WHAT QUESTION IS ASKED CONCERNING JESUS’ RETURN?
The great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:17 NOTE: The seventh chapter of Revelation gives the answer to this question.
WHAT DOES JOHN SEE THE FOUR ANGELS DOING?
And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. Revelation 7:1
WHAT DO “WINDS” REPRESENT IN BIBLE PROPHECY?
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.
And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.
For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, [even] my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:
And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 49:35-38
HOW LONG IS THIS DESTRUCTION HELD BACK?
And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Revelation 7:2, 3
HOW MANY WILL RECEIVE THE SEAL OF GOD?
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. Revelation 7:4
WHERE DO THESE PEOPLE RECEIVE GOD’S SEAL.
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Revelation 7:3
WHAT WILL THESE PEOPLE HAVE GONE THROUGH?
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:13, 14
WHAT SPECIAL PRIVILEGE IS ACCORDED THEM?
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 7:15-17
NOTE: This 144,000 will have a special function not accorded to the other redeemed and will minister day and night before God's throne and be continually in His presence. The promise that they "shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat" is undoubtedly in reference to the seven last plagues that are to fall upon the world. While these plagues fall upon only the wicked, the righteous will none the less endure privation and experience some of the affects of them, such as the increase and decrease of temperatures, the darkness, the impact on the economy, etc. However, in the midst of all this, none of the plagues fall on them and God has promised: “bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure” (Isaiah 33:16).
WHAT WILL BE FOUND IN THEIR FOREHEADS?
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. Revelation 14:1
NOTE: This name is “in” their foreheads, not “on” their foreheads. This has nothing to do with an outward mark, but rather it is an inward, evident transformation of their minds (Romans 12:2). In the Bible a name is indicative of character (i.e. Jacob the deceiver, the supplanter becomes Israel, God ruled) and those who have “the seal of the living God” in their foreheads (Revelation 7:2, 3) will have received the mind of Christ (Philippians 5:2) and will fully reflect His character, thus having the “Father’s name written in their foreheads” just as Jesus had the Father’s name in Him (Exodus 23:20, 21).
WHAT WILL THE 144,000 DO THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN?
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:
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. Revelation 14:2, 3
WHAT ARE THEY CALLED?
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. Revelation 14:4
NOTE: Keep in mind this is a symbolic prophecy and the term “virgins” stands in contrast to the “whore” and “harlots” of the apostate and corrupt churches (Revelation 17:1-5).
WHAT TWO THINGS WILL THEY NOT HAVE?
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. Revelation 14:5
HOW DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT DESCRIBE THEM?
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid....
The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more....
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:13, 15, 17 NOTE: Many believe today that the 144,000 is a literal number. There are several reasons, however, for concluding that this number cannot be literal.
1. We are dealing with a symbolic prophecy in which symbolic winds are being held atcheck while God's people receive the symbol of their allegiance to Him.
2. If this is to be taken literally, there would only be 144,000 people able to standthrough the last conflict (Revelation 6:17). That would mean only 144,000 living righteous at Jesus' coming.
3. The only living righteous at Christ's coming would be Jews, 12,000 from each of the12 tribes. This would be an impossibility for the 12 tribes of Israel no longer exist. Ten of those tribes disappeared shortly after the Assyrian captivity of 722 B.C., and the Babylonian and Roman diaspora have completely eradicated any tribal lineages.
4. If these were the 12 literal tribes, it would mean that not one soul would have beensaved from the tribe of Dan, which is not even mentioned. Furthermore, Levi and Joseph, neither of which were of the 12 tribes, are both mentioned in this list.
5. A final evidence that this prophecy cannot be taken literally is that they must all bevirgins (Revelation 14:1-4).
Therefore, if one takes this number as literal, it would mean that there would be only 144,000 righteous people alive when Jesus returns. That all of these people would be Jewish coming from 12 non-existent tribes. That they would all be virgins. And, in order to be consistent, the position would have to be held that there are four literal angels holding back literal winds while God’s people receive a literal seal in their foreheads that contains the literal name of God. Such thoughts are positively preposterous.
WHO IS THE ISRAEL OF GOD TODAY?
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:28, 29
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. Romans 9:6-8
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham....
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:7-9, 26-29
WHAT WERE JEW AND GENTILE CHRISTIANS ALIKE CALLED.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. James 1:1
WHO IS IT THAT SEALS GOD’S PEOPLE?
Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30
DOES GOD’S LAW HAVE ANY LINK TO HIS SEAL?
Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. Isaiah 8:16
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: Hebrews 8:10
NOTE: It is of importance to note that an official seal must contain three things:
1. The name of the law giver.
2. His official position, title, or right to rule.
3. His kingdom or the territory over which he rules.
An example of this would be: Name - Barack Hussien Obama; Position - President; Extent of Jurisdiction -United States of America.
DO ANY OF GOD’S COMMANDMENTS CONTAIN HIS SEAL?
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: (Here we have His name) In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the LORD made" (Here not only have we His name again but also His office, that of Creator) heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is" (Here we have His territory, the whole vast universe). Exodus 20:8-11
NOTE: Here we find that the seal of God is found in the very same commandment that the world in general has disregarded. Thus, as we can see, the "seal of God" is closely related to the law of God and particularly to the fourth commandment, which in contrast to God's command to "remember," most of the world today has forgotten or forsaken.
WHAT DID GOD SAY HIS SABBATH IS TO BE TO HIS PEOPLE?
Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.... And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God. Ezekiel 20:12, 20
NOTE: In summation we find that the 144,000 are God's last-day people or spiritual Israel. The word Israel means "God contends" or "God rules" and shows that these are not merely professed Christians, but that the God of heaven truly reigns in their lives. These people are fully settled in the truth of God's word, not just some of it. All who have thus submitted their lives to God will be able to stand, never will a single one be lost. Won't you plan today to be among that group? Decide today to prepare to receive “the seal of the living God.”