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Chapter 8:  

The Remnant of Israel; 144,000; and the Elijah

To gain a good understanding of End Time events one must come to the realization that even though these events may seem random and chaotic to the uninformed, in reality they will follow a very structured progression as foretold by God's Word, and be orchestrated to bring about His purposes.  God is a God of order and purpose.  Unless one understands the purpose God is accomplishing, and the outcome God will bring about, nothing else will make sense.  Remember what God says of Himself in Isaiah 46:10  "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"  and in verse 11  "...I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."


There are God ordained dynamics of His purposes that will rule and set the course for the events ahead.  An understanding of those dynamics is essential to a comprehension of the events.  These dynamics are given in God's Word as unconditional promises from God.


Dynamic # 1


The primary God ordained dynamic is voiced by God in a promise to Abraham in Genesis 22: 18  "And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice."

In Galatians 3: 16 the Apostle Paul makes clear that this instance of the word 'seed' is referring to Christ: "16. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He said not, 'And to seeds', as of many; but as of one, 'And to your seed', which is Christ."  Galatians 3: 14  "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."


It is God's intent and purpose to bring about blessing and peace to all nations of the earth!  The ultimate accomplishment of that purpose will be brought about by the Return of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God ruling the entire world at the conclusion of the end of this present age. 


God has an established order to accomplish this Divine Purpose.


Long ago God chose Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham, to be a model nation of His law and righteousness.  We read of that national charter in Exodus 19: 5-6  "Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6.  And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.  These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel."  The entire nation was to become teachers or priests and examples for the rest of the nations of the world.


Deuteronomy 4: 5-8  "Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgements, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it.  6.  Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'  7.  For what nation is there so great, who has God so near unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?  8.  And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgements so righteous as this law, which I set before you this day?"


The intended result of this is described in Isaiah 56: 1-8  "Thus says the LORD, Keep judgement, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.  2.  Blessed is the man that does this, and the son of man that lays hold on it; that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.  3.  Neither let the son of the stranger, that has joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD has utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.  4.  For thus says the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;  5.  Even unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters:  I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.  6.  Also the sons of the stranger, who join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of my covenant;  7.  Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer:  their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people8.  The LORD God which gathers the outcasts of Israel says, 'Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him."


God's intent and purpose was to establish righteousness and equity and peace in Israel by His perfect law and then, through the example of their blessing, to all nations of the world.  Though Israel has failed of this calling, God has not wavered from this intent and purpose.  God has consistantly chosen a 'firstfruit' people to be a 'holy seed' to learn and practice His law and His ways, to be an example and to learn to teach others after them.  The word Firstfruit comes from the Harvest Festivals of God and represents the very first initial sheaves harvested before the major grain harvest which picture in God's plan the first ones redeemed to eternal life in God's coming Kingdom.  Let's see these things described in God's Word.


Who Are the 144,000 of Revelation?


Much speculation has been given to the 144,000 of Revelation.  To say 'The' 144,000 may reveal a reason for some of the confusion.  Most do not realize that there are two sets of 144,000 and that they are different sets of people.  Many times in His Word, God uses numbers with different purpose according to their usage.  For instance there were 12 original patriarchs of Israel, or 12 sons of Jacob.  There were also later 12 original apostles of the Church who will judge the 12 tribes of Israel in the Kingdom of God.  (By the way, there were also 12 sons of Ishmael, by promise from God, and 12 sons of Esau.)


We will start with the latter instance given of 144,000 because it is given with the most clarity.  We find this in Rev. 14: 1-5  "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.  2.  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:  3.  And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.  4.  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.  These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes.  These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.  5.  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."


Here we find a group that is unequivocally stated to be The Firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.  They are not described as coming from any particular nationality, only that they were redeemed from among men.  The number is specific and predetermined by God!  The rest of the description makes it clear that these are the ones who are resurrected to spiritual eternal life at the first resurrection which is described in Revelation 20: 4-6  "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years5.  (But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.)  This is the first resurrection.  6.  Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."  Further description can be seen in Revelation 5: 9-10  "And they (the saints) sang a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;  10.  And have made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."


What could be clearer?  Taking this at face value shows that there will be 144,000 in the first resurrection mentioned in Rev. 20: 4-5.  This means that God has predetermined to have 144,000 positions as Kings and Priests to begin the Kingdom of God and to bring the entire earth into the peace and blessing of God's way.  Think how precious this calling is!!


