The Book of Genesis tells us that God tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his son Isaac on a special mountain God would show him. And Abraham did it! He went to the mountain, prepared the altar and the wood, bound his son upon it, and reached for the knife.
But that is when God stopped him, and said, “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
And then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns nearby. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.
Now, I know that, for many people in our refined and enlightened modern age, this whole story is proof that God is horrible: why would a Good God test a human being like this?
But we have to understand two things here:
First, in Abraham’s culture, the gods regularly asked people to sacrifice their first-born children in exchange for more children, or greater harvests, more prosperity and blessings. So Abraham would not have been surprised that God would ask him to prove his loyalty by sacrificing his son.
Second, by testing Abraham in this way, God was actually proving his loyalty to Abraham. When he provided Abraham with a sheep to sacrifice in exchange for Isaac, God proved that he is a completely different kind of God from all the other gods Abraham had grown up with. Those gods demand child sacrifice in exchange for blessings. But the true God will not do that. He will always provide a replacement, so that all of Abraham’s children can live in safety, without fear of death.
This is why, after Abraham’s family did grow up into a nation, parents were all required to sacrifice their firstborn sons to God. The rest of their children belonged to them, but the firstborn belonged to God as the firstfruits from the harvest, what we would call a “tithe” today: the first 10% of what God gives us we give back to him as a gesture of faith and thankgiving.
However, parents did not have to actually sacrifice their sons. Instead, they were allowed to purchase a lamb and sacrifice it instead: the lambs died for God so that their sons could live for God.
And this is also why, later on, Abraham’s nation had a proverb they would say to each other when things got tough. They would say, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” In other words: no matter how much it seems like God is asking us to sacrifice right now, he is going to pay it all back to us!
And this is also why, over the centuries that followed, Abraham’s nation made sure to remember the location of this Mountain of the Lord.
Which was not very hard, because there was actually a small city on the lower slopes of that mountain where Abraham had built his altar: the city of Salem. This city became especially important when King David conquered it and turned it into his capital city of Jerusalem more than 1000 years after Abraham was there. David extended the walls of Jerusalem completely around the mountain. He also built an altar at the top of the mountain, just as Abraham had done. And that is where David’s son Solomon eventually built God’s temple.
And so, over the years that followed, that central mountain came to be known as Mount Zion, the Mountain of the Lord where God provided salvation through the sacrifice of lambs at the temple. Surrounding Mount Zion was the city of Jerusalem. And surrounding Jerusalem were these deep valleys, full of farms and gardens in times of peace, but in times of war: full of foreign armies trying to climb up and break through and destroy.
So, in the minds of the people, Mount Zion came to symbolize the innermost sanctuary of David’s kingdom. Jerusalem came to symbolize the outer court of David’s kingdom. And the valleys outside Jerusalem’s walls came to symbolize the rest of the world: a wilderness of nations that could bring a tithe of their harvests to Jerusalem…or death and destruction.
But during the later years of David’s kingdom it became obvious that death and destruction could come from within as well as from without, because some of David’s descendants actually started to practice pagan worship in those valleys. First, they built shrines dedicated to a goddess who demanded the sexual abuse of women as part of her worship. But eventually, the ancient chronicles tell us, the kings and citizens of Jerusalem began to sacrifice their own children in those valleys.
So, during those days, a priest standing on Mount Zion would have been able to look out across the city and see the smoke of those terrible sacrifices rising from beyond the walls. Instead of travelling inward and upward to worship the God who would never demand the sacrifice of their children, the people of Jerusalem were being lured outward and downward into the valleys to sacrifice their living future in exchange for…a better future?
Of course that poisonous false worship did not remain in the valleys: as the people went out and came back in, they carried their idolatry back in with them, polluting the streets of the city and then, finally, polluting Mount Zion itself, importing the cults of sex and death right into the innermost sanctuary of the temple.
