"And I saw another angel ascend from the sun-rising, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a great 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, not the trees, till we shall have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred and forty and four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel" (Rev. 7:2-4). In the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, chapter 7, God foretells that He is going to select 144,000 Jews twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, to be His servants.

Who is a Jew?

The record is very specific that the 144,000 of Revelation, chapter 7, are Israelites, Jews. Since there is great confusion in the world today as to who are the Jews, or who is a Jew, it becomes necessary to make an investigation. In Genesis, chapter 32, it is recorded that Jacob was first called Israel by the Angel of Jehovah who wrestled with him. His original name means supplanter. After he encountered God face to face at the fords of the Jabbok, the lord conquered him, and he was given the name of Israel, which means "God has conquered" or "a prince with God." Jacob had twelve sons. From them came the "twelve tribes of Israel" as referred to in Genesis 49:28, and elsewhere in the Old Testament, (Tenach). The children of Israel multiplied into a great number in Egypt. God moved them from Egypt into the land of Canaan. There under David and Solomon they became a great nation.

Upon the death of Solomon, the children of Israel became divided over a national issue and consequently their nation was divided into two kingdoms--the kingdom of Judah in the southern part of the land Canaan and Israel in the northern section. From that time forward for 263 years these two governments were rivals. In the year 3406 A.H. (Anno Hominis) the northern kingdom was overthrown by Assyria. The kingdom of Judah stood for another 114 years. In 3539 A.H. it was completely overthrown by the Babylonians.

After the fall of the northern kingdom, the terms Judah and Israel were used synonymously to refer to the descendants of the twelve tribes of Jacob. From the days of Ahaz onward, these same people were called Jews. In the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah the terms Jews and children of Israel are used interchangeably. In the New Testament, the Brith Hachadashah, we see the same usage. Thus the terms Hebrews, Israelites and Jews refer to the same people who are now scattered all over the world. They are the ones to whom God promised the land of Canaan and the ones who will eventually get control of it by virtue of their holding the title deed.

When Do the 144,000 Appear?

The 144,000 Jews of Revelation, chapter 7, make their appearance during the first half of the Great Tribulation, "the time of Jacob's trouble." They are to be evangelists who will engage in a mighty soul saving campaign during that time. In order to see this teaching we must know the general structure and development of the book of Revelation. It falls into the following divisions: "the things which thou sawest" (chapter 1); "the things which are", the church age (chapters 2 and 3); an "the things which shall be hereafter" (chapter 4 to the close). Chapters 4 and 5 give us a vision of heaven immediately prior to the pouring out of the wrath of God upon the world during "the time of Jacob's trouble." There are three series of judgment set forth in Revelation which will fall upon the earth during the Great Tribulation. These are the seal judgments, chapter 6, which cover what is approximately the first quarter of the Tribulation period; the plagues, described in chapters 8 and 9, which will be sent during the second quarter; and the bowls of the wrath of God, chapter 16, which will be poured out upon the world during the latter half of that period of judgment. Revelation, chapter 7, is a vision coming between the seal and bowl judgments. It tells of the 144,000 Israelites, and of the spiritual activity that will be carried on during the first half of the seven years of "the time of Jacob's trouble." After having given a description of the seal judgments, John stops and gives us this bright vision of the work of God in the midst of the trials and difficulties of that time. When he finishes this discussion, he continues speaking of the judgments of God in chapters 8 and 9. We therefore know that the 144,000 will appear in the first half of the Tribulation.

A study of the seventh chapter of Revelation will reveal that the 144,000 are called servants of God and are sealed as such, so that nothing can in any wise injure them.

Results of Their Work

Immediately after the first vision of this chapter another one appears which shows the results of a great harvest of souls to the glory and praise of the God and Saviour of mankind, the Lamb of God. This vision gives credence to the thought that this ingathering of souls must be due to a mighty revival--one that sweeps around the world and brings countless multitudes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Since the vision of the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish servants of God is given, and since that vision is followed by a vision of the world's mightiest revival, and since, according to the Old Testament predictions, God is going to bless all nations through Abraham and his seed, it is evident that these 144,000 Jewish servants are to be that many Jewish "Apostle Pauls" conducting the world-wide revival in the Tribulation. The following verses of Scripture certainly tell that countless multitudes will be won to the Lord the Messiah of Israel, the Lamb of God, by the efforts of these sealed servants.

