The Last Days Remnant & the Lamb of God

Today’s selected reading continues in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in the fourteenth chapter of this New Testament book. “And I looked, and, lo a Lamb stood on 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 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; 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).

 

            “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountaints of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours: and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:6-13).

 

            “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 time is come for thee to 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).

 

 

            “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs” (Revelation 14:17-20).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the continuation of the vision which the apostle John witnessed and beheld while on the isle of Patmos. Upon reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the apostle John looking and beholding a Lamb standing upon mount Sion together with an hundred and forty four thousand. Those who stood upon mount Sion together with the Lamb might undoubtedly be the one-hundred and forty-four thousand which were present in one of the previous chapters found within this prophetic book. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the seventh chapter of this prophetic book you will find the first mention of the one-hundred and forty-four thousand which were not only numbered but also marked and sealed. It is impossible to read the words which are found in this prophetic book and not encounter and come face to face with the presence of these one hundred and forty-fourth thousand which were present in the midst of the earth. These one-hundred and forty-four thousand would indeed be those who were both marked and sealed by heaven in the midst of the earth. What we must needs recognize concerning these one hundred and forty-four thousand is that they were comprised of twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel and would be those who were marked and sealed in the midst of the earth. At the time of the end there would be a great and tremendous remnant and presence of Jewish people upon the earth—those who would not only be marked and sealed by heaven but those who would worship and align themselves with the Lamb.

 

            As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the apostle John beholding concerning these one-hundred and forty-four thousand and how they had the Father’s name written in their foreheads. The apostle John would then hear a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters and as the voice of a great thunder as well as harpers harping with their harps. Those whom the apostle John heard in heaven were singing as it were a new song before the throne and before the four beasts and the elders. This song is incredibly significant because the apostle John would go on to write how no man could learn this song but the one hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth. What we learn concerning these one-hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth is that they were such which were not defiled with women for they were virgins. These one hundred and forty-four thousand followed the Lamb whithersoever He went within the earth and were redeemed from among men being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. What’s more is that concerning these one-hundred and forty-four thousand the apostle John would witness and behold how in their mouth was found no guile for they are without fault before the throne of God. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and consider these one-hundred and forty-four thousand which were comprised of twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. What’s more is that what we find here almost seems to be an answer to the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament epistle written unto the saints which were in Rome.

 

            Having mentioned the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were in Rome I invite you to turn and direct your attention to the words which were written there. It is when we read these words written by the apostle Paul we are brought face to face with the incredible burden of the apostle Paul for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. If you read the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narratives—specifically the gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find the rejection of the Jews and their opposition and persecution of the Lord Jesus. From their seeking to persecute the Lord Jesus for healing on the sabbath to their actively seeking to put Him to death we find the Jews continually and repeatedly rejecting and opposing the Lord Jesus Christ. This would eventually culminate in their crying for His blood and His crucifixion when they became an angry mob standing before Pontius Pilate in the city of Jerusalem as they vented their anger, their rage and their hatred of the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s more is that when you come to the New Testament book of Acts you will find the Jews continued rejection—not only of the Lord Jesus Christ but also of His word, His name and the preaching of the gospel concerning Himself. All throughout the book of Acts—pretty much beginning with the ninth chapter you will find the Jews rejecting the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the preaching of the apostle Paul. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the ninth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome:

 

            “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to the election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:1-13).

 

            “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not my beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people; ;there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Saboath had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha, What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not ashamed” (Romans 9:14-33).

 

            Please don’t miss the incredible significance of what is found within this passage of Scripture—particularly and especially the words which are found in the final verse. It is in the final verse where we find the apostle Paul quoting from the psalmist and speaking of the living God laying in Sion (Zion) a stumblingstone and a rock of offense. Whosoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ shall not be ashamed, however, those who would and could not believe in Him would find themselves being offended. This was the reality of the scribes, the Pharisees, the chief priests, the elders of the people of Israel and the religious community for they could not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is absolutely incredible to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is the living God laying in Sion a stumblingstone—one that would cause those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to themselves become living stones while those who choose not to believe on him to be much like the statue in the dream which Nebuchadnezzar saw—a dream which Daniel the man of God interpreted for him. I am absolutely and completely convinced that what we witness and behold in the prophetic book of Daniel concerning the vision of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the stone which was hewn from the mountain and brake in pieces the various parts and metals of the statute is a powerful picture of what has happened and what will happen to those who choose to reject this cornerstone which was set in the midst of Jerusalem and upon mount Sion. In fact I would like to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the second chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel concerning the vision which Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream and the interpretation Daniel provided him concerning it:

            “…Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, this breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:31-25).

