“Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel” (Revelation 7:4).
I’ll open this post with Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Weeds. “Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. ‘As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear” (Matthew 13:36-43). During the present phase of the kingdom, no forcible separation is made; the weeds are allowed to grow alongside the wheat. However, at the Second Advent of Christ (the harvest) angels will round up all causes of sin and all evildoers and throw them into the fire (Revelation 14:14–20).
Now let’s take a trip back in time. Jeremiah 31 foretells the coming of the New Covenant. “‘This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’” (Jeremiah 31:33-34). The apostle Paul wrote about this in Romans 11 concerning Israel. Although the Church today has received the abounding blessings of the New Covenant, scripture indicates further manifestations for Israel, according to God’s promises.
Daniel 9:27 foretells of a time when the Antichrist will sign a covenant for seven years with the nation of Israel. A secret hidden in God from the foundation of the world but revealed during the New Testament period. This is the event that will set into motion a coming time of great hardship. The 144,000 sealed is discussed in Revelation 7 and then again in Revelation 14. “Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel” (Revelation 7:4). Then I find myself led to Romans 11, for I believe this is the remnant of Israel Paul foretold. But the revelation doesn’t stop there! “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9-10).
C.S. Lewis said, “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” Indeed, humanity needs a savior; Jew and Gentile alike. “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20). And even as early as Paul’s ministry, there were those who were misrepresenting the message of grace he preached: “But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, ‘If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?’ Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—‘Let us do evil that good may result’? Their condemnation is just!” (Romans 3:5-8).
Therefore, when Paul says that all Israel will be saved, he means all believing Israel; those who say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Romans 11 points toward the Second Advent of Christ; the time when the deliverer will come from Zion (Jeremiah 31:33; Isaiah 27:9). “As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” (Romans 11:28-29). Romans 11 brings to mind Romans 8, specifically, Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” As a result of Israel’s rejection, the nation was set aside and the gospel went out to the Gentiles. In this sense, Israel’s loss has been the Gentiles’ gain, and now, if that is true, then how much more will Israel’s restoration result in rich blessing for the world. Israel will become the channel of blessing to all the nations.
Fast forward now to Revelation 20 after the thousand years has ended and the judgement of Satan and his angels. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15). After which the new heaven and new earth are created and the old order passes away. “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).
I know all of this is commonly known, but God has blown my mind none the less, because it wasn’t already known by me until I was recently shown. Amen!
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