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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Revelation 7, the 144,000, and are you one of them??

The short answer to the question in the title is probably, "NO." Why is that? Well, very simply, they are all Jews by blood and birth and they are all selected AFTER the sixth seal is opened. So unless you've seen news reports of all the leaders of the earth and every slave and free man calling for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them and hide them from the wrath of the One who sits on the throne (God), and the Lamb, you are not one of the 144,000.
Now that's out of the way...
What about the 144,000?
Several things about them are important to us:
1. They are selected at a point in time when the action stops in Revelation, after the opening of the 6th Seal.
2. They are called "The servants of God."
3. They are from specific Jewish tribes.
4. They are "marked" by angelic intervention as God's servants.
5. Their selection is followed by a huge praisefest in heaven.
The action involved here goes all the way to the end, because the praises come from those who've "come out of the Great Tribulation," and the future is seen as the present (in other words, all suffering is over for these who've come out, and they now are in the presence of God forever with no more tears, no more fears, no more cares).

So here's what we know: Just after the opening of the sixth seal, God selects 144,000 of His special Jewish servants--probably to accomplish some specific, special work. In the next scene, the camera moves forward all the way to the end, AFTER the Great Tribulation (look at the Chronology of Revelation in the preceding posts), the last 3-1/2 years of Daniel's prophecy (see Daniel 12), and we see a huge number of people standing before God, praising Him, and John finds that these are people from every tribe and nation, who've come out of the terrible time of Tribulation, and they are God's people.

Evidently people believe in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, in droves.  Some of their faith comes from the hope that there will be a better future than the one the Antichrist promises; some comes from preaching by the entities who tell the Gospel story during that time (the 144,000, the Two Witnesses, the angels), and some comes from the testimony of their fellow-believers.

Who are the `144,000? Possibly witnesses that tell the Gospel story.  Possibly warriors who fight against the Antichrist and his evil. Possibly both. We don't know for sure yet.

What we DO know is that a better day is coming.  This prophecy flies in the face of all the "Dystopian Future" movies that we see, such as The Hunger Games, in which God does not appear; instead, God is the exclamation point in the future.  It's in His hands. He controls it, and He will bring this sick, sorry old world into a place of blessing for all who believe in Him, all who love Him, all who know Him.
One day...
He will rule, and there will be no "Dystopia."
Instead, there will be "The kingdoms of this world becoming the Kingdom of our Lord, and of His Messiah, Jesus Christ."
This is the promise of Revelation 7, and of the entire book of Revelation.

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