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 Revisiting the 144,000 (Part 58 ) (Various passages)

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PostSubject: Revisiting the 144,000 (Part 58 ) (Various passages)   Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:54 pm

Revisiting the 144,000 (Part 58 ) (Various passages)

Today we return to the 144,000 in chapter 14 of Revelation. Before we get started, however, I want to cover something that I meant to share with you the first time we discussed the 144,000. I have a good hunch that the 144,000 will be the main ones converting people during the Tribulation and will be very successful at it. Moreover, I believe that Isaiah 19 is the result of the work of these 144,000 Jewish Christians. It is a prophesy regarding Egypt and Assyria. It is definitely speaking of the Tribulation period. Beginning at verse 5, it says, “The waters of the river [that is, the Nile] will dry up, and the riverbed will be parched and dry.” As far as I know, the Nile river has never dried up, but the bible predicts that in the last days (namely, the Tribulation) the Nile will dry up. Revelation 16:12 says that the Euphrates River will dry up. It reads, “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.” Zechariah chapter 10 also says that the Nile will dry up in verses 10-11: “I will bring them (Israel) back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them. They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s scepter will pass away.” It is not a coincidence that the passage in Zechariah and Isaiah both mention Egypt and Assyria and the Nile drying up. They are talking about the same occurrence.

Skipping down to Isaiah 19:16, it says, “In that day, the Egyptians will be like women. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the LORD Almighty raises against them. And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified, because of what the LORD Almighty is planning against them.” This section says that God is going to do something spectacular that arouses fear in the Egyptians at the mere mention of the land of Judah. Surely, that will be something supernatural. It continues: “In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty. One of them will be called the City of Destruction.” Oh, so now we have more proof that this is future prophesy, simply because we know that such an occurrence has never happened in the past. Egypt has never had 5 cities swear complete allegiance to the LORD, and let alone having one of the five to be called “the City of Destruction”. This is mere conjecture, but it may be the 4 cities are so afraid of Judah because Judah (through God supernaturally) perhaps causes mass destruction to the city called City of Destruction that the others directly witnessed.

It continues from verse 19, “In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they [Egyptians] cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, He will send them a savior and defender, and He will rescue them.” This is proof that this passage is not concerning the Millennium because there is no war, or any oppressors to fear during the Millennium because Jesus will keep the peace for 1,000 years. From verse 21, “So the LORD will make Himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them.” The point I’m making here is that even though the 144,000 are not directly mentioned in this chapter, I strongly believe and suggest that it will be the 144,000 Jewish Christians who convert these Egyptians to Christianity. This is clearly during the Tribulation time, and God started out only with the 2 witnesses and the 144,000. Everyone else who will be saved during this period will have to be saved through the 2 witnesses and the 144,000. We may have just read a hint of the 144,000 where it says, “When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, He will send them a savior and defender and He will rescue them.” Since this is concerning the Tribulation period, it is highly likely that the “savior and defender” mentioned here is among the 144,000, who will be empowered by God to do miraculous things.

It continues from verse 22, “The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; He will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and He will respond to their pleas and heal them.” Perhaps the city who gets the brunt of the plague will be the one called “City of Destruction.” And by the way, if your translation reads “City of Sun” instead of “City of Destruction”, then your translation has adopted for that verse the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Latin Vulgate instead of the Masoretic Text, which reads, “City of Destruction.” From verse 23, it says, “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and the Assyrians will worship together. In that day, Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the Earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.’” This is a very, very interesting and revealing passage. There will be 3 main nations who will get converted to Christianity during the Tribulation period, namely, Israel first, then Egypt and Assyria. Israel, in the form of the 144,000 Jewish Christians, will be very successful in converting Egyptians and Assyrians during the last days, namely, the small 3 ½ years that they will have available to work. Egypt and Assyria are often mentioned unfavorably throughout the rest of the bible. If we didn’t have this section, it would appear that God has rejected Egypt and Assyria forever. God loves Gentiles as His own. He has a plan to engraft Egypt and Assyria into His family. As it stands today, Egypt and especially Assyria are mostly Muslim.

