Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who Are The 144,000 Witnesses of Revelation?

By Helena Lehman of the
Pillar of Enoch Ministry

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When it comes to deciphering who the 12 times 12,000 Israelites who become the 144,000 Witnesses are, we need to clarify their identity and ministry by actually reading and analyzing the Scriptures concerning them in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 7 and Revelation, Chapter 14. In this article, I present the relevant Scriptures, and word studies of some of the Greek words used in these Scriptures to refer to the 144,000 who are chosen out of Israel. These serve to give a much better picture of who the 144,000 are. Praying to God for guidance from His Holy Spirit to help me understand His Word, the article that follows presents what I found out.

Upon doing this, most note that Revelation 7:4 clearly indicates that the 144,000 are taken from the Twelve Tribes of Israel. However, this does not mean that the 144,000 are strictly modern Jews. In fact, as my Language of God Series Books have exhaustively shown, the modern Jews only signify a fraction of the spiritual and literal Israelites living in today’s world, and throughout the ages. What is being ignored by most commentators on the 144,000 is the fact that there are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel to consider.

The Ten Lost Tribes consist of people groups that are partly descended from the Ten Tribes dispersed throughout the known world in several successive waves. These Diaspora Israelites can allegorically and literally be associated with over a dozen Middle-Eastern, European and British nations that absorbed three waves of fleeing Israelites and Jews. These three waves occurred successively over a long period of time: once after the ancient Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians, at another time after the southern Kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians, and still later when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

The remaining Two Tribes of Israel are represented by the majority of ethnic Jews today, who are descended mostly from the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Though there is also a remnant of Diaspora Jews living in Israel today that are descended from all Twelve Tribes, they are not part of Lost Israel, but of Judah because of their total rejection of Yahshua as their Messiah, and their hatred of the Gentiles and Gentile nations they left behind.

Though this is not true in all cases, many of the Lost Israelites of the Diaspora that live in the West have become a part of the spiritual Israelites who have been adopted into the Kingdom of God through the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross for their sins. In Romans 11:16-24, the Apostle Paul - who was a Benjamite and therefore can be identified as a Jew - taught that the Gentile believers in Yahshua are considered to be wild olive tree branches that are grafted into the natural olive tree that signifies the Israelites naturally descended from Isaac’s son Jacob/Israel. Though they do NOT replace the Jews, the Ten Lost Tribes are reckoned with believing or Messianic Jews as equal members in the Body of Christ, and the loving congregations that form the Two-House Church of Judah and Ephraim. The Two House Church of Judah and Ephraim are referred to in several Bible prophecies as working together with Yahweh God against Satan’s schemes (See Psalm 108:7-9; Isaiah 11:12-14; Ezekiel 37:15-20; and Zechariah 9:12-14).

Revelation 14:4 also tells us that the 144,000 are Firstfruits and virgins who have not “defiled” themselves with “women”. The term “Firstfruits” specifically refers to the First Resurrection, which started when Yahshua rose from the dead, bringing many righteous saints from their tombs to rise up to everlasting life shortly after Him (Matthew. 27:51-53). This Firstfruits action of resurrection into immortal life will occur again in the First Rapture, which may be in the middle of the Tribulation just before the 3-1/2 year Great Tribulation begins. Furthermore, there may be a Second Rapture when the Two Witnesses are raised up and taken to Heaven just before the Battle of Armageddon ensues. See my article “Come Up Here and Come Away” to learn more about my Two Rapture Theory.

In contrast, the Second Resurrection occurs only once, and there is no guarantee that any of these poor souls will be saved after they are judged by the Law. This Last Judgment will occur at the end of the world - just before the New Heaven and Earth are created (See Revelation 20:5 and Revelation 20:11-12).

As Firstfruits, the 144,000 are part of the Firstfruits of the Resurrection, meaning that they have to be immortal saints that have been chosen at the Rapture that occurs before the last dreadful half of the Great Tribulation. Also interesting to note here is the fact that neither Revelation Chapter 7 nor 14 calls these set-apart saints “witnesses,” so that term for them originated out of association. Indeed, since these saints follow and serve only the Lamb of God who is Yahshua and His Father Yahweh, they are very godly and Spirit-filled. From this, we can infer that they are also great witnesses of God’s righteousness, and that they truly reflect God’s character to a lost and dying world.

In addition to these things, Scripture tells us that the 144,000 are “sealed” (Rev. 7:4). Later in Revelation, we are told that this seal is on the forehead, and it is called the Seal of God (Rev. 9:4). This is reminiscent of the “tau” or cross-shaped mark that an unknown Scribe allegorically put on redeemed Jews’ foreheads just before Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 9:2-4, 11). By the way, this Scribe mentioned by Ezekiel may actually be Enoch, who is called the Scribe of Righteousness in the Book of 1 Enoch (1 Enoch 12:5, 1 Enoch 15:2).

