Summary: Many assume to know who the 144,000 witnesses are, but it is very important to see when you read the Bible it is very clear who they actually are! They have NOT been appointed yet, but they WILL BE God's messengers in ... the future!
Who are the 144,000?
Revelation, Part 8, Revelation 7:1-17
- Chapter 6 talked about the four horsemen and the first 6 seals
-- Discussed the importance of their duties to release the Anti-Christ
-- They bring death and destruction upon the Earth as God’s Judgment
- We also witnessed a great earthquake that shook foundations of the Earth
-- This will send inhabitants of the Earth to the mountains to flee
-- Each who went into hiding had one prayer: that they would be allowed to die for the judgment is too severe.
- In this time, we see the beginning of what God has planned on this Earth
-- APP: Our disobedience is what has brought this upon the Earth
Read Revelation 7:1-17
Ω Point 1 – The Four Angels (v1-3)
- At this moment, there are angels waiting for the word from God
-- To unleash His judgment upon this Earth
-- Remember city of Sodom? Angels were sent there to destroy the city
-- However, Lot and his family were saved and removed (Genesis 19)
- These four angels are granted the authority to hurt the land and the sea
-- IMP: They are restrained until God’s servants are sealed
-- Once these servants are in place – once they have received the protection of God, we will see the trumpet judgments begin
- The four winds mentioned talk about the whole Earth (N, S, E, and W)
-- The angels are given specific orders to hurt only the land and sea
-- The bowl judgments (later) are the judgments on man, specifically
- In Heaven, God has ultimate authority
-- Believe John is getting a glimpse of a chain of command effect in place
- See how another angel comes forward to hold back these angels?
-- This is an arch-angel – someone in greater authority than these four angels
- We will see that a number of persons will be sealed first; these are 144,000
-- The word ‘sealed’ means protected; they’re sealed with the Holy Spirit
- What is important to note here is that God knows who is faithful to Him
-- He knows who His workers are – and John is being given a confirmation --- IMP: Just as they are sealed … those who are saved are also sealed (or protected) from this judgment
- Strengthens the rapture of the church happens before the Tribulation begins
-- Why? God’s promise is that we shall be saved if we call upon the name of the Lord (that is Jesus) – and this sealing is sealing those following the rapture for service to Him!
Ω Point 2 – Who are the 144,000 that are sealed? (v4-8)
- Many people have mixed up, or tried to assume who the 144,000 are
-- It is very important to note that when you read the Bible, it’s clear!
Ω - One of the biggest, false doctrines is that shared by the group called the Jehovah’s Witnesses
-- Let me start by saying this is a cult – from beginning to end
-- It is an “obey this or else” type of religion which God does not honor
- Background: They believed when they formed that they were part of the 144,000 who would not see death and they were here to do God’s work.
-- The problem with their logic is this: most of those who called themselves part of the 144,000 are now dead and in their grave!
-- The result of this false thinking? They are forced to CHANGE their beliefs and doctrine – which since Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (see Hebrews 13:8) … why would they have to continue to modify their beliefs if they were truly following Jesus? They’re not, they are a cult!!
- VERY IMP: If your religion is confusing, it ain’t from God!
-- 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
Ω - IMP: The Bible tells us EXACTLY who these people are in Rev 7!
-- John is being shown the nation of Israel
-- It is important to observe that the literal application of Israel’s importance cannot be avoided.
-- Those who remove literal Israel from scripture will never be able to grasp the book of Revelation and God’s plan for the end times.
- Here, we see the role of 144,000, from the 12 tribes of Israel
-- There are 12,000 each of the 12 tribes of Jacob (Israel)
-- Represent a select group, descendents of Jacob
-- They fulfill the role planned for Israel, to be a light to the nations
- APP: Out of all the nations of the Earth, God has chosen the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be a light to the nations, to be his witnesses