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THE 144 000
In order for me to talk about the 144 000 spoken of in Revelations 14, I need to take a bit of a detour that I think will give some clarification as to just who these 144 000 are. Although a lengthy devotion, I do think that it will bless you. And may I be so bold as to say that all things of great value is worth our time and if we think not, are we then worth the things of great value? I do not claim to know all there is, but I cannot deny the way the Spirit has led me to this understanding, which is truly a blessing to me. And I pray will be for you as well.
In 1 Corinthians 7 we read how Paul is having a discussion with regard to marriage and how he commends that all men be like him, that is to say unmarried. This seems quite contradictory to the scripture that says in the last days there will be men who will forbid to marry. However, this is not what Paul is saying. He is not making this mandatory, but rather saying that even though marriage is an institute for the purpose of being a provision for us not to fornicate, that the best is actually to abstain so as to not be caught in the cares of this world. This is inevitable because once we are married, numerous responsibilities and cares do come our way and we are then forced to be divided between seeking His Kingdom first and the needs of our families and all that it contains. He addresses both man and woman to tend to Lord without distractions.
Sadly this causes our Christianity to somehow to have to adapt to this world system instead of the world system adapting to true Christianity. And therefore Christianity has become commercialized, even being so worldly that one can no longer see the difference between the two. And this is exactly what Paul was getting at. It was not because he had a problem with marriage, but rather he was contending for that which is pure and undefiled. That which is untouched by this world system and preserved jealously for the glory of the Lord, which is our temples. And what would such a one look like? How would such a one’s conduct be and why would the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to commend all to be like him? These are questions we need to ask and meditate on. Was this merely a suggestion or a good idea according to Paul? What kind of devotion of heart and consecration requires one to be that undefiled and undistracted Christian? To not succumb to the Christian culture but to the heavenly standard so contrary to this world.
Today we look at monks or nuns and find them extreme, unrealistic and out of date. They are bland as their clothes and have no idea how to enjoy life. They are completely cut off. And that is exactly it. This contradicts everything that even the church values and esteems, which is the marriage institute, and is an affront to them, never mind this present world. In Acts 8 we read about Philip meeting up with the Ethiopian eunuch in charge of the King’s harem. This eunuch was a man of great authority in charge of all the Queen’s treasures. It is interesting to note how this Ethiopian eunuch was traveling to attend the feasts in Jerusalem. Obviously a man in search of truth and the God of Israel. And God knowing the heart of this man, his dedication to search Him out from a far country, provided in the form of Philip to speak of Him whom this man sought. God knows whether we are truly seeking Him. He knows whether we will go the extra mile so to speak in finding Him. This unique and brief incident ultimately resulted in the gospel being proclaimed in Africa.
For those unsure about what an eunuch is, it is those chosen to overlook and be in charge of the King’s harem, his many wives, and were castrated so as to not procreate and fornicate with them. In Matthew 19 Jesus, like Paul, speaks about marriage and divorce saying the following:
11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
This is the very thing that Paul was speaking of. If it was difficult to receive this truth then, how much more now in this present age? What kind of man willingly lies down to be circumcised, let alone to be castrated? Is this a call to not be married and enjoy life? Not at all. It is however God’s provision and wisdom for us to be as those who are married and yet not. As both a type and shadow, but also to not marry being the commendable thing to do for the Kingdom of God. Paul says the following in
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remains, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passes away.
This is not to say that we place our ministry above our family and neglect them, for the word says such a man is worse than an unbeliever. What he is saying is that when we choose to become eunuchs for Christ, it is choosing the Kingdom of God above all else, even if it may look to all around us as if we are neglecting our families. As if we are married, and though as not being married. That we would follow Him wherever He may lead us, because we have affectively been “cut off”.
God is seeking those who are willing to be cut off that He may appoint unto them great authority, to be over His treasures and to be trusted with His “wives”. To protect her and guide her and even give up his own life for her. Not abuse her and fornicate with her in order to procreate from out of his dependence of his own flesh for his own purposes. Which means that the eunuchs are those who have absolutely no dependence on the flesh. Completely and utterly cut off!