 

            “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall rise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Daniel 2:36-45).

 

            Oh I would invite you to pay attention to the words which are found here—particularly and especially the mention of this rock which was hewn from the mountain and struck this great image upon its feet. This great stone which was hewn from the mountain would strike the image at its feet and would not only cause the image to collapse upon itself but would also cause all the metals of the image to be mixed and mingled together. What’s more is that all the materials which made up the image would be broken as fine as the chaff and would be blown away with the wind. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for the same stone which the builders rejected would be the same stone upon which the house would be built. Not only would this stone which the builders rejected be the stone upon which the house would be built but we find this stone standing upon mount Sion. In the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find the apostle John looking and beholding as the Lamb would stand upon mount Sion and standing together with him would be one hundred and forty-four thousand. It is something truly astonishing to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and discover one-hundred and forty-four thousand standing together in the midst of mount Sion. What’s more is that these one-hundred and forty-four thousand would first be mentioned in the seventh chapter between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals upon the scroll. It would be between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals and between the mighty men of the earth crying out to be hidden from the sight of the Lamb and silence in heaven we find the one-hundred and forty-four thousand being sealeld according to the request and will of the living God.

 

            It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the seventh chapter of this New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. That which we find in this prophetic book in the seventh chapter describes the one-hundred and forty-four thousand which were sealed according to the command and decree that would go forth from heaven. With this being said I invite you to turn and direct your attention to the following words which are written and recorded in the seventh chapter beginning with the first and opening verse:

 

            “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Isaachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand” (Revelation 7:1-8).

 

            The words which we find here in this passage of Scripture first introduce us to the one-hundred and forty-four thousand which are comprised of those who were Jewish by lineage. It is important for us to recognize within this passage of Scripture that the four angels which held back the four winds of the earth that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor the sea nor on any tree were commanded not to hurt the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees until the servants of the most High God were sealed in their foreheads. Those who would be sealed in their foreheads by the living God would indeed be these one-hundred and forty-four thousand from the nation and people of Israel. It is incredibly unique and powerful to think about and consider that in the last days—even during the days when the beast and the false prophet are wreaking havoc upon the earth—there is a remnant of those who would neither bow to the beast nor the image made after his likeness. These one-hundred and forty-four thousand would indeed be a remnant of the children of Israel present in the earth during these Last Days and were perhaps reserved for this very moment in history. If there is one thing we must needs know it’s that regardless of the evil that is so pervasive in the midst of the culture and society in which we are living the living and eternal God has a remnant. What’s more is not only does the living God have a remnant but the living God has a remnant which has not bowed their knee to the gods of this world. Just as during the days of the prophet Elijah the living God has a remnant of those who remain faithful to Him. It would be during the days of Elijah the living God would have seven thousand whom He reserved who did not bow their knees to Baal and it is during the days of the end we find the eternal and living God having one-hundred and forty-four thousand who will not bow their knee to the antichrist, nor worship him, nor worship the dragon, nor take the mark of the beast.

 

            It is with all of this in mind I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of the Old Testament book of First Kings. It is in this passage of Scripture we not only find the confrontation and showdown between the prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal but we also find a showdown between the living God and the false god Baal. Atop that mountain we would not only see fire come down from heaven but we would also see rain being released upon the earth after having not fallen for three and a half years. After the LORD answered and responded to Elijah—not only by sending fire from heaven but also sending forth rain we find Jezebel queen of the northern kingdom of Israel threatening the prophet Elijah and causing him to flee for his life. It would be during this flight the prophet Elijah would come unto Horeb in the wilderness where he would have an encounter with the living God. Having said this I ask you to consider if you will the following words which are found in both the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of the Old Testament book of First Kings:

 

            “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets Baall four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table. So Ahabe sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt yet between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dres sit first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cty aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or hs is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, not any that regarded. And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran around about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then t he fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there” (1 Kings 18:17-40).