If the Reader wants to explore more into Egypt and Assyria getting saved, please refer to Zechariah 10, which talks about this same occurrence with more details. But the passage in Zechariah is more focused on Israel as the topic than Egypt and Assyria, as it is basically saying that Egypt and Assyria will be humbled at that time, no longer being a problem for Israel. Egypt, Assyria, and Israel are listed as “The Big Three” in Isaiah. A somewhat less restoration, but similar restoration will come to Moab, the Ammonites, and Elam. It is important to note that Elam is current day Iran. Jeremiah 48:42 says, “Moab will be destroyed as a nation because she defied the LORD.” Then later in verse 47, it says, “‘Yet, I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the days to come,’ declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 49:6 says, “‘Yet afterward, I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites,’ declares the LORD.” And Jeremiah 49:39 says, “‘Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam in the days to come,’ declares the LORD.” I gave you Elam. I’ll give the Reader homework to figure out what the current day Assyrians, Moab, and Ammonites are. There will be small remnants of converted Christians in all of these nations. Please recall in our study of Revelation, that it says in Revelation 5:9, “And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood, you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” This song is sung from Heaven regarding the saved in Heaven. There will be some sample of Christians from every tribe and language and people and nation. As of today, there are some nations that are purely Islam with no Christians ever because their government and system strictly allows only Allah to be worshipped. Many of these nations will not receive Christian converts until the Tribulation period when the great evangelists, the 144,000, will boldly go into these strict nations with the power of God and make converts. The 144,000 won’t be cowards, hiding in fear during the perilous Tribulation days; rather, they will be bold evangelists.

Let’s learn a little more about the 144,000 before delving into Revelation. Hosea 3:4-5 says, “For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or even idols. Afterward, the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to His blessings in the last days.” This passage predicts a lot. King Zedekiah was the last king of Israel. His reign ended in 586 B.C. Hosea was written around 800 B.C. It predicts that there will be a huge gap of time between Israel’s last Davidic king (Zedekiah) and the next one (Jesus—when they finally accept Him; hasn’t happened yet). It essentially predicts that Israel will reject Jesus as their King until the last days. It says that in the last days, the Jews will realize who the True Messiah is and will come trembling to Him and to His blessings. This is referring to the 144,000 Jewish Christians.

I want the Reader to be alert in his or her bible studies to the small hints that a passage is discussing the 144,000. Often in the Old Testament, if the passage talks about “a remnant of Israel”, it is referring to the last days and namely, the 144,000 Jewish Christians. That is not referring to the Church; we are just an engrafted branch; we are not a remnant of Israel. And often, the bible, particularly, Old Testament prophesy transitions almost seamlessly between speaking of the present to changing the topic to discussing the last days. The bible often leaves obvious clues of which period it is speaking of within. Please be aware of superlatives. Superlatives are great clues that a passage is talking about the last days: such as, “the whole Earth will see, (or ‘rejoice’, etc.)”; or, “the LORD will bring down the pride of all on the Earth”; or, “forever”; or, “never again will there be…”; etc. Not all of the times, of course, but most of the times when the bible uses such superlatives, it is discussing the end times. When the bible speaks of “the Day of the LORD”, it is referring to the last days. In all of the aforementioned instances, you can look to see if you can find the 144,000. When it says in the Old Testament that Israel has accepted their Messiah, it is a prophesy referring to the 144,000 and their descendants because such hasn’t happened yet. Whenever the Old Testament prophesy talks about gathering the scattered flock of Israel, it is referring the 144,000. I believe you will be surprised as to how many times the bible speaks of the 144,000. Therefore, I cannot give an exhaustive summary, but I would like to point out a few more occurrences. Other flags indicating that a passage concerns the end times is simply that it hasn’t happened yet in history, and/or it contains apocalyptic language.