And so it was during those days that God’s prophets began to talk about a great war to come, when the valleys around Jerusalem would fill with foreign armies, armies that would climb up and break through and drag everyone out. Basically, the prophets were saying, God’s judgement will be fair: if you really want to sacrifice your children in the valleys, fine! God will make sure your children are sacrificed in the valleys.
This is how the prophet Jeremiah described it: “The days are coming when people will call this place the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in the valleys until there is no more room.”
But the prophets also talked about a day of vengeance, when God himself would descend with all his angels, and drag those nations down into the darkness.
And this is how the prophet Joel described that day: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” And the prophet Isaiah also talked about how, when all is finished, God’s restored people will be able to stand on Mount Zion and look out across the city and see the smoke rising from the valleys beyond the walls, they will be able to go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against God; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.
This is the destiny of all who abuse women and sacrifice children in order to purchase blessings for themselves.
Well, the prophets were right about the first part: the Babylonians came, filled the valleys with their foreign armies, climbed up, broke through, filled the valleys with the dead, and carried the survivors away into slavery.
But years passed, and the day of vengeance did not come. Babylon fell, conquered by Persia. Persia allowed the remnants of God’s people to go home and rebuild. And still the Lord did not provide the final salvation he had promised.
And so it was during those rebuilding years that the prophet Zechariah began to talk about one more great war to come, one more final war at the end of time. Once again, he said, the valleys around Jerusalem will fill with armies, and they will defeat God’s people, defiling the houses and the women. Half of the city will be executed; the other half enslaved. And then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, and all the holy ones with him. And from that point on, Zechariah says, the LORD will be king over the whole earth.
Well, if you have been worshiping with us over the last few weeks, then you know we are now living through that final war at the end of time.
This war, as John describes it, began in Chapter 12 of Revelation, when God provided Jesus as the final Lamb of sacrifice in exchange for the lives of all Abraham’s children. Jesus was judged on Mount Zion, the same mountain where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac. Then he was driven out, beyond the city walls, and crucified in one of the same valleys where the corrupted kings of Jerusalem used to sacrifice their own sons.
But that is where the Old Testament pattern took a turn: through his perfect faithfulness — even to death! — Jesus proved his loyalty to his Father. And because of that, the Father was able to prove his loyalty to Abraham’s children by raising Jesus back to life. And then, when Jesus was lifted back up into his Father’s presence to be crowned king, Satan finally lost his legal place in heaven: he was thrown down to earth. And that is when the final war began.
John spent Chapter 13 unveiling the details of Satan’s grand strategy: to set up a counterfeit trinity — a bestial false god, a bestial false empire, and bestial false worship — that is specially designed to lure people outward and downward, into the valleys, into the Abyss. And John warned us, first: to endure the attacks of the evil one; and second: to be wise, so that we do not find ourselves led astray.
Now, John continues his chronicle of the final war:  Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
And this number is familiar to us, isn’t it? We first met these 144,000 back in Chapter 7, when they were counted and marked on their foreheads with the seal of the living God.
And we discovered that 144,000 is a symbolic way of saying: Jesus’ completed Church. All of us. We are the 144,000 who have been marked with the seal of the living God, so that God’s final judgement cannot fall upon us.
And then, in Chapter 11, we actually met these 144,000 a second time, when John was told to measure God’s temple — but only the innermost sanctuary, with its worshipers. The outer court — the “holy city” — had been given over to foreign nations, who would trample on it for 42 months.
And we discovered that this was a symbolic way of saying that Jesus’ Church — the 144,000 — has already been sealed up safe in the temple at the top of God’s heavenly Mount Zion, while at the same time the city below has already been overrun by the enemy. There is fighting in the streets! and these are the streets where Jesus’ Church also lives.
We learned that we are sealed up safe in the heavenly places! and we are at war on the earth, longing for the Last Day.
Well, it seems that here, as we meet the 144,000 for the third time, John is getting ready to describe the Last Day!
And the first reason we can say this is because the Lamb is now standing on Mount Zion, just as the Old Testament prophets said the Lord would stand on the Last Day of the last great battle at the end of time.
