Lesson 23 - The Lamb of God and His Witnesses

Lesson 23 - The Lamb of God and His Witnesses

(Revelation 14:1-20)

Revelation 12 dealt with the people of the Tribulation.  Revelation 13 dealt with the evil rulers who will be used by Satan during the Tribulation.  Revelation 14 deals with the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation.

The Lamb Who John saw standing on Mount Zion was Jesus Christ at His Second Coming.  With the Lord are the 144,000 witnesses, who were mentioned in Revelation 7:3, who have the name of the Father and the Son written on their foreheads.  We learned, in previous chapters, that these witnesses are protected by God so that they will remain alive to spread the Gospel message during the Tribulation. 

In Revelation 14:1, Christ returned to earth with the 144,000 (and others not mentioned here). Therefore, the angelic host began making music and singing a song.  This song will be a song for the ears of the 144,000 only.  No doubt this song will be a song of victory for not defiling themselves with the worship of the Anti-Christ, succumbing to the temptations of the Satan’s world system and the fact that they remained faithful to Christ during a period of intense persecution. These witnesses are unmarried because of their mission and the trials they will endure at the hand of Satan and His followers.  Because of their faithful service to God, they are called the “firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.”  The Greek word for firstfruits is “aparche,” and refers to first in quality in this passage.  In other words, their service to God was of the highest quality.

As we have seen, during the Tribulation God will still be interested in the salvation of mankind and will use various ways to get the message to the world.  For those who have rejected the Gospel presented by the 144,000, God goes to even greater lengths to spread the Gospel.  He will send angels to warn the inhabitants of the earth of the impending doom and to proclaim the Gospel message to the entire population of the world.  There will be seven angels of judgment at the end of the Tribulation who will carry out God’s judgment on the wicked of the earth.

The first angel who God sends will be sent to present the principle of grace before judgment.  This angel will present the Gospel to the world by proclaiming the coming judgment and the necessity of worshipping Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe. (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:10)

The second angel will proclaim the fall of the world religious system represented by Babylon as seen in Genesis 11.  Religion is called spiritual adultery, the great prostitute of Revelation 17.  Following religion is “drinking of the wrath of her adultery (idolatry).”  God’s wrath will be poured out on those who reject the truth and follow the false religion of the Anti-Christ.

Revelation 14:9-11, gives the results of taking the “mark of the beast.”  Those who take this mark are rejecting Jesus Christ in favor of the false messiah and their fate will be the same as those who follow the false religion – God’s wrath.  God’s wrath is illustrated by the judgment of fire in this passage.  Verse 11 summarizes the previous two verses and adds the eternal aspect of rejecting Jesus Christ.

In contrast to those who reject Christ, the tribulational believers who abstain from taking the beast’s mark are said to be steadfast and faithful and they refuse to deny their faith in Jesus Christ.  The result will be inner happiness, rest for all eternity and glorious rewards.

Jesus Christ has His sickle in hand, which is a sign of impending judgment.  It will be what seems to be a military campaign, led by these remaining angels.  Revelation 14:15, introduces the fourth angel of God’s judgment.  This angel is the first of four angels who bring what seems to be this military judgment on those unbelievers who remain on earth.  This angel announces that the time has come for the final judgment and Jesus Christ begins the campaign by “swinging His sickle.”  The “crop” that is harvested is the wicked of the earth who have rejected Jesus Christ as Savior. 

These angels of judgment continued to come and carry out God’s judgment of wrath upon the earth until they are all gathered and destroyed.  The description of this final campaign is graphic as their blood is as high as a horse’s bridle and stretches for about 200 miles.

Freedom Through Military Victory

The reason we are free at this very moment is because well-trained professional soldiers fought for our freedom.  The true symbol of our freedom is not our flag (though we love it); the true symbol of our freedom is the uniform worn by the men and women of our military.  Many brave men and women have given their lives to secure the freedom that we enjoy.  A strong military has been ordained by God so that the human race can survive.  Since every human has a sin nature, evil from within a nation (crime) and evil from outside a nation (war) will continue to exist.  God has designed two remedies for dealing with the sin nature.  The spiritual remedy is salvation and the filling of the Holy Spirit.  The other remedy is Laws of Divine Establishment, which includes a strong military.

