Welcome to Thus Say the Prophets! The Revelation of Navi Y'shua
By John of AllFaith © 9.16.09 (last update: 10.24.2012)
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We pray to HaShem, the Holy One of Israel, to fill our hearts with wisdom and understanding as we continue this study into the Revelation of our chief rabbi, Navi Y'shua.Revelation 7:4 I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every house of the children of Israel:
The Twelve Houses of Israel
Avraham Avinu ("our father Abraham") pleased Elohiym (God). Because of this God revealed His Echad (singular) Nature to him and Avraham realized that God is utterly One and Indivisible. This realization remains a hallmark of Jewish understanding.
This realization was revolutionary as most people of the day were polytheists or panentheists: They believed that one had to approach the correct member of a generally competing pantheon in order to appease wrathful gods. These co-ruling gods were often referred to as ba'als or "masters" in the Middle East (further east they were often called devas or "demigods").
Through and because of this revelation into His Nature the One True God blessed Avraham and established His Eternal Covenant with he, his physical and spiritual descendents through his wife Sarah.
The Root of the Tree: Israel and the Nations
The Twelve Houses (or Tribes) of Israel are the people of this Avrahamic Covenant. At first they were all Semitic descendents of Avraham and Sarah however as time passed many ger (people from other nations) converted into People Israel. This has been the case throughout Jewish history. The 144,000 who will be sealed at this point in our prophetic time line are members of this Avrahamic Covenant living during the Seven Year Tribulation Period. The "Great Multitude" (see below) are people of the nations who will join with People Israel in standing for HaShem at this time. A basic understanding of the history of these people and their role in the ongoing revelation of HaShem will be useful to understanding this chapter.
When Avraham Avinu and his wife Sarah were well beyond the age of having children HaShem performed a miracle and Sarah gave birth to a son named Yitz'chak (Isaac). Yitz'chak pleased God as well and HaShem blessed him. This blessing was given because of Yitz'chak's faith and obedience to HaShem and also by virtue of that of Avraham Avinu. This set a divine precedent of HaShem blessing the children of His servants.
Then in time Ya'akov (Jacob) was born to Yitz'chak and his wife Rebecca. Ya'akov also pleased Elohiym and he was blessed with a new name: Y'srael (Israel).
Ya'akov/Y'srael fathered twelve sons and a daughter (named Dinah, the daughter of Ya'akov and Leah). Ya'akov pleased HaShem and through he and sons were born People Israel, his namesake. Because he and his fathers Yitz'chak and Avraham pleased HaShem, Ya'akov/Y'srael is in the Covenant as are all of his descendents throughout time into eternity ("For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:29). Judaism is more than a religion. It is a covenential binding between HaShem and the members of the Covenant. This is why merely believing what Jews believe and doing what they do does not make one Jewish. To enter the Covenant one must be "grafted in," adopted or converted into People Israel. All Jews throughout history have been born into or converted into the Avrahamic Covenant by virtue of the Patriarchs (Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov). These three fathers are therefore known as the Root of the Tree of Israel as Rav Paul discusses in Romans 11.
The Twelve Houses of Israel
HaShem has blessed the twelve sons of Y'srael and their descendents in every way. In time He granted them a wondrous kingdom under Melekh David and Solomon that was the envy of the world (as evidenced with the visit from the Queen of Sheba, I Kings 10).
After Melekh Solomon however dissention arose among the Israelites and the twelve houses divided into two nations, one Northern (Israel) and the other Southern (Judah) with its capital Holy Jerusalem. This division did not please HaShem. Then in the Hebrew year 3038 HH (722 BCE) the ten houses (or tribes) of the northern kingdom displeased HaShem so much that He allowed the Assyrians (under king Sargon II) to take them captive, never to be heard of again -- UNTIL the End of Days. These are the mysterious "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel."
As Moshiach arises "the Ten Lost Houses" (collectively known as Ephraim) will be restored. Regarding these ten houses of Israel and their fall we read:II Kings 17:18 "Therefore Adonai was very angry with Israel [i.e. Ephraim, the "Ten Lost Houses"], and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the house of Judah [i.e. the houses of Judah and Benyamin] only."
Judah and Benyamin were not perfect before Adonai either however and so circa 606-598 BCE under the three month reign of Melekh Y'hoyakim the Jews were allowed to be taken captive into Babylon. As the prophets had foretold, seventy years later HaShem restored the House of Judah (i.e. Yehuda and Benjamin) to Eretz Israel under the reign of the Persian King Cyrus the Great.