In other words, this is a vision of Zechariah’s king over the whole earth rising from his throne, calling for his sword, summoning all the angels of heaven to his side. The Lamb stands on the unshakeable Rock at the center of the universe, looking out across the city, down to where his enemy the dragon stands on the sinking sands of the sea beyond the walls — and so, the first thing we are supposed to notice is that this final battle is going to be no contest at all!
The second reason we can say this must be a vision of the Last Day is because of what John says next:
 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.  And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
The 144,000 have been redeemed from the earth. The war is over for them. For all of them.
In other words, at this point in John’s vision, Jesus’ witnesses have finished their testimony. The beast that comes up from the Abyss has finally broken through the city walls, overpowered them and killed them. There is no more fighting in the streets of the city below, only rejoicing as the nations gloat over the dead bodies of Jesus’ Church and celebrate by sending each other gifts, just as John described back in Chapter 11.
Of course, the nations do not know that their victory is a hollow one. They have no idea what a storm of vengeance is about to descend upon them!
But the 144,000 know. That is why they sing this new song of triumph before the throne of God, singing with the voice of God himself.
And over the next couple of verses here, John simply reinforces this idea that the war on earth is now over, that the power of the holy people has been finally broken:
 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.  No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb: this is the ancient language of sacrifice.
And this takes us all the way back to Abraham and Isaac on the mountain of the Lord, all the way back to the concept where firstborn sons all belong to God as the firstfruits of the nation, the “tithe” of the nation. In the Old Testament, if you remember, every firstborn son was purchased at the price of a lamb: lambs died for God so that sons could live for God.
Well, here, in the New Testament, every one of God’s children have been purchased at the price of the Lamb, Jesus Christ: he died for God so that we could live for God.
In this way, God purchased us from among mankind to be offered as firstfruits, the “tithe” from among the nations that God harvests for himself and gathers into his innermost sanctuary. But as for the rest of the harvest of mankind, the rest of the nations that have been trampling God’s holy city for the last 42 symbolic months, well…we will find out in a moment what is going to happen to them.
The point, once again, is this: Jesus’ Church has now been redeemed from the earth, purchased from among mankind. The 144,000 have been harvested, gathered in to God’s presence. The war is over for them, because they have followed the Lamb wherever he goes.
And where exactly did the Lamb go?
First, the Lamb refused to defile himself with women; he remained a virgin. In the same way, the 144,000 have also refused to defile themselves with women; they remained virgins.
But I do want to pause here to make sure we understand something: this is symbolic language. In the Old Testament, when God called his people “virgins” he was talking about their spiritual faithfulness to him. And then, when they went down into the valleys to abuse women at those pagan shrines they had build, God talked about how their physical sexual defilement was really just a symptom of their spiritual defilement, their unfaithfulness to him.
So this is a reference to purity in worship, not sexuality.
Second, the Lamb refused to lie. When he was put on trial and they asked him, “Are you the Son of God?” he told them, “You said it!” even though he knew his answer would lead directly to his death. In the same way, the 144,000 are blameless: they have the Lamb’s name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads, and they made no effort to hide that truth from the nations, even when they knew it would lead directly to their death.
And so now, because of their faithfulness — even to death! — they have received life as their victor’s crown.
Okay. So, by this point, the city has been completely overrun by the beast from the Abyss. The physical remains of Jesus’ Church lie dead in the public square below, while the souls of every last one of Jesus’ people have been gathered into the heavenly sanctuary on Mount Zion. The nations of the earth are celebrating, they have no idea that the great King over all creation has just risen from his throne — and now we are ready to find out how it all ends!
So let’s go on:  Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.  He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
And this is where we say: what?! Jesus’ Church has finished its testimony. The power of the holy people has been finally broken! — but now an angel is sent out to give the world another chance to receive the eternal gospel?
Come on: just end it already!