 

            The words which we find here in this passage of Scripture must be carefully considered for it would be here atop mount Carmel where the prophet Elijah would not only confront the false prophets of Baal but also the false prophets of the grove. What’s more is that what happened on this mountain would be a direct confrontation of the prophet Baal and the evil queen Jezebel who was ruling as queen over the northern kingdom of Israel. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for when Jezebel heard about what had happened atop Carmel—how the prophet Elijah had not only slaughtered the prophets of Baal but also how the living God responded to Elijah by sending fire from heaven—she proceeded to breathe out murderous threats toward and against Elijah. It would be as a direct result of this murderous threat from Jezebel Elijah would flee from the northern kingdom of Israel and would essentially run for his life. While attempting to run for his life from the murderous threats of Jezebel, however, we find the prophet Elijah encountering an angel who would awake him from his sleep—not once but twice—instructing him to eat and drink to get himself enough strength for the journey. The prophet would then make his way forty days into the wilderness where he would come to Horeb the mountain of God. There at Horeb the prophet would not experience fire coming down from heaven nor rain being released from the heavens but the voice of the living God speaking unto him. This is something which we have great need of recognizing and understanding for it calls and draws our attention to this concept of remnant and those who have remained committed, faithful and devoted unto the living God—this despite false prophets and the slaughter of the righteous in the midst of the land.

 

            Having said this I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings beginning with the first verse of the chapter:

 

            “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy. Life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God” (1 Kings 19:1-8).

 

            “And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sowrd; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him(1 Kings 19:9-18).

 

            It is absolutely imperative we recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here bring us face to face with the reality of a prophet who was perhaps not only tired and exhausted but also fearful for his life. What’s more is that this prophet felt as though he was the only righteous one left in the midst of the land. As if it weren’t enough for the prophet to feel as though his life was on the line he also felt as though he was the only righteous one that was left in the midst of the land. This is something which we must recognize and understand for it would be in response to the prophet Elijah’s words the LORD not only proclaimed unto him the name of his successor and instructed him to anoint his successor but He also declared that he had left seven thousand in Israel—all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. We have a great need to pay close attention to the words which are found within this passage for they bring us face to face with the concept of remnant and how even in the midst of what might appear to be dark and dangerous days the LORD always has a remnant which He has preserved for and unto Himself. During the days of the prophet Elijah we encounter the presence of seven thousand souls which were preserved and reserved as holy and righteous before and unto the LORD—those who had not bowed unto Baal and those whose mouth which had not kissed this false god. We must recognize the awesome truth surrounding this for it calls and draws us into the place where we truly recognize the LORD has always had and will always have a remnant of those who will remain faithful and true to Him. This reality is all the more true during the days of Rehoboam and Jeroboam when Jeroboam introduced idolatry in the midst of the land. It would be during the days of Jeroboam son of Nebat when idolatry would be introduced into the land in great measure.

 

            I am absolutely convinced we must pay close attention to the days of Rehoboam and Jeroboam son of Nebat for what we find during the days of Jeroboam son of Nebat is a great migration of those who would and could not be a part of the idolatry and false religious system that was set up in the midst of the land. There were a great many priests, Levites and others whose hearts burned within them for and unto the living and eternal God who would and could not remain in the midst of the northern kingdom of Israel and expose themselves to the false religion and false gods which Jeroboam was introducing in the midst of the land. I firmly believe that in addition to the remnant which the living God reserved and preserved for Himself during the days of the prophet Elijah—the days of Ahab king of Israel and the evil queen Jezebel—there was also a remnant which was preserved during the days of Jeroboam son of Nebat. It would be during these days when there would be a great number of righteous men and women whose souls and hearts were vexed within themselves who would and could not bring themselves to remain in the land in the midst of the idolatry and wickedness present in it. As a direct result of this they would depart from the northern kingdom of Judah and would make their journey unto the southern kingdom of Judah where the priests and Levites would be able to minister before the altar of the living God and in His holy temple and where the people were able to worship the living God. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the New Testament book of Second Chronicles which describe the days of Jeroboam son of Nebat, the idolatry and wickedness he introduced and the great departure of those men and women who would and could not remain in the midst of the idolatry, wickedness and rebellion within the land. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this Old Testament book concerning these days:

 

 

            “And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Juda. He built even Beth0lehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, and Beth-zur, and Shoco, and Adullam, and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Asekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities. And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine. And in e very several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side. And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts. For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD: And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon” (2 Chronicles 11:5-17).

