Sunday, October 10, 2010

Question 41 -Who are The 144 Thousand?

Why must we identify the 144 Thousand? Because a massive movement within Christianity, Pre-Trib, says the Church need not concern itself with the 144 Thousand because no one in the Church can ever be in the 144 Thousand! Pre-Trib say that, in order to be among the 144 Thousand, a person must reject Jesus as their Savior until after the Church is Raptured into Heaven. But, what if the Church is the 144 Thousand? What if the 144 Thousand is a special End-Time group within the Bride of Christ that endures the Tribulation, and because of their faithfulness and trust in God, they stand against and defeat Antichrist and Satan, and thus are given the highest honor among those within the Bride of Christ?  What if the 144 Thousand are God's Last-Day Church Warriors representing His Church in that final struggle? We suggest this is what it says in the Bible!

144 Thousand "Left Behind?"
And what if Pre-Trib says the 144 Thousand will be "Left Behind" when Jesus comes to take His Bride to Heaven because they'll still be rejecting Jesus at that time? And what if Pre-Trib goes on to say that the 144 Thousand, even though they become the heros of the Tribulation, NEVER qualify as even part of the Bride?

The 144 Thousand "Keep the Commandments of God."
Pre-Trib says that at this present time, the "Grace Age," we are not to keep God's Commandments because they are "impossible to keep."  However, John said that, during the Tribulation, "The Dragon (Satan) will be wroth with the Woman and go to make war with the Remnant of her seed, who keep the Commandments of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev.12:17)! And, "Here is the patience of the saints! Here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and have the Faith of Jesus" (Rev.14:12)! Certainly the 144 Thousand will be among those "Commandment Keeping" people John saw during the Tribulation. Just a quick side Pondering Point: How is it that these "Remnant" will be "Keeping the Commandments of God," if now, during the "Grace Dispensation," these Commandments of God are impossible to keep? In a moment we'll show from Scripture that the 144 Thousand are the most qualified group of people ever to be the Bride.

Can You be in the 144 Thousand
What if Jesus has very special tasks for the 144 Thousand, and you, Dear Pastor, are assigned one of those tasks? You're probably saying, "I can't be among the 144 Thousand, because I'm not an Israelite. My ancestors were not in the 12 tribes of Israel! Besides, I'll be Raptured to Heaven before the 144 Thousand are organized." What if your ancestry actually does trace back to one of the 12 Tribes of Israel? In a moment we’ll show that, more likely than not, this is so. Pastor, it is very possible that God could have chosen you be part of a movement to prepare His Church to, “Stand in that Evil Day” (Eph.6:13)!  Let's look at how this could be. We'll start with Abraham.

Although the 144 Thousand are actually descendants of Jacob’s 12 sons, their story begins with Abraham. God promised to multiply Abraham's seed so that they would become, “as the dust of the earth” (Gen.13:16), and, “as the stars” (Gen.15:5)!
     At this time, almost all, and possibly all, of earth’s inhabitants are descendants of Abraham. Statistically every person on earth today could actually be a descendant of one the 12 Sons of Israel (Jacob). If God wanted to arrange for every person on earth today to be a descendant of Jacob, He could arrange for certain persons to meet and bear children so that this would be the case. Many times during the history of Israel there were massive events that scattered them throughout the world. When the 10 Tribes were dispersed by Assyria in 722 BC, where did they go? More on this in a moment. When Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, took them captive in 586 BC, what happened to them? After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Jews were once again scattered all over the world. Scripture records many times Israelites were mixed into other nations. James in his Letter to the Church, wrote: “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the TWELVE TRIBES which are scattered abroad, greeting” (Js.1:1). Apparently James considered the Church and the 12 Tribes of Israel as one and the same. Peter and Paul called the Church the Elect (1Pet.1:2; Rom.8:33; Tit.1:1).

Ten Tribes of Israel
There are no truly accurate records as to what extent the Israelites infiltrated the nations of the world when Assyria scattered them. The same is true as to what happened to the Jews left in Babylon after their 70 year captivity.  We must keep in mind that the Hand of God was behind whatever happened to Israel, including their being scattered throughout earth's population. Even nations that seem to have no connection with Israel could have become descendants through intermarriage. For example, if a few people from the tribe of Issachar migrated to China, and if these Issacharites intermarried with the Chinese, after 2700+ years, if God intended it to be so, every person in China could now be a descendant of Issachar. In Ethiopia there are tribes that actually have records of their connection to Israel.

Babylonian Captivity
When the Jews were taken Captive in 586 AD, they were to return to their homeland after 70 years, but only a very few returned. Those remaining dispersed themselves among the Babylonians, the Meds, and the Persians. These countries are now now Iran and Iraq. When the Babylon Captivity began, many Jews escaped to Egypt. Thus,  many of the Arab countries could be descendants of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD
Soon after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, they made it illegal for Jews to live in or around Jerusalem, once again scattering Israel. Pastor, the chances of you not having any ancestors traced back to Israel’s 12 Tribes is SLIM to NONE!!!

