Who are these 144,000 who are to receive God's seal, and what does this mean? There have been numerous theological ideas about who this 144,000 might be, but as always, man's religion is wrong.
The problem with man's religion is that he does not understand the purpose and plan that God is working out on this earth. The refusal of religious scholars to be truthful with these verses has only helped to keep traditional Christianity in darkness.
Much of the problem with scholars is that they believe now is the time that God is desperately trying to save the world. By this and other false presumptions, they picture God as being very weak and somewhat powerless to save mankind. This is a damnable perversion of what is true. God is Almighty! In this world's theology, Satan is shown as being more powerful than God, since he is pictured as keeping most of the world away from worshiping God. This shows the depth of the blindness that theologians and Biblical scholars have because God is not at work trying to save the world at this time. As this book will show, God's awesome plan of salvation, that is to be offered to all mankind, is far beyond the grasp of scholars and theologians to understand.
Today, without exception, every theologian and scholar of the Bible is fully blind to the truths of God. This is part of the mess that God is getting ready to correct through His two end-time witnesses. God is going to make a clear distinction between what is true and what is false—who is true and who is a liar!
The truth is: God has not called or worked with very many people over the past 6,000 years. Even in the time of Jesus Christ, only a few believed the truths of God, and most certainly the scholars and religious teachers were not among them. There were thousands of Pharisees and Sadducees, but they did not believe God. They preached about God and those things contained in the writings of the law and prophets, but they did not believe what God said. The same problem exists today. Many preach about God, Jesus Christ and love, but they do not believe God.
There are some scriptures that mention two occasions when a few thousand did come out to hear Jesus Christ, but even He explained that they did not do so for the right reasons. On many occasions people stopped following Him because of what He said. John tells of such an account when Jesus spoke of the importance of the symbolism that His sacrifice would have on the fulfillment of the yearly Passover:
Then Jesus said unto them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For, my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me, and I in him. " (John 6:53-56)
Jesus explained a spiritual matter that they could not yet understand. He told them about the symbolism that the Church would later picture in the observance of the annual Passover service. This annual service, which God commands His people to partake of year by year, includes a ceremony that consists of eating a piece of unleavened bread and taking a drink of wine. This symbolism concerns the beaten body and spilled blood of Jesus Christ, whereby man can be saved. But many of those Jews who were following Him could not receive His words because, to them, it was unthinkable and against God's health laws that one should eat human flesh or drink blood. So it says, "From that time, many of his disciples went away and walked no more with him" (John 6:66).
Sadly, even today the world does not grasp the meaning of this account. Much of traditional Christianity has twisted this into an observance they call Communion. But Jesus Christ spoke of the great meaning His death would fulfill in God's purpose and revelation contained in the annual observance of Passover. Judaism and traditional Christianity refuse God's Passover. Therefore, they remain blind to God's true plan and purpose that is being worked out on this earth.
Judaism refuses to observe Passover on the day God commands, choosing rather to observe their traditional Seder, which they claim is on Passover. Traditional Christianity observes Easter and Communion, but they do not obey the keeping of the annual Passover that even the apostle Paul makes clear should be observed by the Church.
Throughout the three and one-half years of His ministry and up until the time Jesus Christ was killed by the "religious people" of His day (through the Romans), many stopped following Him. It is recorded in the first chapter of Acts, after Christ's death, that Peter addressed only 120 disciples who had remained faithful.
When the Church began on the day of Pentecost, God performed a great miracle to magnify the occasion; yet it was still
His purpose to keep this on a small scale. About three thousand people were moved to repent that day and become part of the Church. Three thousand is still small compared to all those who lived at that time. God's purpose wasn't to have millions become part of His Church at that time. Only a few thousand were called and worked with by God for the great purpose He would manifest at the return of Jesus Christ.
The Church did grow, but it did not grow in the way that most believe. It always remained very small. The Bible speaks of many occasions when people met together in homes. Homes were small and the Church was small.
Traditional Christianity has pictured the Church as growing larger through time until today, when it believes the Church has grown into the millions. This is not true! This has not been God's purpose. The Church of God has always been small—even today. And what is the reason? For 6,000 years God has been "handpicking" those who are to become part of a world ruling government at the return of Jesus Christ. God has a plan of salvation, but it is not one that the world teaches! You have exciting things yet to learn about life and death and how all people are going to be given opportunity for salvation, an opportunity that has not been given during the past 6,000 years.
So, who are those 144,000 being sealed by God? They are those who, throughout the past six millennia, God has specifically chosen to mold and fashion so that they could one day be given life again, in order to rule in His Kingdom at the return of Jesus Christ.
During the first four thousand years of human history, God worked with a very few to become part of that new government in His Kingdom. This should be easy for people to see when they read the Old Testament. Not many are mentioned as following God and being worked with by Him.
Even in the beginning, after several hundred years, Noah is mentioned as only the eighth preacher of righteousness. Over 4,000 years, not many were called by God.
When Abram and Sarai (whose names were later changed to Abraham and Sarah) were first called, no one else was being worked with by God. There were other several hundred-year periods when only a handful of people were worked with by God.
Six million people were delivered from the oppression of Pharaoh in Egypt. God worked with only a few of them in a spiritual manner, during forty years in the wilderness, for the purpose of becoming part of His future government.
It wasn't until Pentecost in 31 A.D., when the Church began, that God started to work with larger numbers of people, but the numbers were still very small in comparison to religions that called themselves "of God." Over the past 2,000 years, God has used the organized environment of His Church and His trained ministry to work with larger numbers of people. But when all is said and done, only 144,000 people, in six millennia of human history, will have received the seal of God, enabling them to become part of His government that will reign on the earth.
It will be at the return of Jesus Christ that God's Kingdom will come to rule the earth—immediately after man's self-rule has been brought to a complete and final end. The coming of His government is the focus of the beginning of the outline of prayer that Jesus Christ gave His disciples when they asked Him how to pray:
This is the manner after which you should pray: Our
Father who is in heaven, let your name be sanctified.
Your Kingdom come... (Matthew 6:9-10)
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