…but when we look back through the Book of Revelation, we realize that this is not the first time John has seen an angel coming from somewhere, having something in his possession.
The first time was during the Cycle of the Seven Seals, when John saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. The second time was during the Cycle of the Seven Trumpets, when John saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, holding a little scroll.
And both of those angels basically triggered an interlude that carried us backward in time to the beginning of the cycle, so we could see the whole thing from a different perspective.
Now, during this Cycle of the Seven Signs, John sees yet another angel flying in midair, having the eternal gospel. So:
Apparently this angel has triggered another interlude that is intended to carry us backward in time to the beginning of this cycle so we can see this whole war from a different perspective.
Sorry! I guess we are not going to find out how the Last Day ends until next week, so…you’ll have to come back for that!
In the meantime, however, as we are dragged back to the beginning of the war with the dragon, first thing we notice is that this angel looks a lot like the eagle we saw during the Trumpet Cycle: they are both flying in midair, they are both calling out in a loud voice to everyone on earth, and they are both strongly associated with the foundational elements of creation:
The eagle, if you recall, was one of the four living creatures, one of the angelic “elders” over creation. And it pronounced judgement upon the nations because they insisted on worshiping creation instead of the Creator.
Here, in an equal but opposite way, this angel is calling upon the nations to take a look at creation and worship the One who created it.
And, if you think about it, that is actually the eternal gospel, the gospel that has been preached by creation itself from the very beginning: this idea that every nation on earth knows there is a God because creation itself has been telling them there is a God.
The second thing we notice is why the angel thinks people should fear God and give him glory. He says, “because the hour of his judgment has come.” Which is a funny thing to say if this is an interlude and the angel started saying this 2000 years ago, right?
But when we compare this with other parts of the New Testament, we realize this is not such a strange idea. For instance, Jesus himself said, just before he was crucified, “Now is the time for judgment on this world.” The Apostle Peter also talked about how the final Judgement was actually already in progress back in his day.
Besides, through the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets, John showed us that God’s judgements upon the nations of our world actually began the moment Jesus arrived in his Father’s throne-room 2000 years ago, and they have been in continuous operation ever since. So:
The angel appears to be making two points in his continuous mini-sermon: first, look at creation and then start worshiping God now, because the final countdown has begun and you do not know when it will end. Second, if creation does not convince you that God is God, then let the continuous judgement of nations and empires convince you! — especially if those judgements are the result of natural disasters.
And, if you think about it, that is also the eternal gospel, the gospel that has been preached from the very beginning: this idea that every nation on earth knows there is a God because, in large and small ways, the reality of judgement and death and disaster has been telling them there is a God.
So the first thing we learn from this interlude is that, from the moment the dragon began trying to deceive the nations into believing that he and his two beasts are the Trinitarian God, this angel has also been flying in midair preaching the truth to all the nations: the truth that creation and judgement both point to the true Trinitarian God.
Then  a second angel followed and said, “’Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
Mm. This is a quotation from the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, when he prophesied — 200 years before it happened! — that the great bestial empire of Babylon would be judged and destroyed for what it did to God’s people, and for claiming to be God.
So the second thing we learn from this interlude is that, from the moment the dragon summoned his final bestial empire from the Abyss, this second angel has been continuously prophesying that the dragon’s empire will be judged and destroyed for what it has done to God’s people, and for claiming to be God.
And we have just learned that the dragon’s final bestial empire is really a reincarnation of the original empire of Babylon!
…if that is important, I’m sure it will come up again later in the book.
But then  a third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand,  they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.
Huh. So the third thing we learn from this interlude is that, from the moment the dragon summoned his final bestial religion out of the earth, this third angel has also been continuously proclaiming judgement upon everyone who chooses to worship this false trinity.
We are also learning that God’s judgement is going to be fair: the nations chose to drink the maddening wine of Babylon’s adulteries, so fine! God is going to make sure they get more wine — the wine of God’s fury poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.
