Every Ear Shall Hear the Everlasting Gospel.
The Scene is Heaven - Question is When?
A Fourth Rapture??
The scene of Revelation 14:1 is in heaven on THE Mount Zion: the earthly Mt. Zion is only a shadow of the heavenly mount. (Hebrews 12:22-24) By the way: John is a trustworthy witness. With our Lord we find the 144,000 of Revelation 7, sealed in writingpfpp (grapho1125 - to engrave) in (epi1109 - in not on) their foreheads. It is a "mark" they will carry for eternity: a badge of office.
pfpp = perfect participle passive - whatever happened in the past remains - our salvation is a "perfect" example of pfpp.
Since they are in heaven, the timing of this scene is of importance. We know their evangelistic mission was to last for only 3 1/2 years per chapter 7 with the "seed" of Israel as a result being a number beyond counting. When Satan is banned from heaven and wages a war against Israel; Israel will be divinely hidden and protected for the second half of the 70th week: this will NOT include the 144,000. With their Gospel mission complete and the two witnesses now on the scene preaching and practicing fire and brimstone; this scene in chapter 14 precedes the end of the last days of the 70th Week: Israel does not resurface until the end. Logic tells me that Satan would love to wage war upon the 144,000 but they appear to be out of reach, for the Devil turns his attention to the seed alone. In Genesis 5:24 "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" along with Elijah who did not see death: the Bible has given us two O.T. examples of the rapture and the principle of a third for His Bride.
The statement in Revelation 14:3 "..redeemedpfpp - (agorazo59 - to purchase) from the earth" is a term only used in Revelation to describe redemption. All other references to redeem, redeemed, redemption in the N.T. are associated with a ransom or with rescue. Another unique feature is that they are redeemed from the earth (ge1093 - earth (from which we get geology)) and from men (verse 4) as opposed to from the curse and the corruptible. This is an after-the-fact of being saved: as the Church will be removed (raptured) at the perfect time and season according to the will of God so shall the 144,000 be "removed". Except for their mission, they are said to be "firstfruits" without guile and without fault; a description given the Bride, in whose presence they are now standing. Just as the Bride has completed her mission and will be removed prior to judgment, so shall the 144,000 be removed when their God given mission is finished. Another point is their song: the Bride sang a "new" song in chapter 5, the martyrs of chapter 15 will sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb while the 144,000 will sing a song that NO man could ever learn. We need to consider their office for eternity which is also amazing:
- The Bride will rule and reign with Christ.
- The martyrs will serve the New Jerusalem. (Chapter 15)
- Israel will serve the King of Kings upon the new earth. (Ezekiel 40 to 48)
- The 144,000 will follow Jesus wherever He goes; His personal entourage.
- The millennium will also include another multitude: the Sheep, the initial population of the new earth. (More to come.)
3 Angels - 3 Very Different Messages
Three Messages to Bring All Things to an End
The Last Message of Hope
So many believers mistakenly "believe" that it is the Church that reaches every last soul with the Gospel message and by doing so will usher in the millennial reign of Christ. To do so you must believe that the 70th Week and the return of the King are purely allegorical. Being a literalist, I am confident the Church will not be around for a period of years before the "literal" return of Jesus. The 144,000 and the ensuing "seed of Israel" will do a wonderful work and an uncountable number will be saved. But even then, not every nation, kindred, tongue and people will be reached. To fulfill Matthew 24:14 where our Lord said, "And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."; He will send a multi-lingual angel to complete the task. Remember though, the Word is as a two-edged sword. The Gospel not only saves those who receive it but it also becomes a nail in the coffin of those who refuse to repent. Don't you find it interesting that not only is it a warning of unbelief but the God they are to give glory to is THE CREATOR. Think of it this way; the Church today is inundated with a mixture of evolution and creationism, which is a form of unbelief. When the hammer is about to fall and the Judge pronounces the sentence, He demands worship as Creator. Pure and unmixed, He will NEVER share His glory with another; what is our problem? P.S. God's Word via this angel will NOT return void!
The Herald of the Beginning of the End!
From Revelation 16, the 7th Bowl Judgment we know this: that all the cities of the world will fall except one: the one named in Scripture as Babylon. It has been reserved for a particular judgment alone. This judgment is described separately in great detail in chapters 17 and 18. When I address these chapters you will understand why God used a tenth of Revelation to illuminate this one act of judgment. This angel's announcement of the fall of Babylon leaves only one more event to take place on planet earth before our Savior's return as King and Almight God. That event is the third angel's message.
The Final Sentence is Pronounced Upon Mankind
The amazing thing about this judgment is that centers upon a specific, identifiable group of people who are without hope. After hearing this angel, their hopelessness will be deepened ten-fold. God is NOT bringing them a glimmer of hope but a vengeful crushing blow befit of their crimes against Him. You do NOT want to be one guilty of identifying with the Beast and his master, for their judgment is incomprehensibly UGLY. Remember there will be a world of people without the mark and that have not worshiped his image. Not all will be spared, but I believe there will be a lot of Sheep and what is even more amazing; they are without a clue until the end. Make NO mistake, God will accomplish everything He set out to do and per Daniel 4:35 "...none can stay His hand or say unto Him, what doest Thou?"
HOPE Where Hope is Needed!
A great pastor friend of mine kept a picture on his office door of an underground Church behind the old Iron Curtain holding communion in knee-deep snow. Men, women and children alike knew the penalty for being discovered but chose to be thankful to our Lord and Savior for His precious gift of salvation and the Hope of eternal life. They KNEW whom they have believed and were persuaded that He was able to keep that which they have committed unto Him against that day. Remember, we will not be here for this event but many will have suffered greatly for many years under the penalty of death. Just knowing that God is going to judge the wicked and that no one will get away with any crime against God or mankind will give the weakest of believers a courage they could not muster on their own. Our Lord knows exactly what we need to hear and know at precisely the right time in our lives. Every believer has heard preaching and teaching at one time or another that struck deep into our souls, either to convict, comfort, encourage or lift us to a greater love for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. As we see the persecution increase worldwide including America, know this: it too is only a shadow of the hatred and persecution to come during the 70th Week. The courage and faithfulness we witness in the world today will be multiplied thousands of times over, for God has reserved a special people to Himself that will stand in the face of the Dragon himself and declare Jesus as Lord!