Test it With Your Calculator!
Take your calculator and start with # 1. Now double it 20 times. You'll need a good calculator, for the result is over a Million! Double it just one more time, and you have 2 million, and so on!! So if just one Jewish couple moved to any country in the world, after 20 generations, their descendants could be over a million. 21 generations becomes 2 million. A few more generations reaches a Billion! That’s just one Jewish couple!!
It works in reverse also. If it were possible to trace all of your ancestors back just 10 generations, you’ll have over a Million Grandparents. At least one of these is likely to be from one of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

John and Priscilla Alden – Real Personal Example
This Author’s family traced their ancestors all the way back to the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock in 1620. We are direct descendants of John and Priscilla Alden and we are only ten generations below them! We felt rather special until we learned that about half of all US citizens have ancestors that came to America on the Mayflower.

Four Winds of Strife
Let’s get back to the real purpose of the 144 Thousand. John saw 4 Angels holding back the “Four Winds of Strife” (Rev.7:1)! Revelations 7 is the first mention of the 144 Thousand in Scripture. John saw an Angel from the East instruct the 4 Angels not to release the winds until these, “Servants of God were Sealed in their Foreheads” (Vs.2)!

Timing of the 144 Thousand
According to Scripture, the 144 Thousand will emerge just before Jesus’ Second Coming—just before the 4 Winds of Strife are released.

A Close Look at the 144 Thousand?
1 – They’re “Sealed in their foreheads” just before the 4 angels release the 4 winds. Thus these are definitely Last-Day Believers. No Mark of the Beast in their foreheads or hands!
2 – They’ll sing a “New Song” before God’s Throne that “no man can learn” except the 144 Thousand! Could this mean they've experienced something no other human has experienced?
– They’re “Not defiled with women!” Could this mean they have no connection with the “Great Whore” ( or any of her “Daughters” (Vs.17:5). Could they be God’s people that have “Come out of Babylon” (Rev.18:4)? The Great Whore is Babylon and she's Antichrist’s Church.
4 – They have “No Guile.” Guile is Deceit. Satan, Antichrist, and all of the “False Prophets” Jesus repeatedly warned us about (Matt.7:15; 24:11) will use “Deceit” or False doctrine. Could it mean that the 144 Thousand do not?
5 – They’re “Without fault before the Throne of God!” Everyone that makes it to Heaven and stands before God’s Throne will have had all of their sins forgiven first. So what’s different about the 144 Thousand? By comparing all other qualifications John saw, these appear to have become “overcomers” before Jesus comes!
6 – They’re the “First Fruits unto God and to the Lamb!” Could this mean the 144 Thousand are First and Foremost! Could this mean that, when Jesus comes and Raptures His Bride to Heaven, the 144 Thousand are "First Fruits" because, with the special strength God gives them, they face down and defeat Satan and his Antichrist?
7 - They “Follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” This is truly beginning to sound like the Bride of Christ. "Follow the Lamb" covers 2 activities. Certainly if the 144 Thousand are key members of the Bride of Christ, they will be with Jesus forever throughout eternity. But Jesus also said, “To him that overcometh will grant to sit with Me on my Throne, even as I overcame, and am set with My Father on His throne” (Rev.3:21). Does this sound as if the 144 Thousand will be "Overcomers?" As for the "Follow the Lamb," could this mean they will follow his instructions concerning “overcoming."

8 – They are “Virgins.” Now this is sure enough sounding like a “Bride!” Is it becoming easier and easier to call the 144 Thousand and the Bride of Christ?  This “Virgin” thing has nothing to do with sexuality. But it has everything to do with being completely separated from the “Great Whore” and her “Daughters.” The Whore is Antichrist’s Church and her Daughters are Churches that continue promoting the False Doctrines originated by the Antichrist’s Church.

In order to truly understand the 144 Thousand, we must accept the fact that they are First Fruit members of the Bride of Christ.

"If ye be Christ's, ye are Abraham's Seed"
Let’s look at a final reason you could be a member of the 144 Thousand. We’ve seen that if you're a member earth's general population, your ancestors are likely descendants of Israel. Now add this: “But ye (the Church) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an Holy Nation, a peculiar people (people of His own), that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Who in time past were not a people but are now the people of God (1Pet.2:9). And this: "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29)! One way or another, you are an Israelite!!

144 Thousand From God’s Point of View
Is 144 Thousand a literal or figurative number? It could be figurative, but the Bible speaks as literal, so let's go from there. God always knows the bloodline of every human on earth, thus for Him to separate earth's population into 12 groups could be instant. God’s mind could choose 12 Thousand from the descendants of each Tribe, and in a flash, there’d be 144 Thousand  “Servants of God” in training. In that same flash, the guardian Angels of each of these 144,000 could be assigned the tasks of  “Sealing these Servants of God in their Foreheads” (Rev.7:3)!! When this happens, that Special Angel John saw “Ascending from the East with the Seal of the Living GOD” (Vs.2) will say to those 4 Angels holding the 4 winds of strife, “Let Go!”