Prophet Zechariah tells us that in the end times the Ten Lost Houses of Israel will emerge from the nations and be restored:Zechariah 8:23 ADONAI-Tzva'ot says, 'When that time comes, ten men (i.e. the ten lost houses) will take hold - speaking all the languages of the nations - will grab hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, "We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you."
As Meshiykhiyyim (authentic Messianic Jews) we see the fulfillment of this and similar important prophecies in these verses of Navi Y'shua's Revelation to Rav John. You may note the slight variance in the names of the houses. We wont go into this here however there were alterations made in part due to the half tribe of Manasseh (Numbers 34:13) and other considerations as I discuss Here. These variations are not errors in the text.
As we discussed previously, as Cohen Gadol Y'shua is called before HaShem and ordered to open the Seven Scrolls (Revelation 5:1-5) he will be answering the summons to serve HaShem as Melekh (King) of Israel. At that point he will take up the mantle of ruler (as Moshiach) and call forth his armies. This will include innumerable celestial denizens as well as select human beings. The human army of Moshiach will consist of two distinct groups:
- 144,000 Israelites: 12,000 out of each of the then restored by Moshiach Houses of Israel.
- A Great Multitude of non-Jews: taken from all nations, races and ethnic groups.
Referring to the 144,000 Israelites our text continues:Revelation 7:5 of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand [recall that the other houses will rally around Judah according to Zechariah],
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand,
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,
7:6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand,
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand,
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,
7:7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand,
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand,
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,
7:8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand,
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand,
of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
Where are the Ten Lost Houses Today?
Its somewhat interesting to note that both Judah and Benjamin remained after the others were "divorced" by HaShem and that this list begins with Judah and ends with Benyamin. There is an ancient debate concerning the historic (and present) identity of the Ten Lost Houses and from whence they will be restored.
A couple of examples of the unbiblical teachings concerning this will suffice: the Jehovah's Witnesses teach that this is a select group of righteous Jehovah's Witnesses (composed of Jews and Gentiles) gathered from across time and anointed as heavenly rulers over the earth who will oversee the new earth government once the Jehovah's Witness lead global kingdom is established. The Seventh Day Adventists are even further off the mark with their belief that the number might or might not be meant literal, but that in either case the "Israel" mentioned in the prophecies is a "spiritual Israel," not the Israel of the Torah! Their prophet Ms. White taught that God has given the Jewish people over to Satan to be his minions (stated in The Great Controversy in chapter 16). Based on this Torah-denying notion they teach that the hundred and forty four thousand will all be Christians (mostly Adventists) alive during this time period, even though the text specifically states they will be Israelites from the twelve houses!
Despite such opinions and those of the so-called Two-House Theorists, I am convinced by Scripture that we have an indication as to their historic whereabouts in these verses. Most of them will probably emerge from within the people we know today as Jews. Their individual tribal identities have been "lost" but its quite possible they've been with us all the time, scattered by the Diaspora throughout the world within the greater Jewish community. Theories that the Ten Houses are actually the Native Americans like the Cherokee People, Anglo-Saxons and so on are without scriptural support. Time will tell, but in any case, we know that Moshiach will identify them when the time is right. He will identify these people and they will be sealed by Melekh Y'shua for their service to HaShem and all of humanity (Genesis 12:3).
The "sealing" that will occur at this point is the royal anointing of the troops performed by Melekh Y'shua of Yerushalayim (King Y'shua of Jerusalem)!
Important Point: Those who teach that Jews must convert to Christianity and "accept Jesus" in order to be "saved" are missing a vital point here. These Jews will not be "accepting Jesus" nor will they be converting into anything! They are already of the Root of the Tree. They will be opposing the Rex Mundi and standing firmly as Jews as they embrace the Jewish Moshiach, the King of Israel, as he directs them. Their loyalty will be and will remain with HaShem alone, for only He is God, only He is Savior:II Samuel 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
By this point in the Tribulation Period the Church will have already been "vomited out" of HaShem's Presence as we've discussed (Revelation 3:14-19). This will NOT be the conversion of the Jewish people to Christianity as many Christians suppose. Rather most Christians, like most people from all other religions, will be embracing the Rex Mundi as Savior or moving quickly in that direction at this point. Christianity will be no more.
Through dreams and visions (Joel 2:28) and by understanding revealed by the Ruach of HaShem through the Word (II Timothy 3:16) these 144,000 Jews will determine the identity of the true Moshiach and they will serve him as elite soldiers obey a general. Precisely how they will be employed by Melekh Y'shua remains to be seen.