Rather than receiving a visible mark, these 144,000 saints may simply be marked by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within them, which serves as an indelible and invisible seal on their foreheads. In fact, the seal of the Holy Spirit guarantees the salvation of all who are truly redeemed in Christ (Ephesians 1:13, Eph. 4:30). Before Christ, this invisible seal of the Spirit was still given to devout Israelites just as Ezekiel attested to, but they had to earn the right to receive it. In other words, they could not simply repent, believe and then be covered by the blood of Christ to sanctify themselves like humble believers may mercifully do today.

Next, we have to determine what the writer means by “virgin” and “women.” Rather than meaning that the 144,000 are all men who never slept with a woman, could the writer be suggesting that these saints were never loyal to any particular church, synagogue, and/or political party? For example, the “Woman clothed with the Sun” in Revelation 12:1-6 represents the righteous Jewish/Israelite bloodline that Yahshua was descended from. As an extension of that righteous bloodline, Yahshua made us into His Church and His Body by His shed innocent blood.

Meanwhile, in Revelation 17:3-6, the “Woman sitting on a Scarlet Beast” represents the apostate churches and false religions of the Tribulation period that are “married to”, or in league with corrupt bankers and dishonest politicians, and “she” worships the same Beast that they have created. This false church is described as a Harlot because of “her” association with the Roman Catholic Church, and the Ecumenical Movement being pushed by the Vatican and the British Monarchy. Sadly, Rick Warren and a host of other American preachers are now in league with Rome and London in their desire to create the New World Order, which will be the world empire of the Beast. They are also working toward creating the wicked one world religion that will ride that economic Beast into perdition for eternity.

For those who don’t know, the Ecumenical Movement supports the false religious doctrine that all paths lead to God, or that man is a god. In addition, ecumenical doctrines include the denial of the reality of sin, and do not teach a need for true repentance or divine forgiveness. Therefore, in Revelation 14:1, where it says: “virgins not defiled by women,” it could very well mean that these saints are not political or religious activists. In fact, this description strongly suggests that the 144,000 are godly saints that live quiet and pious lives apart from worldly religious organizations and political parties, and the associated riches and excesses attached to involvement in both.

If they are truly set-apart or holy, saints who love God give themselves exclusively to Him. As a result, they no longer serve the world, or any institutions that are of the world. In other words, these saints live more like hermits who are detached from the world rather than being active in church or politics, and they are definitely not social butterflies. In fact, they serve exclusively as God’s witnesses to their immediate families, friends, and acquaintances, and perhaps only reach the rest of the world through their own writings or books about their understanding of God and His desire for mankind. Incidentally, this describes my own life over the past twelve years fairly well, and someone once told me that they think I might be one of the 144,000. Though I do not claim this honor, I would be deeply humbled with gratitude if God chose me to be one of them.

There are several Scriptures that define what the nature of the 144,000 should be like. These Scriptures define the most holy or most set-apart of the saints who follow the Way of Yahweh through Yahshua. In the Epistle of John, for example, it says that those who truly love God cannot love the world, for they are mutually exclusive:
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” - 1 John 2:15-17
The same Epistle also says: 
“He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” - 1 John 2:9-11
Together, these two passages describe the nature of the 144,000. These are saints that do not love the world or the things of the world - such as wealth, fame, worldly success, and hedonism - at all, and they do not pursue mankind’s approval. Instead, they seek Yahweh God’s approval alone, and they love God the Father and their brethren around the world, especially those that claim to love Yahshua, but may not really “know” Him. Those who do not know Christ do not have a personal relationship with Him via the Holy Spirit, and are therefore unable to please God or live a truly set-apart or holy life.

Now, when translated correctly (as in the NIV Bible instead of the KJV or NKJ), Revelation14:1 says that the 144,000 have Yahshua’s name and His Father Yahweh’s name written on their foreheads (instead of just the Father’s name as in other translations). KJV and NKJ Bibles with footnotes indicate that at least two ancient manuscripts record that “His name and His Father’s name” are written on the foreheads of the 144,000 instead of only “His Father’s name”. This means that these saints have Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s True Names always in their hearts and minds, and they have put themselves into subjection to both God the Father and God the Son, and follow their righteous Laws. It also means that the 144,000 cannot be racially pure religious Jews at all because they honor Yahshua’s Name! Instead they will likely be a mixture of Spirit-filled Messianic Jews and devout Christians who may or may not keep the Jewish Feasts. Again, this is because Christians are adopted into Israel by their active relationship with God and His Son, and some are even physically descended from the Lost Israelites.

