Revelation 14 opens with what? A heavenly scene, showing the 144,000 thousand who were “redeemed from the earth” (vs. 3). It starts out with a vision of the future, of what it will be like, at least for this group, when they stand before God in heaven. And though the text doesn’t come right out and say it, this certainly seems to be a depiction of some sort of heavenly worship.
The chapter then returns to earth, picking up where chapter 13 left off, where those who worshiped the beast and his image were shown in contrast to those who would not, those whose names were written in the book of life.
Read Revelation 14:6–12. Why are these texts so central, so crucial to us as Seventh-day Adventists? What themes appear here that we have been looking at all quarter? Why do we call these verses “present truth?”
These verses are rich and ripe with truth: Creation, Redemption, judgment, Salvation, the gospel, obedience, faith, the Ten Commandments, mission. Here, too, we can see the fiercest warning in all the Bible, and it centers around the question of worship: “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:11).
As Seventh-day Adventists, we understand how central to this whole issue the seventh-day Sabbath is, which is so tied in with Creation and with worship. We worship the Lord because He is the Creator, and the Sabbath has been and still remains the foundational mark, or sign, of His role as Creator.
Though we still do not know when, and how, these issues will be brought to the forefront, we can be sure that they will. How crucial it is then that we be ready, not only to stand firm for the truth but also to be able “to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15).