These are the Firstfruits born into God's Spiritual Family.  They facilitate the Salvation of the rest of mankind.


For more information about the resurrections and the ultimate destiny of mankind the author recommends the following booklets obtainable free of any charge from the Living Church of God:

Is This the ONLY Day of Salvation?   Your Ultimate Destiny   What Happens When You Die?


The other instance of the number of 144,000 is given in Revelation 7: 1-14.  Let's notice carefully how these are described:


The timing is at the time of the 6th Seal; just prior to the Day of the Lord period of the Seven Trumpets and at the end of the 2 1/2 year Great Tribulation period.  The chart below shows this timing in relationship to end time events.







They come out of great tribulation.  verses 13-14


They have 'washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb'.  This means they repented of their sins while undergoing the Great Tribulation.


They have recognized the True Lord and turned to Him.


There are specifically 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel (excepting the tribe of Dan)


Beside the descendents of the tribes of Israel, there is a great multitude of all other peoples.


They are sealed in their foreheads.


What does it mean to be sealed in their foreheads?  Notice the parallel in Ezekiel 9: 3-6  "And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house.  And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;  4.  And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.  5.  And to the others he said in my hearing, Go after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have you pity:  6.  Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.  Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house."


Notice that those who received the mark in their foreheads were protected by God.  These people described in Revelation 7 have gone through the Great Tribulation and have repented and turned to God.  God now protects them from having to suffer His wrath during the Day of the Lord.  These are the ones that Hosea 6: 1-3 reveals that God revives "in the third day".  (This equals the third year of the three and one half years of the Great Tribulation + the Day of the Lord.  The 2 1/2 year mark of the Sixth Seal is 'in the third year'.  Note: the 'each day for a year' prophetic principle applies.)


Now why can these two groups of 144,000 not be the same?


The Rev. 14 group is clearly and specifically called 'the Firstfruits'.  The Rev. 7  group comes out of great tribulation.  Only a portion of the Firstfruits of God come out of the Great Tribulation:


Those at the end time who are protected by God from the Great Tribulation in the place of safety will not 'come out of the great tribulation'.


Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Daniel, David, the Apostles, the saints of God through the church eras will not come out of the great tribulation.  All of these certainly suffered trials and tribulations in their lives but the Great Tribulation period of Rev. 7 is described by Christ in Matthew 24: 21  "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."


The Rev. 7 group is specified as from particular tribes of Israel with great multitude of remaining peoples of the Earth that are not accounted in the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel.  The Rev. 14 group has no particular nationality given, the number is specifically 144,000 and predetermined, and there is no great multitude besides.


The Rev. 14 group is described as already possessing character, following Christ, having no guile in their mouths, and without fault.  These attributes come after a lifetime of overcoming and Christian growth.


The Rev. 7 group is only described as repented, or justified.  They have not yet built the Christian attributes of a mature overcoming Christian.  Notice:  the Lamb shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: (Future progressive).  Verse 17


Just who is this group of people described in Revelation Chapter Seven?  Can we find them described elsewhere in God's Word?  What is the significance of the timing of their sealing at the completion of the Sixth Seal in the sequence of end time events?











Has God's intent and purpose to use Israel as a Holy nation and example for all nations of the earth failed?  Any scholar of the history of Israel can see that this commission was never fully realized and Israel miserably failed of this calling.  God on the other hand keeps His Covenant!  Deuteronomy 7:  9


Let's examine this issue and gain understanding of this vital information.


God has made other unconditional promises, and even sworn by Himself that He would bring them to pass, which in this writing are described as God Ordained Dynamics which work as inexorable laws in the affairs of men because God has ordained them to do so.


A short list of a few of these God Ordained Dynamics are listed below:


Dynamic # 2


Genesis 17: 7  "And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto you, and to your seed after you."


God did establish His covenant with Abraham's descendants, the tribes of Israel.  Notice the above dynamic; "For an everlasting covenant".  That covenant described great blessings for obedience but also great curses for disobedience to the Statutes, judgements, and laws of God.  The tribes of Israel and the nations formed by their descendants have continually broken the covenant with God.  These nations will soon bear the full brunt of the curses of the covenant to bring them into repentance.  God has not forgotten His covenant, or His purpose.  He will yet bring it to pass.


Isaiah 45:19  "I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right."  