As we noted previously, Melekh Y'shua will be called before the Merkabah or Throne of HaShem (compare Ezekiel 1:4-26) and ordered to prepare His armies for battle (Revelation 5:5,9,10). Now as General of those armies Y'shua will anoint and ready his troops for battle. This is the meaning of this sealing. As the motto of Mosad states, Melekh Y'shua will lead the armies of God as HaShem directs him (John 5:30):"For by wise guidance you can wage your war" (Proverbs 24:6)
The 144,000 Israelites
One common area of debate among students of prophecy is the identity of these hundred and forty four thousand people who stand with Melekh Y'shua during the Tribulation Period. The text identifies them with absolute clarity, nonetheless countless teachers and even entire Christian denominations prefer to manufacture scripturally baseless misdirections rather than acknowledge the ongoing role of the Jewish people as presented in the Bible.
As the Bible plainly says, there will be 144,000 Israelites, 12,000 from each house and they will all be submitted to the spiritual authority of House of Yehuda (Judah: the Jews). Again, this is revealed at Zechariah chapter 8 verse 23:KJV: "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men [i.e. the Ten Houses] shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you."
The Lion of the House Judah
These will be the 144,000 Israelites who will stand. Eventually the Ten Lost Houses will be re-established and they will submit to the House of Judah, the Lion (Genesis 49:9) as the Head Lion of the House arises.Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.And then as they proclaim "the Gospel of the Kingdom" (not to be confused with the Gospel of Grace: Matthew 24:14) Israel will finally be elevated to the position intended by HaShem since the beginning and the people of the earth will be freed at last!
Truth is always consistent. If ones doctrines are contradictory something is amiss with ones understandings. This is a case in point. Because of the Nicolaitan heresy (discussed in chapters two and three) and their rejection of the Jewish people as the Elect of HaShem, such clear verses must be "spiritualized" by those who cling to the "Replacement Theology" heresies.
A very large percentage of Christians actually believe that HaShem has abandoned His people (although He said He never would)! This being the case, they reason, HaShem would not now be calling 144,000 Jews to do His bidding! And yet not only do these verses directly identify this group as Jews (with the restored Twelve Houses of Israel directly listed, the next verses make it abundantly clear that there will also be Gentiles in a separate but related calling. This settles the matter that these are/will be literally Jewish people, 12,000 from each tribe as the text says.
The Great Multitude of Goyim
Let's continue now and read about their Gentile co-workers:7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
7:10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
The hundred and forty four thousand Israelites, along with this great multitude of Gentiles are the people we saw in chapter six standing before the Throne of HaShem in the "Sea of Glass" asking how long they will have to wait before their deaths will be avenged (Revelation 6:11). They hail from all parts of the world, from all cultures and languages and ethnic groups. What they all have in common is that they have been inducted into the armies of Moshiach in the service of HaShem and care nothing for their own lives and fortunes. These are the faithful martyrs, some of whom will survive the seven years but most of whom will not. They declare the praises of HaShem and are utterly committed to Shiloh, His Chief Commander and our coming King. The presence of these Goyim declares the Jewishness of the 144,000. The text makes no sense otherwise.
Just as the Israelites stood before HaShem at Mount Sinai receiving His Torah and pledging their fidelity to Him, so too these throngs will now stand as one and receive their holy commission as they are sealed. As we saw in verse four above, Melekh Y'shua will seal them in the Name of HaShem even as the Israelites were sealed at Mount Sinai through Moshe Avinu.
The word "seal" here is sphragizo in the Greek text and means to set aside as special, to protect and also indicates proof of ownership by the one in whose name the seal is set. These people, both Israelites (the 144,000) and Gentiles (the Great Multitude), will enter into a special covenant with HaShem. They will obey His Word in service to Melekh Y'shua wherever that service might lead them. Even to their deaths.Revelation 7:11 All the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before his throne, and worshiped God,
7:12 saying, "Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
To HaShem alone be the Glory and the Praise and the Thanksgiving throughout all eternity!Revelation 7:13 One of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?"
7:14 I told him, "My lord, you know."
He said to me, "These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb's blood.
7:15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, they serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them.
7:16 They will never be hungry, neither thirsty any more; neither will the sun beat on them, nor any heat
7:17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shepherds them, and leads them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Note that Navi John is told that they washed their own robes, making them white in the Lamb's blood. In other words, like Rebbe Y'shua they are willing martyrs and can truly say:John 10:17 Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 10:18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself...."
Continue with Chapter Eight of the Revelation of Navi Y'shua
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