But what does all this mean? Why is John pausing the action to go back and show us this whole other perspective on the war?
Well, let’s try to put all the pieces together here and see if we can’t figure out the big picture. So:
Almost 2000 years ago Jesus died and rose again and was crowned king over the earth. This was a very clear sign that there is only one true God, one true kingdom, and one true faith.
But this Good News about Jesus could only spread very slowly throughout the nations. So, in response to this very clear revelation, the dragon began at once to muddy the waters throughout the world, using the same old tools of deception he always has: he began calling bestial empires up out of the Abyss, empires that are actually all just aspects of one monstrous empire, empires that all claim to be God. And he began calling bestial religions up out of the earth, religions that are actually all just aspects of one monstrous religion, religions that all claim to have the power to manipulate God.
But, in response to the dragon’s deceptions, Jesus began at once to pass judgement on those bestial empires and bestial religions. And with every judgement, with every collapse of a kingdom or a religion, Jesus has been continuously proving to the nations that those kingdoms and religions are all liars: they are not gods, they do not have the power to manipulate the gods or control creation. In fact, many times Jesus has used creation itself to pass judgement upon a kingdom and its religion.
That way, even if a nation has not yet heard the gospel of Jesus, they can at least know for sure that the gospel of the dragon is a false one!
But still, over the last 2000 years, despite the extreme clarity of natural revelation, the nations have willingly submitted to the dragon’s monstrous empires, the dragon’s monstrous religions, even though they all knew, from their observations of creation and their observations of judgement, that those empires and religions were all lying to them.
This is the point: the truth about Jesus’ Gospel may not be available to everyone throughout history. But the truth about God’s eternal gospel is available.
In other words, some people will be able to show up on Judgement Day and say, “I never heard about Jesus, I did not know I was supposed to worship him.” And Jesus himself has said that such people will receive a lighter judgement than those who did hear about Jesus and then turned their backs on him.
However, no one will be able to say, “I never heard about God, I did not know I was supposed to worship him!” That is a lie. Everyone believes in the reality of creation, and everyone believes in the concept of judgement. Creation and judgement both point to the truth about God’s existence and his character. Therefore, everyone knows the truth about God’s existence and his character.
For instance, the truth that God is “the Lord who will provide“, the God who allows substitutions — animal death in exchange for human life — this is obvious from the reality we live in. The truth that God is the God of order and self-restraint, not chaos and gluttony — this is also obvious from the reality we live in.
Which means that people are not going to be judged for not hearing about Jesus — that would not be fair! But people are going to be judged for ignoring the truth about God, and choosing to live in ways that they know are degrading to mankind and destructive to creation.
Here is another way to look at it: everyone lives on this earth that is really the “holy city” of God. Not everyone is part of Jesus’ Church, so not everyone has the eyes to see God’s Mount Zion rising at the center of it all. Not everyone knows that they have been called further up and further in. But everyone does have the eyes to see the city, its structure, its boundaries, and everyone has the ability to compare the order of the city against the chaos of the valleys outside. So everyone does know that they have not been called further down and further out!
Which means that everyone who does choose to leave what they know is good and go down into the darkness to worship the beast and its image and receive its mark on their forehead or on their hand, everyone who willingly participates in the abuse of the powerless, in the sacrifice of children, in murders, magic arts, sexual immorality, thefts, lies — well, I think John says it best here:
“They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
And this is exactly what Isaiah and Jeremiah and Joel and Zechariah foretold, isn’t it: that on the Last Day, the valley of decision will become the Valley of Slaughter, filled with the burning bodies of the living dead, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.
Now, we should probably pause here to notice that this is the first time in Revelation John has described what will happen to the unbelieving nations on the Last Day. Until now, we have been told about earthquakes and fires and hailstones cleansing and renovating the old creation, making room for a new creation. Until now, John has just skipped over what happened to humanity during those terrible final hours. Well…now we know. At least: now we know what the final result is going to be.