Ezekiel 20: 32-38  "And that which comes into your mind shall not be at all, that you say, 'We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone".  33.  As I live, says the LORD God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you34.  And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein you are scattered, with a mighty hand and a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.  35.  And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.  36.  Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, says the LORD God.  37.  And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:  38.  And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and you shall know that I am the LORD."


Dynamic # 3


Genesis 13: 16  "And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall your seed also be numbered."


The Diminishing of Israel


The descendants of the tribes of Israel presently number in the hundreds of millions.  The modern nation of Israel is predominantly descendants of the one tribe of Judah.  The British peoples and the Anglo Saxon peoples of the nations of the former British Commonwealth are primarily of the tribe of Ephraim.  The Caucasian people of the United States are primarily of the tribe of Manasseh.  But the number of descendants of Israel has yet to attain the numbers described in the Bible.  And God's Word describes a severe diminishing yet ahead because of our national sins against His covenant.

Jacob was the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.  His name was changed by God to Israel.  The tribes of Israel are also referred to by God as 'Jacob'.


Jeremiah 30: 7 refers to this time as the day of Jacob's Trouble.  "Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it."


Jesus Christ refers to it as Great Tribulation; Matthew 24: 21-22 "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  22.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."

Why? The Curses of the Covenant


Lev. 26: 15  "And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgements, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that you break my covenant:"


Deut. 28: 62  "... you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God."


Lev. 26: 25  "And I will bring a sword upon you, which shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant:  and when you are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy."


Lev. 26: 26  "And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and you shall eat, and not be satisfied."


Ezek. 5: 12  "A third part of you shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of you: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about you; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them."


Deut. 28: 68  "And the LORD shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spoke unto you, 'You shall see it no more again'; and there you shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you."

Lev. 26: 27  "And if you will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;"


Lev. 26: 28  "Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins."


Lev. 26: 29  "And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall you eat."


Lev. 26: 36  "And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursues."


Lev. 26: 37  "And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursues: and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies."


Lev. 26: 38  "And you shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up."


Lev. 26: 39  "And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them."


Amos 5: 3  "For thus says the LORD God;  The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel."





Repentance of 144,000


But what about God's promise to increase Israel as the stars of heaven for number?  What about His purpose that Israel become a model nation for the blessing of all nations?  God will yet bring that about.  That is a God Ordained Dynamic and a driving force and purpose of God in allowing the events of the end time!  God will allow these events to bring Israel to repentance and obedience to His Covenant so it can finally accomplish the national commission and bring about blessing to all other nations.  Let's examine God's Word!  Even before He brought them into the land of Canaan, God prophesied of their disobedience and finally their repentance when they are 'in tribulation in the latter days'.


Deuteronomy 4: 25-31  "When you shall beget children, and children's children, and you shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD your God, to provoke him to anger:  26.  I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto you go over Jordan to possess it;  you shall not prolong your days upon it but shall utterly be destroyed.  27.  And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you.  28.  And there you shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.  


29. But if from there you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.  30.  When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the LORD your God, and shall be obedient unto his voice;  31.  (For the LORD your God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore unto them." 


The repentance of the 144,000 of Israel described in Revelation 7 is the direct fulfillment of this prophecy!


Lev. 26: 44  "And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God."


Lev. 26: 45  "But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD."

The Purpose and Fruit of the Great Tribulation


[Revelation 7] gives understanding of why God allows the Great Tribulation and the fruit that is borne of it.  God does not punish just to be mean; He punishes to produce repentanceRevelation 7 tells us what the positive result will be.  What effect is God seeking by allowing the Great Tribulation?   The greatest effects voiced in God’s Word are: Recognition of the Lord i.e., “and you shall know that I am the Lord”; and repentance.  These two things are the elements necessary in the world to set the stage for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.


The Elijah Work


The modern day descendants of the Tribes of Israel are almost entirely ignorant of their heritage and ancestry.  They lack knowledge of the True God; know nothing of His plan for mankind; have no understanding of His Holy Days; are taught to ignore His law by their teachers; have lost real values to distinguish between good and evil; and are taught to sanction evil and abominable practices as good in the name of equality and tolerance.  By what means will they be brought to repentance?  Nations have suffered wars and famines and even genocide and those sufferings did not lead them to repentance.  What will be different with Israel during the Great Tribulation?