 

            In this passage of Scripture we discover the priests and the Levites which were in the coasts of Israel resorted unto Rehoboam son of Solomon after departing from the northern kingdom of Israel. The author of this particular book describes how the Levites left their subuerbs and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem. The underlying reason why the departed from the coasts of Israel was because Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD. Moreover he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which had made. Essentially that which caused the priests and the Levites to depart from the northern kingdom of Israel was because there was essentially no more place for them in the midst of the northern kingdom of Israel. Jeroboam son of Nebat had turned the northern kingdom of Israel into a place of idolatry, rebellion and wickedness and the priests and Levites who chose to remain loyal to the living God felt it was better for them to depart from the northern kingdom of Israel and leave their possessions behind. What adds even more weight to this was that the author goes on to write how after the priests and Levites came out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel. All those who followed the example of the priests and the Levites who set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers. This is incredibly important to recognize and understand—particularly and especially when we think about and consider the concept of remnant—for even during dark, dangerous, deceptive, idolatrous, wicked and immoral times the living God does indeed and has always had a remnant of those who worship Him and who cling to Him.

 

            Before returning to the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ I am convinced we need to turn and direct our attention to the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings. In the twelfth chapter of this Old Testament book we find the author describing the days of Jeroboam and how those days would mark the beginning of turbulent and treacherous days for the northern kingdom of Israel—days when the living God would indeed need to preserve for himself a remnant in the midst of the land. With this being said I invite you consider the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the twenty-fifth verse:

            “Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: IF this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the salves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he had made. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense” (1 Kings 12:25-33).

 

            If you transition back to the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will again find this concept of remnant—both in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters. Upon reading the words in the second portion of the thirteenth chapter you will find that there would emerge a false prophet who was referred to as “another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” It is absolutely necessary we recognize the tremendous words and language found within this passage of Scripture for you will notice two distinct elements of this false prophet—first and foremost that he incites all men to worship the beast. In addition to this the false prophet will set up an image of the first beast and incite and instruct men to worship this image. Moreover this false prophet will also cause all men—small and great, rich and poor, free and bond—to receive a mark int heir right hand and on their foreheads that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.

 

            I am absolutely convinced we must recognize the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book for in the first half we find the earth wondering at the beast—and not only wondering at the beast but also worshipping the beast and the dragon. In the latter portion of this passage we find the false prophet inciting men and women to not only continue worshipping the beast but also to worship the image of the beast—something which we caught a glimpse of in the second chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel when we read of Nebuchadnezzar setting up an image made of gold and demanding that all men who heard the sound of music bowing down and worshipping the image made of the beast. Here in the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book we find the whole earth—all those whose names were not written in the book of life of the Lamb—worshipping the beast and the dragon who gave the beast his great power, authority and seat. The false prophet would come along and would cause all men to not only worship the first beast but also worship the image of the beast which he himself had set up within and upon the earth. This false prophet would also cause all men to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads and that no man might buy or sell save those which have the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

 

            At the very heart and center of that which we find in this passage of Scripture is worship—and not only worship but worship by means of control, manipulation and coercion. It is absolutely astonishing and remarkable when reading the words found in this passage of scripture to consider that once the dragon was cast to the earth—not only would he seek to make war with the remnant of the seed of the woman but his beast which came out of the earth would be worshipped and wondered at by the whole earth. The more you read the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter the more you will find a stark and powerful contrast between the worship in heaven which we see in the fourth and fifth chapters of this prophetic book and the worship we see within the earth. One thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ is that there was a worship which took place in heaven and there was a worship which took place in the earth. The worship which took place upon the earth was such that would be centered around the beast and the dragon and would even be directly connected around a mark which would be received in the right hand or on the forehead. This is something we have a great need of recognizing and paying close attention to for when we read the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ—not only do we find the worship in heaven as set in contrast to the worship in the earth but we also find the concept of remnant. This concept of remnant would be focused on those who would not only refuse to get the mark of the beast but also those who would refuse to worship the beast, the dragon and the image of the beast.

