute sovereignty (Romans 14:8).
We are inscribed on the palm of God’s hand (Song of Solomon 8:6, Isaiah 49:16). How awesome is it knowing that my name is recorded on the palm of God’s right hand? “You may forget me but I will remember you until the very end. Even if all men give up on you and throw you away, I will never give up. I have created you with My own hands. Even the dead are mine.” This is our God.
Servants have nothing. Whatever the master calls them becomes their name. Apostle Paul called himself a servant of Christ. Though he suffered tribulation and persecution, he was naked and hungry, he proclaimed that it was all God’s grace. Through such a life he was able to feel compassion for the poor. Therefore, Paul never discriminated between the rich and the poor. In Christ there exists only love. In all things we must have authority in love. A home filled with love will never be destroyed. A believer must not discriminate against anyone. A believer does not save good things for his child while giving bad things to someone else’s child.
New song sung by 144,000
Mount Zion is the highest peak. It is the city of God. Jesus Christ the Lamb is on Mount Zion. It is a place of absolute sanctification. It is a place in which the new song is learned and sung. The new song is not an old song. God’s word is the new song, the new praise. Only the 144,000 can sing the new song. Therefore, we must learn and study the Word of God.
“Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of manywaters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth” (Revelation 14:1-3).
This “loud thunder” is the voice of God that awakens our consciousness that has fallen asleep.
Those who cannot comprehend God’s history of redemption cannot differentiate the varying tones that each of the seven peals of thunder ring (Revelation 10:3-4). Psalms 29 mentions “the voice of the Lord” seven times. God tells Apostle John to seal the words of the seven peals of thunder and not to record them. When the seven thunders shout to the point the heavens and earth pass away, those who remain on this earth are not able to comprehend and differentiate the voices. However, the 144,000 hear all seven words because it is the voice of the spirit.
Attitude of believer who listens to words of history of redemption
The Bible in its entirety is the history of redemption during which God paid the ransom for the salvation of all mankind. The believers who listen to the words of God’s history of redemption must have no lie on their lips. They must be without blame until Christ returns (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Even hating someone while pretending not to hate that person becomes grounds for judgment. A believer’s inner self shouldn’t be different from his outer self. Believers must not cast out certain people and gather amongst themselves. If you have received the Word of God together, then you have become brethren unified in the blood of Christ. Just as slaves are branded, we are God’s people having been sealed with the blood of the Cross. God’s seal is eternally effective; therefore, the evil one cannot even touch us (1 John 5:18). He instructs and prepares us as His sealed ones in advance and He forewarns us of the end to come.
When the Israelites traveled hundreds of kilometers to Jerusalem to observe the feasts commanded by God, God sent His army of angels to watch over their homes so that not even a grain of wheat would be stolen. God knows His sealed ones. Therefore, there is no need to worry (2 Timothy 2:19). He takes full responsibility for our spirit, soul, body, and families; and He will guide us to His eternal kingdom. He will carry us through our various tribulations so that we may stand before God in fine linen marked with the blood of our Lord. This physical world we live in now is not eternal. Even the sun, moon, and stars will someday fade out. The animals, vegetation, and minerals on this earth cannot exist without the sun. However, the world recorded in Revelation chapters 21 and 22 is an eternal kingdom that has no need for the light of the sun or moon because the glory of God is its light. It is not a physical world. Isn’t this our greatest hope!
James 1:1 states, “James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.” Do we not have our own people dispersed throughout? I urge you to seek them out. Share God’s Word with each of them and instruct them. When we instruct them they will also be blessed and give thanks.
Even if you were to forget everything, do not forget God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Believe in the Bible alone.
Do not betray God. I plead with you to believe only in Jesus who was crucified on the cross and atoned for all our sins with His blood. How happy are we to believe in Jesus who forgives all the sins we committed knowingly and unknowingly?
When we pray in faith, even diseases are healed (Matthew 8:16). When we believe in God’s Word we can only be blessed. Be strong and courageous. Be brave. Do not despair. You are sons and daughters of God. You are citizens of the kingdom of God. Don’t be discouraged just because you don’t have good education or you are without money. Jesus takes care of us all. Do not forget that the name of the Lamb and the Father are written on our foreheads. Believe in Jesus with a heart of peace. The fire of the Holy Spirit guards our families, our relatives, and even our co-workers.
Pray that the flame of the Holy Spirit would consume our hearts of turmoil, relentless worries, and divided hearts so that we may be steadfast (Psalm 57:7). I pray in the Lord’s name that we may believe in Jesus until the very end and live eternally in the heavenly kingdom.
June 23, 2013 Lord’s Day 2nd Service Sermon