If you have not been with us the past few weeks, we have found ourselves deep in Revelation imagery. We now have a dragon, beasts or monsters who are demanding worship. This week, we turn our attention back to the key image of John’s vision. We know that the dragon, with his beasts, are waging war on the people of God. In Revelation 14, the Lamb reenters the story with elite warriors responding to forces of evil.
If you have been away for the last few weeks. Let me encourage you to spend a few minutes catching up. You can quickly access the sermons by subscribing to the podcast. If you prefer to watch the videos, you can access them on the sermon videos page.
As you prepare for worship on Sunday, please read chapter 14. I will include it here in the NTE version.
(Revelation 14 NTE) As I watched, there was the lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name, and the name of his father, written on their foreheads. I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of mighty thunder, and the voice I heard was like harpists playing on their harps. And they are singing a new song before the throne, and before the four creatures and the elders. Nobody can learn that song except for the hundred and forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who have never polluted themselves with women; they are celibate. They follow the lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from the human race as first fruits for God and the lamb, and no lie has been found in their mouths. They are without blemish. Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, carrying an eternal gospel to announce to those who live on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. He spoke with a loud voice, and this is what he said: “Fear God! Give him glory! The time has come for his judgment! Worship the one who made heaven and earth and the sea and the springs of water!” He was followed by another angel, and this is what he said: “Babylon the great has fallen! She has fallen! She is the one who made all the nations drink the wine of the anger that comes upon her fornication.” They were followed by a third angel, who also spoke in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the monster and its image, or receives its mark on their forehead or their hand, that person will drink the wine of God’s anger, poured neat into the cup of his anger, and they will be tortured in fire and sulphur before the holy angels and before the lamb. The smoke of their torture goes up for ever and ever. Those who worship the monster and its image, and those who receive the mark of its name, will have no respite, day or night.” This demands patience from God’s holy people, who keep God’s commands and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Write this: God’s blessing on the dead who from this time onward die in the Lord.”“Yes,” says the spirit, “so that they may rest from their works, for the deeds they have done follow after them.” Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud one like a son of man. He had a gold crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, shouting in a loud voice to the one who was sitting on the cloud, “It’s harvest time! Put in your sickle and reap: the harvest of the earth is ripe!” So the one sitting on the cloud applied his sickle to the earth, and reaped the harvest of the earth. Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven. He, too, had a sharp sickle. Yet another angel came from the altar; he had authority over fire, and he spoke with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle. “Go to work with your sharp sickle,” he said, “and gather the clusters of fruit from the vine of the earth; the grapes are there in ripe bunches!” So the angel went to work with his sickle on the earth, and gathered the fruit from the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of God’s anger. The winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for about two hundred miles.