I am reminded of Paul’s conversion and what an ultimate conversion it was. We read in Acts 9 about his divine encounter with the Lord on the road of Damascus. A particular verse caught my attention. It states that while he was speaking to the Lord, the men around him saw no man, but could hear a voice. And it states that Saul rose from the earth, and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man. They could not see Christ, but Paul could see no man. The part that said so much to me was the part where it says that he rose from the earth. From the dust. It took an encounter with God to bring him into blindness where he had to be led by hand. In that one moment he was blind, baptized in weakness and unable to see any man. This great man of God who was a chosen vessel had to be brought to such weakness and devastation. Ananias were told to go and meet him and the Lord said the following to him.
“He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for My Name.”
This same man could say I am nothing not only in his conversion, but also by beatings, being shipwrecked, fighting with beasts, and many more incidents. Not because he ascribed to the ideal of being nothing, but in fact was brought to the reality of it. And therefore, like the Ethiopian eunuch, became a man of great authority, overseer of the treasures of heaven and in charge of the King’s Bride. This man, Paul, the eunuch of God, was shown the greatest hidden treasures of God, the mysteries of the gospel written in his epistles, for us to be fed and trained up in righteousness centuries after his death.
With my previous post I have gone into detail about my daughter’s various disorders, emphasizing the devastation I felt with regard to her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. For this I have no cure, no step 1 to 10, no idea even how to handle it on a day to day basis. I felt utterly weak as one cut off. In fact I told the Lord that I felt like my legs were cut off. I was told by Father that this was His provision for me to teach me to war. And knowing His ways with me it will not be the conventional way. I knew that there was more to it. It made no sense to me how her disorder could teach me to war. He told me that it was to baptize me in weakness. This reminded me of the conversation I had with Him the previous day saying that it was so like Him to make us weak in order to send us out to war. Little did I know how significant that statement was!
My sister in law’s father died of a heart attack on Sunday. He had diabetes and somehow he managed to hurt his foot. Gangrene set in and it was obvious that he was not going to make it. The night before my brother felt an urgency to go and talk to him about his salvation. In the end he gave his life to the Lord and my brother baptized him. The next day he died. What amazing grace! This morning I had a vision of a close up of an eye looking to and fro. I also received the number 16. The Strong’s Concordance was no help in this, but I remembered that there was a verse in the word that speaks of the eyes of the Lord going to and fro. Just so happens to be chapter 16. This chapter is about King Asa that was known mostly in his reign over Judah as a righteous king. However, towards the end he made a covenant with Baasha from Syria, and this caused war to break out and there to be no more peace. In the end he died in his bed from a foot disease because he trusted not in God but in his physicians. Needless to say that, that caught my attention. The physicians in this regard is to say that he trusted in man instead of God.
2 Chronicles 16:9
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
This perfect is the word blameless, unharmed and keeping covenant. He is searching for those to whom He can show Himself strong to. One can only show yourself strong to someone who in fact needs it, that is to say when they are weak. And we see that King Asa leaned on the arm of the flesh, which either caused gout or maybe even diabetes. Who knows? God will not share His glory with anyone and those who are jealous for His glory will guard their hearts from trusting in the flesh at all times. To be a eunuch who has no confidence in the flesh.
Both Jesus and Paul were eunuchs, and this is where my attention is drawn to the 144 000. We read in Isaiah 53 that Jesus was without deceit, which is to say without guile. Which is the selfless disposition in having no consideration for oneself in whatever you do or say. For more on this subject please refer to my devotional called The Silence of the Lamb, on my website. We read the following:
10 …he shall see his seed,
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
In verse 12 we see the Father dividing a portion of the great to Jesus and also Jesus dividing the spoil of the strong. Both are dividing.
Father is in fact giving Jesus two inheritances. This is the seed that He is referring to in verse 10 and 11. So we have two words of significance. The word great and the word strong. And both will be divided. This word divided in the Strong’s Concordance is H2505 which is the word smooth or smooth stone that were used to cast lots. The word great is H7227, which refers to ten thousands or multitudes. The word strong is H6099 which is powerful, but also blind and to close the eyes. I cannot help but to think of Paul who was blind at his conversion and ended up writing, “when I am weak, then I am strong”.
