Sermon: Jesus’ Coronation Ceremony (Revelation 14)

Jesus’ Coronation Ceremony

Revelation 14

Introduction:

Primary Truth Taught- Christ is installed as King even before His enemies are defeated showing God’s supreme sovereignty over history.

Throughout Hebrew history whenever a victory was gained the victors sang a song to their God who gave them the victory. They recognized the fact that is is God who lends us aid in every circumstance; it is God who grants us victory. Victories may look different depending on the situation. It may be a victory over sin in your life or it may be a victory, as in the case of Moses and David, over an enemy. Again we see God as the Divine Warrior who comes to the aid of His people.

One great example is the Song of Moses as he celebrated God’s victory over the Egyptians…

Exodus 15:1–7 (ESV)

15 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

       “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;

the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.

   The Lord is my strength and my song,

and he has become my salvation;

       this is my God, and I will praise him,

my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

   The Lord is a man of war;

the Lord is his name.

   “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea,

and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.

   The floods covered them;

they went down into the depths like a stone.

   Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,

your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.

   In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;

you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.

Another wonderful example comes from King David as he experienced the Lord’s victory over his enemies…

Psalm 18:1–3 (ESV)

   I love you, O Lord, my strength.

   The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

   I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,

and I am saved from my enemies.

This would be a very good practice for us. Whenever we experience the work of God in our lives, make sure and praise Him. Kids and adults, whenever God works and you experience His hand of care, write Him a note or letter of thanks, if you’re musically inclined, write a song of praise.

Let’s look to our text today…

Revelation 14 (ESV)

14 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

  1. Soldiers of Christ Sing the Song of Victory (14:1-5)

14 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

It is clear that the site of this great event is heaven itself. Just as every other cycle of seven starts in heaven so too does this final series.

Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb

Here, what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 2 is fulfilled in heaven and soon to be also accomplished on earth…

Psalm 2:6 (ESV)

   “As for me, I have set my King

on Zion, my holy hill.”

We have seen periodically Psalm 2 in these last few chapters of Revelation. The nations or we could say the beast runs through the earth seeking to destroy God’s church. Here we will see the people of God from the beginning to the very end are all accounted for. As our Lord said so powerfully in His prayer in John 17, not one of them is lost.

Psalm 2 is the coronation psalm…I have set My King on the holy mountain. He is seated and ready to rule Zion with all authority.

What John witnesses as he gazes up into heaven is the coronation ceremony of King Jesus. So, sure is the victory of Christ over His enemies that His coronation takes place prior to His enemies actually being destroyed. So confident is heaven in this victory that they sing of it before it actually happens.

What a slap in the face to the devil to have to listen to this celebration prior to his actual defeat. We see God’s holy army-choir singing the victory song of God.

No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

John explains that no one but the redeemed of God can learn this song.

I am so thankful for our music team. As we sing every Sunday good theological songs and every so often we too as God’s redeemed sing a new song. Sometimes it takes us a few tries but here the lost cannot learn the song. I believe what John is saying is that it takes redemption being applied to the heart before one can sing with conviction and thanksgiving to God.

I am so thankful for the songs we sing here. I’m thankful for the work the team puts into teaching us song after song. I am confident when we sing that the words are words worth singing…

The lost world may sometimes mimic a Christian. They can at times look the part. But when it comes to heart felt spirit empowered worship, only the redeemed can learn the song. Not even the angels are qualified to sing this one…only sinners saved by grace know the words.

Next, John moves to describe the 144,000 or those redeemed from the earth…

This seems a bit odd to describe this army of God’s people as those who are virgins and have never been with a woman. To understand the truth behind this verse, one must turn to the OT Book of Deuteronomy 23:9-11

Here when an army was on the eve of battle they would refrain from normal marital relationships. The Law of Moses required Israel’s army to maintain rigorous ceremonial purity prior to battle because the Lord desired a pure army. An army of God is most powerful not when it out guns the enemy but when it is righteous in God’s sight. Their refraining from normal martial activity showed the full devotion to their God and Commander.