Divine Laws

Under God’s grace policy certain principles or divine laws were established to ensure the function and the perpetuation of the human race.  These principles or laws are called Divine Establishment and are given by God to believers and unbelievers alike.  Within these laws there is no discrimination based on race, nationality, gender or any other factor.  God’s Laws of Divine Establishment apply equally to all members of the human race in all Dispensations.  This means that anyone, believer or unbeliever, can have a peaceful, happy life if they apply these principles.  On the other hand, failure to abide by these principles or laws by individuals or nations brings only disaster, as we will see.  These laws include, but are not limited to, the authority of the government, marriage, the home and the local church.

Throughout human history man has attempted to solve his problems through peaceful negotiations, treaties, etc.  All these attempts have failed and will continue to fail because of the sin nature.  No one can guarantee freedom and peace including organizations like the United Nations.  Either the sin nature must be dealt with (controlled) spiritually (salvation and the execution of the Christian Way of Life) or judicially by the military or by the police.  God’s system of dealing with criminals is somewhat different from what most people think.  Most people do not know or understand what the Bible teaches about the subject of national freedom. (James 4:1-2)

Nationalism

Nationalism is a system established by God in order to preserve the freedom of a nation.  The United States is one of the most blessed nations in history and has operated as a “client nation to God” from the day it was founded.  A client nation is one in which freedom exists for all people.  This freedom includes freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought, etc.  One of the keys to the success of client nation U.S.A. is a strong military organization, which is a very Biblical concept.  Throughout history, the nations that did not development a strong military were overtaken and enslaved by stronger nations.

The protection of our citizens from all enemies (within the nation and outside the nation) is a principle of nationalism.  This does not mean that we are isolationists.  On the other hand, God does not want us allying ourselves with evil, corrupt, tyrannical nations.  The client nation to God is responsible for the protection and perpetuation of freedom.  If there is an enemy that threatens that freedom, the client nation must be prepared militarily to deal with it.  Christians within the client nation are also responsible for the preservation of God’s Word and the dissemination of the Gospel of Christ throughout the world.

When a nation fails to acknowledge or forgets to acknowledge the Divine Establishment Principles from God, it will ultimately fail.  A nation that acknowledges these principles will survive and freedom will be perpetuated.  Such was the nation of Israel until they turned their backs on God and His principles of freedom.

Warfare Will Continue

One thing is clear from the Word of God that wars will continue until the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.  Warfare is part of man’s history and the existence of the sin nature assures its perpetuation.  Even the Rapture will not eliminate wars. As a matter of fact, wars will increase and intensify during the Tribulation, which immediately follows the Rapture. 

Contrary to popular belief, war is often necessary in order for freedom to continue.  No one likes war and its results with the loss of life and property, but it has been necessary many times in history.  The key for the client nation is to be prepared to wage war and win a decisive victory.  As a client nation, the nation has the distinct advantage of having Jesus Christ as the Lord of Armies.  Therefore, both spiritual and military preparation should take place before an army goes to battle.

The only time in human history that wars will cease is when Jesus Christ rules on earth during the Millennium.  All uprisings will be dealt with swiftly and harshly under the principle of capital punishment (a Biblical concept).  Satan and his demons will no longer plague mankind nor be responsible for instigating wars, having been removed from the earth during this period. 

The Laws of Divine Establishment protect the volition, the rights, the privacy and the property of everyone.  It must be remembered that the Laws of Divine Establishment are designed for believer and unbeliever alike.  Every person deserves to be free, even those who reject Jesus Christ as Savior.

Human freedom, of course, is not “free.”  Not only does it cost the lives of brave men and women, it sometimes costs us a few personal freedoms for the good of the nation.  Everyone in a free society is expected to adhere to the laws of the land for example.  In the home, children are not always free to do as they please, but are mandated by God to obey their parents.  Men and women who join the military often give up certain personal freedoms in order to function as a unit under strict discipline and authority.

Human freedom is not to be taken for granted nor is it to be abused.  When a human being reaches maturity he must be allowed the freedom to succeed or fail.  Taking the responsibility for our own actions is the most basic of all human freedoms.  Even the freedom to sin is a function of God’s grace (freewill of the individual). 

The ultimate in human freedom is spiritual freedom provided for the human race by the Person of Jesus Christ.  He gave up His freedom and gave His life as a ransom (payment) for all mankind.  The truth that sets one free is found in the person of Christ when an individual accepts Christ’s payment for his sin by faith. 

“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”