(NB: This is the concluding part of an article begun two weeks ago. I am presenting a stronger case for my vision of the 144,000 saints who, operating in councils of twenty-four, would be the political leaders and overseers of the 6,000 provinces, or language nations, of the promised global kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. We will pick it up right where we stopped last week. You can click on these links to read the first and second parts of the article.)
Yes, Revelation 4:1 means exactly what it says. John was caught up to Heaven to view more scenes in his visionary experience. And talking about being brilliant and creative with the Revelation, the invitation given to him to “come up hither” at that point of his Patmos experience is indicative of an invitation to the individual believer who has accepted Christ’s challenge in the last message to the Gentile Church (a potential member of the Man Child Company?) to mount higher – “rise above the fray” – to receive an insight into “things which must be hereafter”! That’s about where I believe we are today.
Here is my revelation. The Man Child Company that is caught up to Heaven in Revelation Chapter 12 is one and the same as the 144,000 who stand with the Lamb on the heavenly Mount Zion in Chapter 14. This is admittedly a bold leap – although a quite clean and rather predictable one – so we’ll take a closer look.
In Revelation 12 the Sun-clothed Woman travails and brings forth her child, who is then caught up to Heaven. Right there is the depiction of one aspect of the much talked about end time Rapture of the saints. Notice that the expression “caught up” is the same used by the apostle Paul in his description of the event (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17). Then Revelation 13 unveils the full machinery of the last-day world power of the Antichrist that the Dragon will use to persecute those “left behind.” Then the next chapter, the fourteenth, opens in Heaven: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 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: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and before the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women [which is to be spiritually understood in the context of their noted victory over the apostasy, or spiritual fornication, of the last days of the present world order]; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:1-5).
There they are. The Man Child Company that was caught up in the twelfth chapter and bypassed the Great Tribulation machinery exposed in the thirteenth, are on parade in their interim abode in the fourteenth! You can hardly contest that. As the passage reveals, these 144,000 “were redeemed from the earth… from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” In this identification of the 144,000 as the firstfruits is the key to really understanding the divine programme. They are the “first ripe” of the Lord’s Gospel field that must be selectively handpicked and brought in sometime before the general summer harvest – that is, before the Rapture of the general Church body.
Notice that in Matthew 24:37-39, the Lord likened the Rapture of the Church at His return to the entering of Noah and his family into the Ark. Those ancient biblical events actually present an excellent type and pattern, for the 144,000 members of the Man Child Company could also be likened to Enoch who had been selectively translated before the dramas of Noah’s deliverance. Like Enoch, the members of this company will “[walk] with God” (see Genesis 5:24), leave their testimony and take to the skies. “[They will] not [be] found, because God [will translate them]”! (Hebrews 11:5.) This phased nature of the Rapture is reflected in the words of the apostle Paul: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23).
It is not a great deal of time that separates the two phases of the Rapture identified here. We only have to read farther down Revelation 14 to see the latter: “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped” (Revelation 14:14-16). Compare this with the words of the Lord in Matthew 24:30,31 and you couldn’t possibly miss it.
Now, if this 144,000 firstfruits redeemed from the earth are the Man Child Company, and the Man Child company are a select group among the saints that are so much like Christ and singled out for a special testimony of ruling the nations with a rod of iron, then they would have to be those represented in the close-up examination of the twenty-four crowned and enthroned Elders of the heavenly pattern of the redeemed saints that will reign on the earth with their Lord. In other words, they would have to be those represented in the close-up examination of the more literal king element of the testimony of redeemed “kings and priests” to reign on the earth under Christ the “King of kings.”
And if these “kings” are going to rule in councils of twenty-four, as our examination of the heavenly scene that John saw gives us reason to believe, then the nations, or provinces, of the kingdom over which they would rule would have to be 6,000 in number. The fact that nations are scripturally identified with a unique language and the United Nations has identified 6,000 languages in the world today only lends greater credence to this thought.
Yes, I believe that the 144,000 provincial kings, or bishops – holders of some of the most prestigious offices in the promised kingdom of our Lord – are going to be chosen from among the saints of the last days of the present world order. And since the indications give us reason to believe that our present day are indeed the last days, and there is the possibility that these 144,000 would be redeemed from all over the world and not just Israel, the least we could do is to aspire to be part of their company. I truly believe that this is the highest station a believer could aspire to today, with unquantifiable millennial and eternal benefits, and we can well expect it to have a price.
In closing, I will note that nowhere in the course of this article have we cited Revelation 7. The fact that another 144,000 are mentioned there – who are almost certainly Jews – does not necessarily make them the same as those mentioned in Revelation 14. God willing, we would discuss this further sometime. So keep the faith, and remain posted.
God bless you always.
In the King’s Service,
David Olagoke Olawoyin.