Another OT text that John draws from is Jeremiah 2

Jeremiah 2:1–3 (ESV)

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord,

       “I remember the devotion of your youth,

your love as a bride,

       how you followed me in the wilderness,

in a land not sown.

   Israel was holy to the Lord,

the firstfruits of his harvest.

       All who ate of it incurred guilt;

disaster came upon them,

declares the Lord.”

Do you remember in the OT how many times there was sin in the camp, which cost Israel the victory? Here is the perfect army, ready for battle and perfectly sinless and fully devoted to their Commander. Here, this army is not even going to engage in the battle at all. Jesus Christ is the conquering King and He needs no army. This army simply sings the victor’s song and God wins the war.

All who are sealed are marked off and counted and kept for Christ. He looses none.

As we looked last week at Chapter 13 and watched as the beast made war against the saints being powered by Satan we literally saw Psalm 2 being worked out. Psalm 2 is the beast speaking…
Psalm 2:1–3 (ESV)

Why do the nations rage

and the peoples plot in vain?

   The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,

   “Let us burst their bonds apart

and cast away their cords from us.”

  1. The Declaration of Victory (14:6-13)

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

The First Angel- The message of the eternal Gospel. There is an angel flying swiftly because judgment is coming swiftly. Its unclear here if any on earth would actually repent and begin to fear God in any redemptive way. Yet, in God’s goodness He dispatches this swift angel with one more plea to fear God.

The Second Angel- The Fall of Babylon. Babylon represents everything that the world trusts in and seeks security in. Babylon is also the great harlot who is drunk with the blood of the martyrs will not be destroyed and her blood shed. We must get something finally and thoroughly…This godless society we live in will one day be destroyed. This world that is currently being ruled by a usurper will be overtaken with our warrior King and everything that fights against God will be completely shattered. Babylon is teetering and is about to fall. It is like a sand castle when the tide comes in and it is swept away in a second.

Babylon originates in Genesis 11…

Earth had one language and they said let us build a city…this is the picture of the beast which represents godless mankind building systems and governments etc without God. This is the Tower of Babel which would become known as Babylon.

The Third Angel- Here, we see that Babylon is made up of all those who refuse to side with Christ. They will be judged and their judgment will be extremely severe.

Notice, because all this is true. John encourages all the saints to not compromise in the face of the beast. Just as John told us last week in Chapter 13 we must work hard to persevere through suffering and trials.

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

Again we see John’s formula: endurance must be accompanied by faith in Christ.

It’s important as we consider the strength of the beast/world system that we are not intimidated. We are not afraid because our King is much stronger.

  1. The Harvest of the Church (14:14-16)

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Here we see the Son of Man harvesting those who are His. What John is seeing is much like the Prophet Joel saw as the return of the Lord as a harvest. Literally, according to Joel the Second Coming is the last harvest.

Joel 3:13 (ESV)

13    Put in the sickle,

for the harvest is ripe.

       Go in, tread,

for the winepress is full.

       The vats overflow,

for their evil is great.

In this passage Jesus is seen as the Reaper who swings His sickle to harvest His wheat.

  1. Judgment of Those on Earth (14:17-20)

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

Here those who are God’s enemies will be crushed like grapes in God’s winepress. Just as when grapes are crushed and wine flows from them so to when God crushes His enemies, their blood flows like wine. These same godless pagans who have been treading the great city for 42 months so to God now treads on them. God will repay their blood to flow the wicked that have murdered the saints and cause and their blood flows as a river deep as a horse’s bridle.

  1. Application

I pray you have confidence that the war on earth will be won by our King. Jesus’ victory is so sure that heaven sings of it and Jesus was coroneted before the enemies are defeated. What a King we serve!

Do you have your heart fixed on the enthroned King? We must all stay faithful to our Lord. As Satan, the beast, and the false prophet seek to destroy us; we must endure to the end by faith. Are you keeping yourself pure for the King?

Are you following the Lamb wherever He leads? Are you one of those redeemed from the earth, worshipping King Jesus and staying ready for battle? [1]

[1] Resources used: Eric Alexander’s sermon on Revelation 14, Triumph of the Lamb by Dennis Johnson

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