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The 144,000 – Parts 1-3

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I am always torn in these presentations between telling you what the Bible says and showing you how the Bible produces the conclusions that I share. Some people might prefer that I just tell them what the Bible says…. And this is the difference between preaching and teaching. Preaching is a form of persuasion, leading people to believe…. But teaching is a form of education…. Showing people the way to understanding. Of course, both styles of work have their place in God’s work.

 

This series on Revelation is an attempt to show you how the Bible produces the results that I share. Once you understand how the rules work, you can determine for yourself what the Bible says. And, once you understand, you are enabled to share the good news of Christ’s imminent return with others!

 

Let’s begin with Revelation 7:1.

Revelation 7:1   After this (that is, after watching the sixth seal take place) I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.

 

Revelation 7:2   Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:

 

Revelation 7:3   “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

 

Revelation 7:4   Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

 

Three Important Matters:

 

A. Text alignment

B. The timing of Revelation 7

C. The purposes for this passage 

 

Text Alignment

 

Here’s a statement that puts any discussion on Apocalyptic Prophecy in a framework for truth as opposed to opinion: Until one understands the architecture of apocalyptic prophecy and uses valid rules of interpretation, one cannot correctly reach nor understand the intended meaning of Daniel and Revelation. I have received hundreds of emails from people telling me that my views on Daniel and Revelation are in error. My response is simple. “Yes,” I could be in error, so send me your rules of interpretation, not your opinions, so I can see where my error is.”

The architecture of apocalyptic prophecy is the big secret that God sealed up in the book of Daniel until the time of the end! Notice how clever God is.

 

The books of Daniel and Revelation were written thousands of years ago. Mankind has been able to read and understand these books with a limited amount of understanding for centuries! Yet, we know the book of Daniel was sealed up! How could Daniel be “sealed up” if we can read and understand the words?

 

Even more, how can Daniel be unsealed at “the time of the end” and the words in the book of Daniel remain unchanged? What was sealed up? God hid the four rules of apocalyptic prophecy in the book of Daniel until the time of the end.

 

Notice how this works:

 

The book of Daniel contains five apocalyptic prophecies. Four of these prophecies span a period of time greater than 2,000 years! Near “the end of time” and only at the end of time is there sufficient fulfillment of these four prophecies for us to determine the architecture of apocalyptic prophecy.

 

Today, the architecture of apocalyptic prophecy can be examined and certain consistent behaviors (which are called rules) are now visible. I have stated these consistent behaviors in my words. You can state them however you want as long as your declaration is unambiguous. Rule one says: “Each apocalyptic prophecy has a beginning point and an ending point in time and the events within the prophecy occur in the order given.”

 

              Prophetic Order

 

Start                 Time-              Stop

   -----------------------------------     

   1         2          3          4          (Numbered elements like seven bowls)

or

   a         b           c          d          (Unnumbered elements like Revelation 7)

 

1.   Who has the authority to declare prophetic order and the intended prophetic meaning of prophecy if God did not impose order on the prophecies?

 

2.   If there is no chronological order in apocalyptic prophecy, then prophecy is reduced to hundreds of bits and places that expositors manipulate according to bias and cherished ideas. In other words, there can be no absolute meaning when there chronology is subject to whim.

 

Let me be perfectly clear: There is no such thing as multiple meanings or multiple fulfillments of apocalyptic prophecy. How many times can the breaking of the sixth seal occur (which is the Second Coming)? How many times can the 144,000 be sealed? How many times can the fifth trumpet occur? (Remember, the fifth trumpet has to occur after the fourth trumpet and the fifth trumpet lasts for five months.)

Well-intentioned people diminish the power, simplicity and clarity of apocalyptic prophecy when they don’t understand its architecture!

 

When people use invalid rules or external authority (church traditionalists interpret Bible prophecy, that interpretation is a private interpretation. The phrase ‘private interpretation” is used because the interpretation is based on concepts that are not subject to open investigation and unbiased approval. Private interpretation make prophecy wishy-washy… feeble…. changeable and subject to distortion and foolishness.

 

KJV 2 Peter 1:19   “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

 

2 Peter 1:20   Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of private interpretation.

 

2 Peter 1:21   For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 

 

When the textual alignment of Daniel and Revelation is correctly assembled according to valid rules of interpretation, the intended meaning appears. We discover prophetic truth and this is how apocalyptic prophecy becomes the “more sure word of prophecy.”

 

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