Today: [Revelation 14:] 144,000 Jewish Evangelists? Maybe Not. In Rev. 14 we see the 144,000 show up again in John’s vision. Who are these people and what does the Bible say about them. They are a prominent part of the tableau of prophetic fulfillment and may be closer to home in their identity than traditional prophecy teachers might perceive.
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[Rev 14:1-20 KJV] 1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 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. 4 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. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. 6 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, 7 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. 8 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. 9 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, 10 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: 11 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. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 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. 14 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. 15 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. 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 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. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.
In v. 1 of Revelation 14, we again revisit the subject of the 144,000. John sees this company and witnesses that each one has his father’s name written on their forehead. Notice the wording that they EACH have HIS father’s name written on their foreheads. You would think that if this were Jehovah, Yahweh or Elohim’s name that the wording would be “each had THE Father’s name” or “each had the name of Him who sits on the throne” on his forehead.
How do we reconcile the statement of Jesus in Matt. 23:9 to call no man father and the comment by Paul in 1 Cor. 4:15:
[1Co 4:15 KJV] 15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet [have ye] not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Paul clearly considered himself a father to the Corinthians. He also called Timothy his son in the faith (1 Ti. 1:2) and even Titus as well in Titus 1:4. He didn’t call all his co-workers and acquaintances sons either. He called Onesimus a brother (Col. 4:9) and also Philemon, Apollos, and other brothers and sisters. This begs the question does the wording of v. 1 imply that one of the characteristics of the 144,000 company is that they are people who walk in accountability to spiritual fathers in the faith following the example and pattern set by Paul, Timothy, and Titus.
We ask the question then “who’s your Daddy?” He isn’t someone you can choose. You can’t walk up to someone like children often do saying “I wish you were my mommy” or “I wish you were my daddy.” A true spiritual father is that person who speaks formatively in your life at a fundamental level. I remember years ago being a part of a network of apostles and prophets who made the prospects of spiritual fatherhood a cottage industry. They had rolls of people’s names and what spiritual father they were appointed to sit under. I was good friends with one of the leaders of this movement, and while he was an older brother who acted as a mentor in my life, I never saw him as a father. In my case my spiritual father was my own natural father who was a titan in the faith, a man of unimpeachable fidelity to God possessed of depth and anointing that profoundly affected my life my whole life. What about you? Many teachers can teach something to you but whose name is written on your forehead? What does that mean? In other words, if someone walked up to you and opened your forehead like it had a door with a hinge who’s teaching and formative influence would be discovered there. Don’t say Bob Jones or Kim Clement. They are long gone, and unless you had a connection with them that was mutual and reciprocal, I don’t know that would be considered fatherhood. Is this important at all? Rev. 14:1 suggests it is.
After the 144,000 show up again, John hears the voice as of many waters. What are the many waters? Eph. 5:26 speaks of the water of the word and John 4:10 speaks of the water of the spirit. The voice of God through His word and His spirit is possessed of great variety. We need to hear the full counsel of God, and you aren’t going to get that from just one stream. There are voices of God speaking at all levels in the house of His tabernacle. Are you willing like John to hear the voice of many waters or does sectarian thinking limit you to just your group?
When the voice of many waters speak the 144,000 begin to sing a song that only they can learn. Now bear in mind that these are not literal sons of Abraham, 12,000 from every tribe. How can we say this? Because the ten northern tribes when into captivity under Babylon. They never returned, and it is known to history that the bred themselves out of existence through intermarriage. Many object saying that God knows these bloodlines and will call them out in His due season. The only problem with that is that according to the law of Moses that still governs even the Jew outside of Christ to lose your tribal cohesion is to be disqualified for your inheritance. This is true even if you inter-marry with one of the other 12 tribes and particularly true if you marry outside of the twelve tribes as the ten northern tribes did whereby they functionally ceased to exist. Who then are the twelve tribes? They are those who are sealed in their forehead with the name of their father. They are accountable sons and daughters not born of spiritual fornication. They are those who embrace and accept the chastening of the Lord whereby Heb. 12:8 tells us they are not bastards or spiritually illegitimate children. This begs the question who’s your Daddy? That question can yet be asked and answered if you are willing to be accountable for the answer.