After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hand; and they cry with a great voice saying, Salvation unto our God who sittest on the throne, and unto the Lamb (Rev. 7:9,10).

... And he said to me, These are they that come out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7:14).

... For when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isa. 26:9).

God's Method of Sealing His Servants

There is an unalterable, divine principle upon which God operates in saving and sealing anyone to be His servant to preach the Gospel. An individual must first hear the truth, then believe it, and through God's sovereign grace (lovingkindness) experience regeneration. Afterward he may catch a vision of God's purpose for his life and yield his life to Him. God will then spark his zeal commensurate to his yieldedness and obedience and will use him in His plan and purposes. In other words, one must have faith in God in line with truth which will bring about regeneration in his life before he may serve the Lord according to His plan. So "Belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). These 144,000 must hear the truth before they can exercise faith and come to God and be sealed to play their role in God's great plan for the redemption of multitudes of souls.

Are the 144,000 in the World Today?

It is quite likely that the 144,000 Jews of Revelation, chapter 7, are in the world today. The reason for such and assertion is this: world conditions studied in the light of truths found in the Bible concerning the end time force anyone who believes the bible literally to see that the world is at the very brink of the end of the age. The ones who hold the truth of God now, the Church, both Jew and Gentile, will be taken out of the world before those seven years set in. On that glorious occasion the Church will drop the Gospel banner, figuratively speaking. The 144,000 Jews will pick it up and will go forth into all the world preaching the unvarnished truth of God's dealings with sinful man. Therefore according to the foregoing conclusions the Lord's coming for His Church is close at hand, even imminent. Thus any able-bodied Jewish man alive in the world today who has heard the truth through the testimony of the Church could be one of the 144,000 who will be sealed by Jehovah. The world-wide revival in the end time will come through Israel, make no mistake about that! God has spoken, and thus it will be!

The 144,000 Instrumental in Leading Jews to National Repentance

The 144,000 will also be used of God in a mighty way to lead their brethren, the Jews, to national repentance for their sin of rejecting His Anointed One, their Messiah and Saviour, Jesus of Nazareth, and for their sin of walking contrary to God. "And they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their trespass which they trespassed against me, and also that, because they walked contrary unto me, I also walked contrary unto them, and brought them into the land of their enemies: if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; then will I remember my covenant with Jacob; and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land" (Lev. 26:40-42). This national confession will bring about complete restoration of the Jewish people to their God and to their land; thereafter they will enjoy everlasting peace and prosperity as the head nation of the world. God has decreed peace and prosperity for the world, but according to His divine plan and purposes, world peace will not be realized until there is peace in Jerusalem. As long as the state of Israel is far from God, there will be no peace in Jerusalem. National repentance on the part of Israel is a divine imperative.

The Believer's Responsibility

If we who know the Lord expect to have any share or part in the aforementioned great ingathering of souls, and if we want our efforts to be expended toward a highly profitable cause, that of bringing about universal peace for the human family, we must face up to our divine responsibility and give the Word of God to Israel now. "But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation: to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (II Cor. 5:18,19).

Thousands of believers in Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, are today sharing in the world-wide seed-sowing efforts of many ministries which are endeavoring to preach the Gospel to the Jewish people and also to the Gentile nations. May the Lord direct you who have not yet had the joy and privilege of assisting in this great effort to have a part in it.

Do You Know God?

If you have not experienced the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit in your life and know not Jesus of Nazareth as your personal Saviour and Lord, whether you be Jew or Gentile, we exhort you to search the Scriptures with an open mind, with only one aim in view, to learn truth and truth alone. A very prominent contemporary scholar, a Hebrew, insists that a student of the Scriptures should be guided by the spirit of scientific investigation. And in effect, he said that one who has a scientific mind and spirit has one, and only one, objective in view, namely the discovery of truth. The true scientific investigator never searches for truth to support his theories or his own ideas. He wants truth and truth alone. He faces any new investigation with the thought that if he discovers anything that upsets of disproves his former ideas or theories he will accept truth and facts and repudiate what he formerly believed.

You who read this are challenged to search the Scriptures in this spirit and weigh our claim that we have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, who came into the world to save His people, and Gentiles also, from their sins. By Him and Him alone can you escape the terrible judgments that are coming upon the world during "the time of Jacob's trouble." This is truth. Investigate!

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