Israel in the End Times: The 144,000 Witnesses (Part 2)

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TEXT: Revelation 7:9-17

In our last message, we began looking at the origin of the 144,000 witnesses spoken of in Revelation 7. These witnesses are Jewish believers whom God will mark as His own in the midst of the Tribulation. These witnesses will refuse to submit to the antichrist, they will be persecuted, but they will persist in their mission to preach the Gospel. What will be the outcome of their task? We see this outcome starting in Revelation 7:9 — a multitude of believers before the throne of God.

Notice that this is a diverse multitude. John writes, “I beheld a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues…” This verse lets us know that even in the midst of the Tribulation period, there will be a great harvest of souls. Some believe that when the church is taken out of the world in the Rapture, the Holy Spirit will be taken out as well. However, that is not the case. The Holy Spirit will only cease to act in His restraining capacity against evil. However, the Holy Spirit will continue to convince those who will hear of the truth of the Gospel of Christ.

In his commentary on Revelation, Dr. Paige Patterson writes that, through his description, “John is making the point that this group is ethnically distinct from the Jews who are sealed in the first part of the chapter, and they are further ethnically, tribally, and linguistically diverse from one another—indicating the extent to which the gospel of Jesus Christ has permeated the entire earth.” This passage shows us that even in the middle of the darkest days on earth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will still be effective and powerful. Thank God that many will believe and be saved.

This passage also shows us that the Jews will fulfill their original purpose as God’s chosen people in the end times. The Israelites were chosen to be a nation of prophets, priests, and missionaries to the rest of the world. They were to proclaim God’s goodness — especially as it concerns the sending of the Messiah for the salvation of the world — to the Gentiles. This purpose is finally carried out during the last days when 144,000 Jews preach the saving message of God’s grace to a world desperately in need of salvation.

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