As for the purpose of the 144,000 on Earth during the Great Tribulation, it is never actually stated in Scripture, so there is an undeniable air of mystery concerning them. Nonetheless, it seems logical to assume that - due to their being chosen during the Tribulation period - these saints are meant to serve God by leading others to Christ during the Great Tribulation, which is the last 3-1/2 years of the seven-year Tribulation period. As an example of this, we need look no further than the Two Witnesses, who are called to be witnesses for God’s Truth by preaching the Gospel, performing terrifying supernatural miracles to convict the evil world of God’s power, and then by being resurrected from the dead and ascending into Heaven as the whole world watches (Rev. 11:3-12).

Incidentally, just as the Woman Clothed with the Sun in Revelation Chapter 12 that signifies the Two House Church is kept safe for 1,260 days, the Two Witnesses are also commissioned to preach for 1,260 days, which is 3-1/2 years or 42 months - the same length of time that the Beast out of the Sea, or one world government of the Antichrist, will reign over Jerusalem - according to the following Scriptures:
“But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.” - Revelation 11:2
“And he (the Beast out of the Sea) was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.” - Revelation 13:5
When taken together, these two Scriptures indicate that the Antichrist and his New World Order will only be in control of the world for the last half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, not the full seven years of the Tribulation. Since the Woman clothed with the Sun is protected in the “wilderness” or place of refuge for the same amount of time, doesn’t it make sense that the First Rapture is tied to the middle of the Tribulation, and not the beginning?

Something few have noted about the 144,000 is that they appear with Christ on Mount Zion in Revelation,Chapter 14, and this portion of the books appears to be dealing with events after the Antichrist declares himself to be God in the middle of the Tribulation. This suggests that Christ will descend to Earth at least three and a half years before the Battle of Armageddon to Rapture the Saints and choose and commission the 144,000.

The Rapture is suggested by the fact that Revelation14:3 says that these 144,000 saints appear to be taken up to Heaven just before the 3-1/2 year Great Tribulation so that they may sing a special worship song that only they can learn to sing. They sing this song before God’s magnificent throne that is surrounded by the four Cherubim or Living Creatures and the Twenty-four Elders representing twelve godly Patriarchs and the Twelve Apostles (Rev.4:2-7, Rev.14:2-3). If this is so, and Scripture says it is, then the 144,000 will be fully immortal, and incapable of being killed when they return to Earth to minister to their lost or apostate brethren during the Great Tribulation!

As shown in my 800-page book “The Language of God in History,” Zion may not only refer to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, but to the Great Pyramid at Giza, which was built on the border between Upper and Lower Egypt by the righteous Sethites who followed Yahweh prior to Noah’s Flood. This huge stone pyramid is tied to the brightest of the constellation Orion’s belt stars called “Al Nitak”, and this bright star may also signify an invisible location in the Third Heaven where Paradise is located, and where Yahshua now resides. In addition, both this star and the pyramid represent the Two-House Church of Israel, and specifically the Bride of Christ, who will one day forever reside in the New Jerusalem with Yahshua. Please see my Blog article about the Great Pyramid by clicking HERE for more details. 

Could God’s Throne be located in another dimension in the vicinity of Orion or Taurus, since Orion is a decan of Taurus? Is this the location of the heavenly Zion where the Saints will travel when the First Rapture occurs? It is possible, since scientists have long speculated that the center of the Universe may be near to the Pleiades star cluster in Taurus. In fact, that may be the reason why the brightest star in the Pleiades is named “Al Cyone”, which means “The Center”.

Could this imply that the Pleiades are tied to the center of the Universe, and the invisible location of God’s Throne room in Heaven? It is certainly possible, and it would also explain why Satan’s henchmen known as demons often disguise themselves as alien beings or “Ascended Masters” and claim to be from the region of the Pleiades. Satan loves to confuse the Saints by tainting everything good that is associated with God the Father and falsely connecting these things with evil, darkness, and deception!

When taking all of these facts into consideration, one thing is clear: the 144,000 Witnesses are a very special group of believers in God’s Kingdom, and they are given a unique position and a great purpose during the Great Tribulation that only Yahweh God understands fully at this time.

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Bible Scholar Helena Lehman is the author or four books, including “The Language of God in Prophecy,” part of a four book series that emphasizes understanding the allegorical language of God to understand both our past spiritual and temporal history and current events. Utilizing prophetic language found in the Bible, the Psalms, the Book of 1 Enoch, the Great Pyramid, and Sacred Astronomy, Helena Lehman expertly shows that we are definitely living in the End Times. The world we know is about to change in terrifying ways, and unless you know who and what to put your allegiance in, your chances of survival are slim. "The Language of God Book Series" is a road map for your survival. Get the entire series today by visiting the Pillar of Enoch Ministry Web Site at: http://pillar-of-enoch.com

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