In v. 4 we see that these 144,000 are not defiled with women but are virgins. What does this mean? Are the celibate monks or vestal virgins? Does this mean that if we are married, we are to be considered as those who are defiled? That would suggest that that sex act is the original sin as put forth by medieval theologians. Remember that these things that Revelation speaks of occurring during the season that the Bride and Bridegroom who is the church and her Christ are coming together to consummate the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is also a book of metaphor and symbol. The feminine in Biblical typology speaks of the soul level of a human being whereas the spirit is always referred to as a man. Even woman according to Peter (1 Peter 3:4) has within them the hidden “man” of the heart. That doesn’t make the masculine gender more spiritual. It just establishes the order of things. The spirit of man was formed first (being God breathed into him) and then the living soul that man became. To say that this company was not defiled with women means the soulish nature or soulish things did not contaminate them. Can we use an example? Many today don’t realize that soulish charisma can move on you in precisely the same way as the anointing of the Spirit. A magnetic personality, charismatic delivery of a message, mesmerizing musical performances – all of these can produce effects on you that you will think they are spiritual, but they are not. They arise from emotions. This is why these 144,000 are sealed in their FOREHEADS (their will and intellect) and not their emotions (or, the heart). We have to get to the place where we understand loving God with our minds and not just trying to seduce Him with our soulish worship and emotions.
Are these 144,000 the encapsulation of all the redeemed people of God? No. They are just a firstfruits company (v. 4), those who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. I think we could all agree that there is a large percentage of born again believers who are not following the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. They are born again; they are going to heaven, but they are followers and not disciples. They are excluded from this company of 144,000.
We also see (v. 5) that these have no guile. That doesn’t mean they are insulting and always mouthing off about anything they don’t agree with. No matter how much you boast in your willingness to sound off your opinion that does not establish your prophetic nature or your spiritual pedigree. Remember that in all things the law of love is to be in our mouth. Purpose in your heart to know the difference between opinion and godly judgment or conviction. Remember that a man or woman of wisdom restrains their words.
After the appearance of the 144,000 John sees an angel flying through the heavens declaring “fear God! Give glory to God for the hour of His judgment is upon the earth…” Immediately after this, another angel declares “Babylon is fallen!”
Who is Babylon? In another place, Mystery Babylon is described as a prostitute sitting on a beast with many names drinking a cup of the blood of the martyrs. The church the middle ages shed as much if not more blood of the righteous than Rome ever did. This church is the progenitor of the modern Catholic church. When we suggest this all Protestants and Evangelicals loudly agree saying “Yes! Rome is Babylon!” but bear in mind that she is sitting on a beast with many names. That phrase in the Latin version of the Bible is “a beast with many ‘denomis’” or denominations. Babylon, in the beginning, was comprised of a gathering of peoples to build access to the plan of God by the words of their own hands (Gen. 11 – the tower of Babel).
Christianity as we know it is largely a religious system comprised of those declaring a works-based approach to God within the context of a hierarchical infrastructure ( a form of ecclesiastical government that Jesus expressly condemned). What is Babylon? It is Christianity outside of Christ and everything of Christianity that doesn’t originate in Christ and does not make His presence the priority in their function and existence.
A third angel sounds proclaiming the destruction of the beast and those who have taken his mark. They shall now drink of the mixture of God’s wrath and judgment, and the smoke of their punishment will ascend forever and ever. Here we see the reality of hell as a place of eternal punishment from whence; there is no reprieve. There is a significant and vocal influence in mainstream Christianity that does not believe in hell or eternal punishment. They are those who reject the clear and unambiguous declarations of the same in the scriptures we claim to hold as infallible. Those who do not accept the fact of an eternal hell and that those outside of Christ will suffer there are to be set aside along with their pseudo spiritual teachings. To compare their teachings alongside what the word actually says you can only conclude that no matter how gentle or convincing they may be – they are false teachers.
The next verse goes on the proclaim the blessing of God on the righteous dead at which point a being appears like the son of man with a sickle in His hand to reap the nations. Another angel appears and with a loud voice shouts to Him that sits in the cloud like unto the Son of Man saying “thrust in thy sickle for the time has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe…” After which the sickle is thrust into the earth by Jesus Himself and the earth – the final harvest of souls into the kingdom is reaped. This speaks to us of a great ingathering of souls by the outpouring of a spirit of evangelism that will rock the nations of the earth and compel millions by the conviction of the Holy Ghost to accept Jesus as their savior.
After this harvesting of souls into the kingdom, the ultimate vision in this chapter is of a second harvest this time of the ungodly being harvested into the winepress of God’s judgments at which point the blood runs out of winepress running as deep as a horses bridle.
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