The author here advises the reader to review Chapter 7 of this work, Elijah; The False Prophet; and the Beast.  Remember the prophecy God gives in the closing verses of the Old Testament?


Malachi 4: 4-6  "Remember you the Law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.  5.  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6.  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."


This prophecy is of such importance that God inspired that unless it is fulfilled He would smite the earth with a 'curse'.  The word 'curse' is translated from the Hebrew word 'cherem' and means Utter Destruction.  Why is this so important to God?  It is an Ordained Dynamic of God that Israel be a model nation by which all nations on earth shall be blessed.  God has sworn by Himself that He will bring this about.  This Elijah commission is to prepare a repentant 'holy seed' of people for that purpose and the beginning reestablishment of Israel at Christ's return.


Dynamic # 4


Genesis 28: 14  "And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in you and in your seed shall all families of the earth be blessed."


As was shown in Chapter 7; by comparison of the Original Elijah's commission and work, and John the Baptist's commission and work, and Christ's statement in Matt. 17: 11 that a final Elijah "truly shall come" we come to a clearer understanding of the commission of this final Elijah: Luke 1: 16  "And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God17.  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."


See also Luke 1: 77  "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins."


When does the Bible indicate that this work of the final Elijah will be accomplished?  Malachi 4: 5 tells us "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:"  The events that comprise 'the great and dreadful day of the LORD' begin with the Seventh Seal and are those of the Seven Trumpet blasts.  The timing 'before' that includes the Great Tribulation period of two and a half years.  This is the same time as Jacob's trouble to bring the people of Israel to the recognition of the True God and repentance.  So there is consistency of purpose in God allowing the time of Jacob's trouble and the commission of the Elijah to prepare a repentant Holy seed of Israel, and the timing of both are the same.


God's Word indicates that this work of the final Elijah will occur mostly during the time of the Great Tribulation and among the peoples suffering those events.  Some have thought the collective Church of God at this pre-tribulation period is doing this Elijah work.  God's word indicates an actual individual.  Certainly the Church is laying the groundwork for such, but the fervent Philadelphian branch will be in the Place of Safety provided by God during the Great Tribulation.  The Laodicean branch that is not taken to the Place of Safety will be unwillingly undergoing a very necessary work of martyrdom.  Apparently the remnant of the Thyatira branch will accomplish their "last works" which are greater than their first, but indications do not seem to point to them for this Elijah work, though they may provide support.


One other thing to note:  Several have claimed this end time commission of Elijah.  Most are motivated by a sense of importance, or authority, or the accolades of men.  Such may be extremely distressed to find that the work is done in the midst of the Great Tribulation, will not garner the accolades of men until the commission is about done and in fact will be despised by most until completion, and if they don't happen to be God's choice there is absolutely no chance of success or even survival.


What evidence does God's Word give us of these things?  Does God's Word elsewhere speak of an individual with the commission to gather Israel to God?


Isaiah 49: 1-12  "Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, you people, from far; The LORD has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has he made mention of my name." (Notice that an individual is introduced here.  John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Elijah commission was called and named by God 'from the womb'.)

2.  "And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand has he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver has he hid me;

3.  And said unto me, You are my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified."

4.  "Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing, and in vain: yet surely my judgement is with the LORD, and my work with my God."

(The original prophet Elijah, became discouraged when threatened by Jezebel and fled into the wilderness where God consoled him.  John the Baptist questioned whether Jesus really was the Christ while in Herod's prison.  Both were disillusioned by the results of their work.  It seems the final Elijah will also combat these feelings that the work he is doing doesn't seem to be effective.  This also shows that these verses are not speaking of Christ.  Christ never had doubts about His work.)

5.  "And now, says the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength."

(Notice that this individual's commission is to bring Jacob again to God.)

6.  "And he said, 'It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation unto the end of the earth."

(This is what God says He will accomplish through this individual's work! Compare with Rev. 7)

7.  "Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhor, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose you."

(Notice that this commission will not be pleasant at first and this individual is despised by man, abhorred by the nation (of Israel) and in servitude to rulers (captivity?)  God promises to elevate his standing among men.  This will probably not occur until the end of his commission.)

8.  'Thus says the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;"

(God gives reassurances of help and preservation to this individual.  No man could succeed or survive except God was doing the work.)

9.  "That you may say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.  They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places."

(This is the beginning release of the captives shortly after time of sealing of 144,000)


10.  "They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that has mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them."