From Satan’s Point of View
“The Dragon (Satan) was wroth with the Woman, and went to make war with the Remnant [144 Thousand?] of her seed who Keep the Commandments of God and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev.12:17)! John was shown how the 144 Thousand will respond to Satan’s war on them: “Here is the patience of the saints! Here are they that Keep the Commandments of God and have the Faith of Jesus” (Rev.14:12). “Wroth” is more than just angry, and Satan is enraged!! John prophesied that Satan and his hordes of Demons will have, “All the World wondering after and worshiping the Beast (Antichrist)” (Rev.13:3;8;15). All, that is, except the “Remnant” who obey God’s Commandments instead of Antichrist’s “Changed Times and Laws” (Dan.7:25)! Satan does not want this Last-Day War because he knows he'll lose it big time. So, he has done all in his demonic power to cause confusion and distraction concerning the truth about who the 144 Thousand are, who the "Remnant" are, who the "Elect" is and who the Church is. Confusion is Satan's  "Weapon of Mass Distraction," and he has mastered it perfectly. 

In closing, let's look at something that will be a Ponderable Question. When God chooses 12 Thousand people from each Tribe of Israel, some could come from World Religions other than Christian.  Jesus said, “Other Sheep have I that are not of this fold.” The thought of some of the 144 Thousand coming from non-Christian World Religions; Religions that presently kill Christians seems outrageous, but we must never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Point to Ponder is, "Could God, at this present time, be calling His People, His Elect, His Remnant, yes, His 144 Thousand, and preparing them for their Last-Day stand against Satan?" We suggest this could be, and you, Pastor, may be one of these. And if the Reader is not a Pastor, but a person who wants to serve God in whatever capacity He needs, you too could be being called. Please Pray about what you’ve just read!! May God be with us as we seek to become, “SERVANTS OF GOD!"

Thank you SO much, Dear Pastor and Dear Reader,  for your time and interest!
Your Brother in Christ
Walter C. Martin Jr 

Check Our Other Websites:

Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Post-Tribulation Second Coming of Jesus
Will We Eat Pigs During the Millennium?

Planet Earth WILL be Destroyed After the 1000 Years!
New Jerusalem - How BIG is It?
Great White Throne Judgment Seat - When and Where
Christ's Kingdom - Millennial or EVERLASTING?

Hell Fire
Is God Torturing People Now
Did Jesus Suffer ALL of Your Hell?
The Rich Man and Lazarus?
The Dead - Dead or Alive - What is Death?
Did Jesus Die YOUR Death for You?
Will Satan Ever Die - Bible Says "YES!"
Testing Our Doctrine About Death
The Dead Stand Before Great White Throne Judgment Seat

The Gnostics Attack the Sabbath
Were Gnostics Really Christian?
Were Gnostics Satan's Implants into the Church?
Is Gnosticism Alive and Well in Today's Churches
Church is Israel - Israel is Church
Is the Church Israel and Israel the Church?
Is the Bride of Jesus the 144 Thousand?
Did Jesus Offer the Jews a Millennial Kingdom in His Ministry?
Will New Jerusalem Sit in Israel? How Big is It?
Christ's REAL EVERLASTING Kingdom is for ALL Believers!

The Sabbath
Is it a Sin to Observe the Sabbath?
Is There a Connection Between the Rapture and the Sabbath?
Will the Sabbath Be Observed By God's People During the Tribulation?
Who REALLY Changed the Sabbath in Early Christianity?
Un-Answered and Un-Answerable Sabbath Questions For Popular Preachers
How to Test Your Doctrine Concerning the Sabbath

Marriage in Heaven - Millennial Kingdom?
Strange Animal/Demons the Millennium?
Why Jesus Hasn't Come to Take Us To Heaven?
Teachers of Anomia (Law Annulling)
Good Ministers Teaching Against God's 10 Commandments?
Teaching of Anomia - The Reason Jesus Hasn't Come Yet?
Pre-Trib Rapture and Sabbath
Pre-Trib Rapture and the Sabbath?

Walter C. Martin Jr.
Everlasting Gospel Ministries

These are just a few of the questions we examine in our Websites.
Thank you, Dear Reader,  for checking them. Please feel free to give us your comments and feedback if you look at our Sites.  If you send us your questions or comments, we will try to answer and add your question to these Websites. We will Not give your name or E-Mail address to ANY ONE or ANY Church Group or Denomination! Nor will we send you ANY annoying E-Mails!! It is NOT our purpose to get you to withdraw from your present Church, but to invite you to present things you learn here to your Pastor and Friends.
Let's pray that God will continue sending His Holy Spirit to guide as we prepare for Jesus to come. Thank You!
Your Brother in Christ!
Walter C. Martin Jr