God’s Overview of the End

144000-4-638Revelation chapter 14 begins with the sealing of 144,000 servants of God who were virgins

“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” – Rev. 14:4

Who are these? And what does it mean that they were virgins? Strong’s Concordance identifies them – “a man who has abstained from all uncleanness and whoredom attendant on idolatry, and so has kept his chastity” In other words, they are sold out to God and not distracted by any lusts of the flesh. I don’t believe it means they were effeminate or unmarried. They are like Peter, who was married, but wholly committed to follow Jesus. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They represent the ‘firstfruits’ of the Lord’s work on earth –

“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” – James 1:18

The number 144,000 appears in several places in Revelation, the first of which has caused many to interpret that they are Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel –

“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” – Rev. 7:4

Twelve tribes of 12,000 each are mentioned but, the tribe of Ephraim is left out – why? In Revelation chapter 14:3 we are told they sing a new song before the throne of God that no one but the 144,000 who were redeemed from the earth could learn.

“And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” – Rev. 14:3

Then in Revelation 5:9 we are told who these chosen ones are –

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” – Rev. 5:9, 10

If these are only Jews, how can they be “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation”? And how could the number 144,000 be a literal number when many more than 144,000 have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb down through history? It is the redeemed that are made worthy to be kings and priests on the earth –

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Rev. 1:6

The Apostle Peter writes –

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9, 10

And the Apostle Paul writes –

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentiles): for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” – Romans 10:12

“That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” – Eph. 3:6

We who believe in Jesus have been ‘grafted’ in along with the natural branches so we also can sing the ‘new song’ of the redeemed. I do not understand the entire significance of the 144,000 but I think it is symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel being magnified and fulfilled (12×12). Remember, Jesus died on the cross to break down the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile, thus making one new man (Eph. 2:15).

one-new-man“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; … For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” – Ephesians 2:11-19

3 angels of woeAfter God has sealed those who are His, we see angels released to direct the final work of the age – the in-gathering harvest.

1st Angel:

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” – Rev. 14:6, 7

God is about to release His judgment on the earth but, He will give a final call for mankind to be saved from it. Because He loves us and is so full of mercy, He is giving one last plea for the wayward to turn back. It is very possible that this will be the time of the ‘latter rain‘ given to empower the Church to bring in the final harvest.

“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” – Joel 2:23

Heavy Downpour

Latter Rain

God gave the former rain only moderately on Pentecost but, for this last harvest we will get an abundant downpour in the first month (Nisan) to bring in the harvest! James also writes about it –

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” – James 5:7

 The message of this Gospel will once again give God the glory He deserves as the Creator of all things. It will not be a message of sloppy agape that accepts evolution and humanism or any immoral or debased world view –

“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” – Revelation 14:7

7th angel_blowing_trumpet12nd Angel: Next comes the angel of separation calling God’s people out of false churches claiming to be Christian –

“And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”– Rev. 14:8

Chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation will give us more insight into this spiritual Babylon, which is the false church, but before she is judged God gives all one last chance to escape her judgment –

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” – Rev. 18:4

It is the separation of the sheep from the goats that Jesus taught about –

“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:” – Matt. 25:32

3rd Angel: Then God warns once again not to follow the Antichrist or the False Prophet –

666“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:” – Rev. 14:9, 10

During this time of testing many who call themselves Christian will turn and deny the Lord, not willing to pay the price of resisting Antichrist and following Jesus, as both Jesus and Paul warned –

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” – Matt. 24:12

But, some will remain true –

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” – Rev. 14:12, 13

angel of rev 10-1Finally, the Lord begins the final harvest of souls –

“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” – Rev. 14:14-16

This is exactly as Jesus taught in His end-time teaching –

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” – Matt. 24:30, 31

This will likely begin on the Feast of Trumpets. His angels know how to separate the wheat from the tares and we told not to try and judge between them ourselves because we do not see the heart of man as He does.

Lastly, comes the 4th Angel, which is the Grimm reaper –

“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. … And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. “ – Rev. 14:17-19

This concludes chapter 14 which covers the same time period as chapters 12 and 13 but, gives further perspective from God’s point of view. God’s heart must be grieving to know that many of those He has created and loves will suffer in these ways, by their own choice to reject Him. He suffers as only a Father can suffer as He watches His child willfully reject His warnings and walk into harms way.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Pet. 3:9

As I finish this teaching and realize how close we are to its happening, I can only encourage you –

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” –
Heb. 3:15

 

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