Compare this verse with Revelation 7: 16-17 "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.  17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."

(These verses are obviously describing the same events.  God gives promises of sustanance and protection for this exodus from captivity that starts just before the Seventh Seal.  Other verses that strongly tie to these two are Psalm 121:5-7 "The Lord is your keeper: the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  6. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.  7. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil: he shall preserve your soul"  The tie to these verses will be explained further in this chapter.)


Are not these settings of Isaiah 49 identical to those of Revelation 7?  In Rev. 7 twelve thousand of each tribe (excepting the tribe of Dan) are sealed for protection along with a great multitude of people from all other nations.  They come out of Great Tribulation.  In Isaiah 49 the tribes of Jacob are restored and released from captivity along with those of the Gentiles who respond.  God provides their food and water and leads them.  This is vital considering this migration will be during the events of the Day of the Lord.


Isaiah 49: 11  "And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted."

12.  "Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and the west; and these from the land of Sinim."


But how are we to understand the activities around the throne of God as shown in Revelation 7: 9-12?

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  10.  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders, and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,  12.  Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever.  Amen."


Notice that one of the elders spoke to John about these people.  Rev. 7: 13-15  "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes?  And whence came they?  14.  And I said unto him, Sir, you know.  And he said to me, 'These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  15.  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them."


You might notice that the description of who these people are, what actions they do, and the resulting positions they serve in, constitute a process of events over a time period.  It does not describe a single concurrent set of events at one specific time.  We are given the initiation of the fulfillment as the coming out of Great Tribulation.  This means these people are alive and go through the Great Tribulation so it limits them to that generation.  The completion of the fulfillment is described in Rev. 21: 3-4  "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  4.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."  Between the beginning of the fulfillment and the conclusion of the fulfillment is the millennial period of Christ's reign on this earth.  As these people are saved out of the Great Tribulation and join with the 144,000 of Israel and are protected from the events of the Day of the Lord, they will also have repented, and will learn God's ways and serve Him.  This 'holy seed' of repentant gentiles who turn to God at this time will undoubtedly serve at Christ's throne such as representative ambassadors of their nations.


Now why does Revelation 7 only indicate 144,000 of the tribes of Israel will be sealed for protection?  Scripture indicates the surviving Remnant of Israel after all the events of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord will be 10% of the number at the start of these events.  If the present descendants of the tribes of Israel number in the hundreds of millions, shouldn't there be tens of millions in the surviving remnant?  The answer is yes but not all will come to repentance even after the terrible events of the Great Tribulation period and so will also endure the events of the Day of the Lord.  The 144,000 are the ones who come to repentance and are spared the events of the Day of the Lord.  The very fact that it will be 12,000 from each tribe shows it is by God's calling and not by the Elijah's effectiveness that they repent.  Man can plant the seed of information, and water with works, but it is God who determines the increase.





The Day of the Lord Exodus


The Bible indicates that this initial group of repentant individuals will migrate back (or rather be led back) to the land of Israel even during the Day of the Lord period.  The remaining Remnant will be brought back after the return of Christ.  Let's examine the scriptures.


To establish vision necessary to understand these things lets first review part of the events of the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty as was laid out in Chapter 5: Armageddon; and the 10 Kings.  If you have not read that chapter yet, the author advises you to do so to gain the necessary background.


In Chapter 5 it was shown that the events of the Battle of That Great Day of God Almighty correspond to the events given in Ezekiel 38 and 39.  There are several important bits of information given that relate to this current chapter's subject of the return and reestablishment of a Holy Seed remnant of Israel prior to the events of the Day of the Battle.


Ezekiel 38: 8-12  "After many days you shall be visited: in the latter years you shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them9.  You shall ascend and come like a storm, you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your bands, and many people with you.  10.  Thus says the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into your mind, and you shall think an evil thought:  11.  And you shall say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates12.  To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn your hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land."


That is an amazing description of these people in the midst of the land of Israel at the timing of the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty after the events of the Seven Trumpets and the first six vial plagues!  These verses clearly show a remnant of Israel that is "brought forth out of the nations" and established in the land prior to the battle and in fact supply the impetus for these armies to gather.  Notice in verse 12 the objective of these armies, "To take a spoil, and to take a prey'.  What type of spoil will they be seeking?  After the events of the Trumpet Plagues and then the first six of the Vial Plagues, food will be in extreme short supply.  These armies will be coming because this remnant of Israel has food.