We see the 144,000, for example, in Isaiah 4:2, which reads, “In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel.” This is a Messianic passage regarding the end times. The Branch of the LORD here refers to Jesus Christ. The survivors in Israel are the 144,000 (remember, this is post-Rapture; these are not the Church). Verse 3 says, “Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.” It says, “all who are recorded among the living”. This is speaking of the Millennium period. The Tribulation is going to wipe out all wicked people. The 144,000 will still be alive—they would not have died yet. They will be Raptured away during Revelation 14, but will return during the Millennium. Resurrected Christians and those from the Rapture will also be there to enjoy the Millennium. Isaiah 4:5 is interesting. It says, “Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy.” “Mount Zion” and “Jerusalem” are synonyms. Recall that there is no “night time” during the New Earth period, i.e., Eternity. We are still on this Earth, but again, during the Millennium. God is going to do the same thing in the future that He did in the past with the Israelites: be a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night. There will be some type of canopy over His glory. Verse 6 concludes, “It will be a shelter and shade form the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.” Yes, it will still be weather activity during the Millennium—it’ll be this same Earth, the only difference is that Jesus will be ruling it in person. Another difference is that the wicked will be removed (temporarily). Another great difference is that it will contain resurrected Christians; perhaps many of our loved ones that have passed away.

Let’s look at one more passage. We see in Ezekiel 34:12 to the end of the chapter that God will protect His 144,000. It begins: “As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” So far, we have the word “scattered” and also apocalyptic language: “clouds and darkness.” It concerns God’s people Israel because it says “[His] flock (of sheep).” God’s flock during the end times is the 144,000. Verse 13 says, “I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.” Today, Israelites are “scattered” all over the world. Much of the land that God promised them in the Old Testament, today, is inhabited by Muslims. One day in the future, God is going to gather 12,000 from each tribe, reveal to them Jesus, and return them to their original land after wiping away its inhabitants. There is no such thing as “the Lost Tribes of Israel” because even if we humans lost track of them, God knows everyone’s origin and ancestors. He is the one doing the gathering.

Verse 14: “I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.” Israel being left in peace has not happened yet in history, so again, this is another indication that this passage concerns the end times. This is not the Tribulation because Israel, even the 144,000, are not at peace on Earth, during those 7 years. They will be at peace during the Millennium. This passage concerns the Millennium. It is talking about the mountains on this Earth, and not the New Earth, so we know that it is not regarding Eternity. Skipping to verse 15 for sake of brevity, it says, “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” Here we see that “the sleek and the strong” God will destroy. God is not going to save all of Israel. He will save only those who will turn to Jesus Christ. He will save only a remnant of Israel. God went away from Israel when Jesus came to Earth because Israel went away from God by rejecting Jesus. But during the Tribulation, at least 144,000 of them will discover for themselves who Jesus is.

One thing Jesus is going to do during the Millennium is be the Judge of the Earth. This means that there will be conflicts during the Millennium. Verse 17 says, “As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats.” Sheep are the saved. “Rams and goats” in this instance are the political leaders, namely the unsaved. The rams and goats will be dealt with during the Tribulation. The next 2 verses follows: “Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?” God is talking about the dirty feet politicians who malevolently oppress His people. Verse 22: “I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.” After God deals with the wicked people of the Earth, including the dirty feet politicians, God is going to judge those saved during the Tribulation during the Millennium. Christians saved before the Rapture are judged in Heaven during the Tribulation. Those saved during the Tribulation will be judged during the Millennium.

Verse 23: “I will place over them one Shepherd, my servant David, and He will tend them; He will be their Shepherd. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be Prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.” “David” here is a reference to Jesus Christ. Jesus, a descendant of David, will sit on David’s throne and serve as Shepherd over God’s people during the Millennium (and beyond). Verse 25: “I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety.” God is not going to literally wipe away wild beasts; He instead is going to take the wildness out of the beasts so that they won’t be wild anymore. Isaiah 11:6 says, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child will put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the Earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” In this way, there will be no more wild beasts. Isaiah 65:25 says that the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. At least the serpent will be safe to handle.

My goal today was not to merely cover passages regarding the 144,000, but more so to equip the Reader in his or her studies with the keys of recognizing when the bible is talking about the 144,000. We will pick up next time with Revelation 14.


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