This travail of His soul will inevitably bring forth an inheritance which is His seed. In the next chapter of Isaiah, chapter 54, we read how God is addressing the daughter of Zion who is barren, for she will have more children than the married wife. He says that now He is her Husband. Once again the issue of a eunuch is brought to the forefront which is the issue of not leaning or depending on the flesh to produce. We see multiple examples of barren women in the Word whom God has promised seed, like Sara, Rachel and Hannah. God has a thing for barrenness. It is his provision to show Himself strong for us. For those who lean not on the flesh and have been cut off. Whilst you are circumcised you can still produce seed, but once you are cut off you are indeed barren. Very much like a dried up branch where there is no longer any sap to be found and therefore no fruit. Just like Paul, who travails for his spiritual children in prayer, Jesus through His intercession as the High Priest by His blood, has travailed in order that He too may have seed, which is His inheritance. The great and the strong. The Gentile and the Jew.
We read in Revelation 14 of the 144 000 who has his Father’s name on their foreheads and they sang a song that only they could learn. They were redeemed from the earth. It says that these were they who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. The word virgin in the Strong’s Concordance is G3933, which is the word maiden or unmarried daughter. No mention of a man here. I am not excluding men, but I am wanting to make it clear that it will not be exclusively men either. The issue is not man or woman, the issue is unmarried, undefiled and pure. Those who He is looking for to show himself strong.
In verse 5 in Revelation 14 we read:
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
This bring us back to 2 Chronicles 16: 9
2 Chronicles 16:9
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
The words without fault and perfect being those who are without guile as He was.
There is said that presently virgin men have been brought up in seclusion being taught the Torah and keeping them undefiled from woman and this world as the 144 000. I feel compelled to not agree with this as our type and shadow Jesus and also Paul, although virgins and eunuchs, was not kept from this world, but was indeed cut off from this world, having no confidence in the flesh. In John 17, Jesus High Priestly prayer, we hear Him praying for the 144 000,
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
He is referring to those the Father has given Him and that the Father must keep them in His name, which is the name that will be on the 144 000’s foreheads.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
These 144 000 were in the world, but not of this world. Nathaniel in John 1 had an encounter with Jesus in which Jesus boldly proclaimed, “Behold, an Israelite without guile!” And to him was said, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man”. Interesting that Philip was the one to introduce Nathaniel to Jesus, and Philip was also the one to introduce the Ethiopian eunuch to Him on the way. Philip himself being a type and shadow of the 144 000.
I have noticed that many are quite eager to be counted worthy to be part of the 144 000, not really sure who they really are and what would constitute to receive the Name of the Father upon their foreheads. The white stones previously mentioned was a Roman custom where after an athletic race the victors were awarded a white stone with their name on. It served also as a “ticket” to a special awards banquet. We read about this white stone in Revelation 2: 17.
17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receiveth it.
This refers back to what we read with regard to the word dividing, which means smooth stone that referred to the great. This great would then be the multitudes, but the strong will not receive a stone with a new name, but the name of the Father on their foreheads and a song only they can learn.
I somehow want to think of those who overcome as those who are the great, the circumcised. There are in fact many that are circumcised in comparison to those who are strong, the castrated ones. The dry branches, the weak ones, the Eunuchs of God. We cannot ascribe to these things, these great truths in the Word and not live in the reality of them. To be great you will have to have your heart circumcised, but to be strong, you will have to be castrated, which is to be baptized in utter weakness, unable to produce any seed except through the travail of the Spirit and the incorruptible seed of the Word of God.
In closing a word I received from the Lord two weeks ago, which He has now released me to share.
Even as you seek for the driest branch to make a fire, so do I. As was the case with the burning bush of Moses. For any bush will indeed do, but have you lost all? Have you forsaken all and let it fall to the ground? Are you still rooted in this world? For they will look upon you as a dry branch, good for nothing. But I will pick you up and gather you together to make My fire.
And as I spoke through the bush, I speak through those who are dried up. Nothing in them or on them. Not their gifts, not their ministries, not approval, not man’s opinion…nothing. Dried up! So I seek those out who has given all, so that I may answer through them with fire. Are you dried up or are there still the residue of the fuel of this world in you? All! Not just the worldly and earthly, but especially the spiritual. Do they still cling to you like fruit on a tree? Shake off! Shake off! Stand before Me barren, broken and dry, and I will use you because I alone get the glory. I alone will be glorified, not you. As a branch thrown away by this world, but gathered by Me.