(For those who assume that this instance of 'Gog and Magog' happens after the millennial period, you are advised to read chapter 5: Armageddon and the 10 Kings and especially the section The Duality of Prophesies of Gog and Magog.)  A second idea that has been proposed is that this instance of Gog and Magog is a few years into the millennial period after Israel has reinhabited the land and the blessings are being poured out.  Consider Ezek. 38: 19-20  "For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20.  So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beast of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the face of the earth, and all men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground."  Would Christ destroy all the rebuilding that had taken place in Israel under His rule up to this point?


So to get perspective, consider:  God seals 144,000 of Israel at the end of the Sixth Seal and just prior to the Trumpet Plagues.   They come out of Great Tribulation, and are protected from the Day of the Lord.  This by no means is equal in numbers to the 10% remnant that God's Word indicates will remain after the conclusion of all these events.  They are brought forth out of the nations and are already dwelling safely in Israel by the time of the Day of the Battle.  They have also acquired cattle and goods.  Can we see details of such events elsewhere in God's Word?


Isaiah 6: 13 Describes the remnant of Israel: "But yet in it (the people of Israel) shall be a tenth, and it shall return (to the land of Israel), and shall be eaten:  As a teil tree, (a deciduous tree) and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof."  The 10 % is even yet described as being consumed, however the holy seed is described as being the life substance of Israel.




The Template of the Psalms of Degrees


The 15 Psalms including Psalm 120 through Psalm 134 all have a special title (which is also part of the original inspired Word of God) which is translated as Psalms of Degrees, or Psalms of Ascent.


The word translated as 'Degrees' is variously translated using 15 different English words throughout the Old Testament.  They are as follows: ascent [Numbers 34: 4], degrees [II Kings 20: 9], steps [Ex. 20:26], stairs [Neh. 3:15], high [I Chron. 17: 17], hill [I Sam. 9: 11], stories [Amos 9:6], go [Ezra 7: 9], goeth [Josh. 10: 10], going [Jer. 48: 5], mounting [Isaiah 15: 5], cliff [II Chron. 20: 16], cheifest [II Chron. 32: 33], come [Ez. 11: 5], before [Judges 8: 13].  Due to its use in these 15 Psalms it is translated most often (23 times) as degrees.  It is translated as steps 11 times, and stairs six times.


There are various Jewish Traditions regarding these Psalms.


One tradition is that these psalms represent the yearly pilgrimage to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, beginning with the Feast of Trumpets (Psalm 120) and completing with standing in the Temple on opening night of the Feast of Tabernacles (Psalm 134).  It is hard to apply the actual Psalms contents to the pilgrimage to the Feast.


Other traditions say that each Psalm was sung on its sequential day during the same period.


There were 15 semicircular steps in the Temple ascending to the men's court.  They were named the steps of ascent and were recognized as typifying these 15 Psalms.


Another tradition states the Priests would recite each sequential Psalm on its corresponding step and corresponding day during this period.


What understanding we may get from these Jewish traditions is that these Psalms were associated with this time period of the Fall Feastivals and the return to Jerusalem.  There doesn't seem to be much consensus besides this as to what the purpose of the Psalms is.


The Inspired title 'degrees, or ascent, or steps' implies that these Psalms are in sequential order and associated as one group.  The titles do not make any sense if each psalm is taken individually without this association.


If we overlay these Psalms on the template of the understanding of meaning of these Holy Days we begin to see that they make a sequenced prophetic template concerning the Remnant of Israel that mirrors the meaning of the Holy Days, progressing  from captivity with no hope, to the peaceful worship of God in His temple.


These Psalms do not bring out a great amount of specific physical detail but seem rather to concentrate on the mental and spiritual condition of the tribes of Israel as they are brought out of captivity and come to full repentance and trust in God.


Psalm 120:  Portrays distress, captivity, war, crying to the Lord for help from a foreign land, and a sighing and crying  for the evils around them.


Psalm 121:  Portrays a resolution to turn to the Lord, and hope in His protection.  Compare Revelation 7:16, Isaiah 49:10 and verses 5-7 as explained above. 


Notice the time setting given in verse 8: "from this time forth even forevermore".  This can only be associated with the time of the sealing and return of the 144,000 remnant at the end time.