And…now that we know, we sort of wish we didn’t. Because: oh my God! This is a horrible image. A repulsive image. A loathsome image, just as Isaiah said.
And what makes it worse is the fact that, for many people in our refined and enlightened modern age, this horrible image is proof that God himself must be horrible. How could a Good God treat human beings like this?
So as we try to make sense of these horrible images, we have to remember that God’s judgements are always perfectly balanced: justice demands that every single person must reap what they have sown, they must receive the same treatment they have dished out to others. Which means it is right for those who burned their babies alive in worship to a pagan god — that they knew was not a true god! — should themselves experience the agony of being burned alive. It is right for those who degraded the sons and daughters of other men — as acts of worship directed at their own pleasure and prosperity! — it is right for them to experience the same degradation.
So, if you are here today and you are thinking, “Oh, this is too much! I cannot worship such a horribly judgemental God!” then…listen carefully: your response suggests that you do not really know what it is like to be victimized and helpless in the grip of a corrupt system. And, here’s the thing: if you do not really know what it is like to be abused, or if you are suppressing that reality within yourself for some reason, then it is very likely that you are, in fact, one of the abusers. Which means there is a very strong chance that you are in line for this exact judgement.
If that is you, this is what you need to do, right now: Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come upon you. Perhaps, before this last hour, you had never heard about Jesus, the Lamb of God who died so that you might live and be saved. Now you have heard about Jesus. So if you turn away at this point, and refuse to humble yourself and take the mark of the Lamb on your forehead, you will be deliberately choosing the mark of the beast, and God’s judgement upon you will be worse than it would have been if you had never heard the truth.
Jesus is calling you to repent of your abusive behaviour. Come. Follow the Lamb wherever he goes. Take up his cross. Learn to be the victim instead of the victimizer, and you will be saved.
Now, if you are here today and you have experienced abuse, if you have been dragged outside the walls of God’s holy city and degraded there in the darkness by people and systems that were too strong for you, if your life has been absolutely ruined by those experiences…then this is what you need to do: look further up and further in. On the mountain of the Lord the Lamb has been provided! Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ descended from his throne to the city below, and allowed himself to be dragged outside the walls, degraded and destroyed, so that he could purchase you and adopt you as his son, to marry you as his bride. And all you have to do to receive this is ask Jesus for it. So ask! and you will be saved.
But there is more to all this than simply being saved from judgement. Because as we turn, and look to Mount Zion, to the Lamb enthroned there beside his Father, we see that he is already summoning the hosts of heaven to his side. The first time he rose from his throne it was to descend to earth and die. The second time he rises from his throne it will be to descend and conquer. The one who once died so that we might live is going to fight so that we might be made whole. There will be a day of vengeance for all who have put their faith in Jesus Christ.
…but we are not there yet.
And that is why John closes this interlude by saying,  This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
The war is ongoing. We are fighting from house to house now, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen. And this is costly. We are going to experience the defeat of death, the degradation of Jesus’ Church. Like the Lamb before us, we are going to be despised and rejected, our reputations destroyed. And that can be discouraging!
But then, in verse 13, as John was seated at his desk, writing all this down, he heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
So John wrote it down: beginning from that moment, 2000 years ago, until now, everyone who has died while still faithful to the Lord Jesus has been blessed.
And then another voice spoke: “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
We are all going to be paid back for our deeds on this earth. Abusers will be abused. Thieves will lose everything they have stolen. Those who have enslaved others and denied them rest will themselves experience no rest day or night for the rest of eternity. But those of us who have submitted to the patient endurance required by the Cross of Christ in this life will receive eternal rest in the next.
Brothers and sisters, this is our hope. This is our promise. This is the source of our strength. The reason we can preach and pray and endure our tribulations in the wilderness of this world is because we know that, when death does finally strike us down in the streets of this city, we will be transported at once into the sanctuary at the top of Mount Zion to wait for our resurrection on the Last Day.
So let’s keep on keeping his commands and remaining faithful to Jesus, knowing that on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.