Jesus Messieh Fellowship
Light To The Nations
Pastor G. Reckart
Copyright 1994 All Rights Reserved
Let me state from the beginning that I totally reject any theory that the number 144,000 is symbolic of completeness of the New Testament Church. The 144,000 are found in Revelation chapters 7 and 14. In chapter 7 we learn there are 12,000 from 12 tribes. Why Dan is missing and Manasses is in his place we do not know. It could have been a scribe error and just copied then afterward from manuscript to manuscript.
The 144,000 are Jews of course if they are of the 12 tribes. But they are also in the Church, the Israel of God. Anything that has the 12 tribes is the Israel of God.
These 144,000 are sealed in their foreheads. This does not mean they have a stamp like the mark of the beast. "in their foreheads" is different than "on" their foreheads. I take this seal to be in their mind, a part of their faith, a vital part of why they are even chosen in the number of the 144,000. This seal activates the fact that they are then called servants. All servants in ancient days wore some seal of their master. Some servants who wanted to stay with their masters had their ears pierced with an awl and the sign of a hole in one's ear was a sign of a servant for life. This seal of God is not a hole in the ear because it is "in" their foreheads or in their mind.
After this 144,000 we get a picture then of the Gentiles who are added to this number of 144,000 and together, Jew and Gentile the Israel of God is identified. First there are the Jews who are saved and then come the Gentiles, Jews by Choice who join with the Jews in the Kingdom of God. This matches with the Scriptures where first Jews are saved and then Gentiles are added to this Israel of God in Acts 8 and Acts 10.
All of these in7:9-10 begin to sing a salvation song to God who sits upon the throne. Who is this God on the throne? It is Jesus the Lamb! 7:14 tells us these 144,000 and all the Gentiles come into the Israel of God and came out of great tribulation and WASHED their robes in the blood of the Lamb. There is no salvation for Jew or Gentile except through the Blood of the New Covenant.
This concludes this revelation here of the 144,000.
Now in chapter 14 we learn a little more: the 144,000 sing a new song. That new song we found in 7:10 "Salvation, to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." In 14:3 no man could learn that song but the 144,000. In 7:12-13 we find them singing it there. These 144,000 were not defiled with spiritual whoredom and that is why the statement "not defiled with women." The text could say: "These are they which were not fornicators; for they are virgins (pure ones), These follow the Lamb.....etc. The contrast is that they who follow the Lamb are considered "pure ones" whereas they among the Jews who did not follow the Lamb were defiled by spiritual fornication, that is identified as Phariseeism, Sadduceeism etc, the daughters of the whore Israel.
These 144,000 are redeemed by the Lamb as we saw in 7:14. Now we learn they are the firstfruits. Now firstfruits are usually the tithe of a larger number. The word firstfruits means the first of the harvest, then follows the harvest, and at last the gleanings for the poor and the widows and the strangers. The number 144,000 may signify an actual number of saved first but does not mean this is all the Jews who will be saved. It also means the 144,000 can represent the word "remnant".
Paul said there was a remnant according to the election of grace that were saved in his day. If the number 144,000 is symbolic of the word remnant, then this means that at the time of the early Church a small portion of Jews would be saved and afterward the Gentiles would be brought in as converts to this Jewish Messianic Church and made joint heirs and fellowcitizens of the household of God. These Gentile converts are called Jews by Choice because they are joining a Jewish religion. The 144,000 represent Jews who are in the New Testament Church. They had to be in the Church to be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb in 7:14. Anyone who says this 144,000 are Jews in the tribulation period after the Church is secretly raptured is wrong. This would remove the 144,000 out of the Church. And since the salvation of Gentiles from all nations 7:9 and 14:6 is after the 144,000 are sealed, to make this 144,000 in the tribulation means the Gentiles cannot have salvation until after the tribulation. That is false!
The firstfruits of the Jews started coming in from the day of Pentecost. Then afterward started coming in the Gentiles. Together, Jews and Gentiles have been flowing into the Church and jointly have suffered great persecution and tribulations. Interesting that all through the ages there have been Jews and Gentiles who followed the Apostles. And in the last days, there will come out again a remnant of Jews who will be saved the Acts 2:38 New Covenant way. These will join with Gentile converts and together we will close out the last days of the Church.
The 144,000 are a part of the New Covenant blood bought Church.
Pastor, if only the 144,000 are sealed in their foreheads this proves the Church has to be in heaven and will not go through the tribulation, otherwise more than 144,000 would be sealed.
Response: This same question can be tossed back to the pre-tribs. If only 144,000 are sealed then there are no more Jews to be saved during the alleged pre-trib tribulation or otherwise more than 144,000 Jews would be sealed. Yet in the pre-trib rapture scheme they have all Israel being saved and not just 144,000. To resolve this contradiction the pre-tribs claim the 144,000 are Jewish evangelist who will preach the salvation of Jesus Messiah to the other Jews and save them from the horrors of the pope of Rome whom they claim will be the antichrist. If the 144,000 can be evangelist to save millions of Jews who were not sealed, why would there be a need of just 144,000 being sealed? The pre-trib scheme claims the sum total of 144,000 is symbolic of all the Jews who will be saved during the tribulation. Many accept this "sum total" as symbolic of the Church. I refuse to adapt a false dispensational 144,000 theory to the Church.
The fact is, the 144,000 are sealed by anticipation as being the "firstfruits" sealed unto the lamb not "lastfruits" after the Church is quick-snatched out! 1Corinthians 15:23--"But every man in his order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." The "firstfruits" are interjected between the resurrection of Messiah and the resurrection of those at his coming. If the firstfruits are resurrected prior to the first recurrection of the Saints, then it is impossible to make the 144,000 to be firstfruits and they come upon the scene AFTER the first resurrection of the Saints at the second coming of Jesus! This is out of sequence. It is only when we strip away the muddled mess of pre-trib dispensational raptureism that we can begin to see who the 144,000 represent.
The 144,000 are are sealed but they are not all sealed at the same time. Those sealed with the Holy Ghost are not all sealed at the same time. And the great multitide of all nations are not gathered at the same time. Both the 144,000 and the great multitude are the coming into the Church of the fulness of each group. There will be an endtime coming in of the fulness of the Jews and also concurrent a coming in of the last fulness of the Gentiles. The olive tree will be complete.
The endtime evangelism of the world must include a Gospel for Jews first and then Gentiles, just as it started out in the early Church. This will give birth to an Apostolic Messianic movement in which God will select out his chosen servants to accomplish the final wrap-up. It is in my heart and in my soul to fulfill the Messianic destiny of the Jewish New Testament Church. I seek all Apostolic men and women who share this vision and burden. Join me as the Spirit of God brings light to the nations and we work to gather in the harvest of Jew and Gentile.
Pastor G. Reckart
August 10, 1994