Psalm 122:  Portrays the vision (still future tense) of the setting up of Christ's kingdom instilled in them (by the Elijah?).


Psalm 123:  Portrays the cry for mercy and relief from the contempt the world has for the captivity of Israel.  This remnant is still in desperation but seeking God.


Psalm 124:  The escape of the remnant by the help of God.


Psalm 125:  Portrays a separation between those who trust God and the wicked.  (see Ezekiel 20: 35-38)  Notice also once again the promise that the Lord is about his people, 'from henceforth even forever.'  This can only begin at one specific time.


Psalm 126:  The captives arrive and begin planting with great trepidation but reap abundantly with joy.  Their faith is still very tenuous.


Psalm 127:  Instruction is given to acknowledge God in the rebuilding of their lives, to do it God's way which leads to a blessing of children and families.  Notice that houses are being built, and families are replenishing.  This is the time of unwalled villages [Ezek. 38: 10-12].  They are instructed to rely on God for protection.  Walls or guards will not protect.


Psalm 128:  An admonishing to Fear God.  Perhaps the returned Israel is starting to slightly take the blessing for granted.  If overlaid with the events of the bowl plagues, this would represent the timing of the gathering armies at Armageddon; thus requiring total deliverance by God.  Notice the promise that they shall see (future tense) peace upon Israel.


Psalm 129:  Corresponds with the Psalm recited on the Day of Atonement.  Portrays the Battle of That Great Day of God Almighty.


Psalm 130:  The final repentance of this remnant of Israel after seeing God's deliverance on the Day of the Battle.  Notice Verse 8 "And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."  Compare with Lev. 16: 30  "For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord."  And Ezekiel 36: 33  "Thus says the LORD God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be built."

This repentance at this same timing is spoken of in Zechariah 12:10 "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."


Psalm 131:  In full humility at understanding of God's forgiveness.  Israel now hopes in the Lord "from this time forth even forevermore".  (See Ezek. 39: 22  "So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.")  Notice in Exekiel 39 this occurs immediately after the saving of Israel from the Battle.


Psalm 132:  Fulfillment of promises between the Lord and David.  The government positions are fully set in place.  (Isaiah 1: 26-27)


Psalm 133:  Finally unity and brotherhood prevails.  (Isaiah 32: 17-18)


Psalm 134:  Worship in the temple on opening night of the Feast of Tabernacles.


As the titles of this group of Psalms (which are part of the inspired text) indicate steps or degrees, these Psalms are understood to describe sequential events.  They also mirror the days of the seventh month Holy Day season as those from the Day of Trumpets (Psalm 120) to the Day of Atonement (Psalm 129) to the opening night of the Feast of Tabernacles (Psalm 134).  These Feasts of God have very significant meaning for the time of the end of this age.  More will be given on the Template of the Holy Days in a future chapter.  It is important to know, however, that these Psalms mirror the same events.


Immediate things that stand out is the planting and harvest, the beginning of reconstruction and beginning of re-establishment of families prior to the corresponding Day of Atonement Psalm (129) which also indicates these events before the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty just as the events of Ezek. 38-39 do the same.


The Second Time


Other scriptures indicate a further gathering of the remaining Remnant of Israel after these events and the return of Christ.


Isaiah 11: 10-12  "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."  (Christ at His return)  11.  "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  12.  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."  Take note of the obvious redundancy:  'again', 'the second time', to recover 'the remnant' (not the original) of His people, 'which shall be left' (from the first recovering of the remnant)'.  God's Word does not do this except to drive home a point.


Isaiah 27: 12  "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall thresh from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and you shall be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel"  The 'channel of the river' refers to the Euphrates river, and the stream of Egypt is the Nile.  This is the area that God designated as the inheritance of Israel and will be the borders of Israel at the beginning of the reign of Christ.  Christ will secure these borders as the holy nation of Israel and will deal with all other nations from there.


Isaiah 27: 13  "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, (The trumpet proclaiming the Jubilee) and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem."  See [Leviticus 25:9] "Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.  10. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and you shall return every man unto his possession, and you shall return every man unto his family."


Jer. 23: 3  "And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase."


God ordained Dynamic # 5


Isaiah 54: 7  "For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you.  8.  In a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the LORD your Redeemer.  9.  For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with you, nor rebuke you.  10.  For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace  be removed, says the LORD that has mercy on you."


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