 

            When you come to the fourteenth chapter of this prophetic book you will find one of the most powerful manifestations of remnant found in the entire book. In the seventh chapter of this prophetic book we were introduced to the sealing of the one-hundred and forty-four thousand with a mark upon their foreheads. It’s actually quite astonishing to think about and consider the fact that much of the activity of the dragon and the beast in the prophetic book of the Revelation is not only a direct contradiction but also a counterfeit of that which took place in heaven and even that which took place in the earth. There would be worship in heaven as the four and twenty elders, the four living creatures, the host of angels and all those who were before the throne of God in heaven worshipped Him as they cast their crowns down before Him at His throne. In the earth, however, we find a different type of worship as there would be the worship of the beast, the worship of the image and the worship of the dragon. Not only this but there would be the sealing of the one-hundred and forty-four thousand in the seventh chapter and now in the thirteenth chapter we find the inhabitants of the earth—all those whose names were not written in the book of life of the Lamb receiving the mark of the beast in their right hands or foreheads. This would undoubtedly be a tremendous counterfeit of the sealing and mark we would read about in the seventh chapter when the one-hundred and forty-four thousand would be sealed.

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close we must needs recognize and understand this incredibly awesome and powerful concept of remnant within the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the fourteenth chapter of this prophetic book we find and encounter the Lamb standing upon mount Sion and with him one hundred and forty-four thousand which had the Father’s name written on their foreheads. [Here again is this concept of being marked and sealed according to the divine will, plan and purpose in heaven]. If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the apostle John hearing a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters and as the voice of a great thunder as well as of harpers harping with their harps. These whose voices the apostle John heard sang a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders which. No man could learn but the one-hundred and forty-four thousand which were redeemed from the earth. Please pay close attention to this concept of being redeemed from the earth for if you continue reading the words which are found in this passage you will find that these one-hundred and forty-four thousand which stood upon mount Sion with the Lamb were those which were not defiled with women for they were virgins. Not only this but they were those which followed the Lamb whithersoever he went. These were those who were redeemed from among men being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb—those in whose mouth there was found no guile for they were without fault before the throne of God.

 

            Perhaps one of the greatest realities found within the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ was not only those who would be martyred and slain for the word of their testimony and for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but also the one-hundred and forty-four thousand who were sealed by the living God. What makes this all the more intriguing is when you consider that these one-hundred and forty-four thousand appear to be the firstfruits of a great number of those who would be redeemed from the earth. It’s actually quite interesting and unique to consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with the nation and people of Israel and how those who would be redeemed in the earth would be brethren to the one-hundred and forty and four thousand which were present in the midst of the earth. This is something we have great need of recognizing and understanding for when we read the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ—not only do we see the concept of remnant but we also see and encounter the awesome reality of those who would be redeemed and ransomed from the earth. In the fourteenth chapter of this prophetic book you will find one-hundred and forty-four thousand being ransomed and redeemed from the earth and standing upon mount Sion with the Lamb. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful truth surrounding remnant and redemption as it unfolded within this prophetic book. How absolutely incredible this truth is for it calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful reality of a remnant which will be present in the earth who will follow the Lamb. What a wonderful reality is found in this passage of Scripture and how there was a people in the earth who would follow the Lamb whithersoever He went because they were righteous in His sight.

 

            In the final verses of the fourteenth chapter you will find the third of three angels saying and proclaiming with a loud voice, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in in his heand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is a clear and present warning found in this passage of Scripture concerning those who take the mark of the beast—whether in their right hand or on their forehead—for those who take the mark of the beast can and will be those who will drink the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without. Mixture into the cup of his indignation. There is a wonderful and truly powerful warning and word of caution found in this passage of Scripture against worshipping the beast—and not only worshipping the beast but also taking the mark of his name or his number upon their physical persons and flesh. Oh we must needs pay careful and close attention to this for it calls and draws our attention—not only to the tremendous need to guar ourselves from worshipping anything that calls itself God or anything that sets itself up instead of and in the place of the living God. Moreover we must needs be those who purpose within ourselves to be such who follow the Lamb whithersoever He went and that we would not allow ourselves to be those who will follow the voice of another.

 

It is with this in mind I leave you with the following words which are found in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John concerning the sheep who not only know the voice of the Shepherd but also who will not follow the voice of another for they know the voice of the Shepherd. The one-hundred and forty-four thousand are best understood as sheep which the Lord Jesus spoke of in the tenth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative for they were those who would only follow the Lamb and who would not follow or worship anyone else. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words and bring you face to face with a wonderful and powerful invitation to be those who not only know the voice of the Shepherd but also those who will only walk with and follow Him and who will not walk with and follow another. In these dark and dangerous days we must needs guard ourselves from the false voices that will seek to draw us away from one true and living God and from walking with and following the Lord Jesus Christ. We must needs be those who can and will who choose to walk with and follow the Lamb only and who worship the one true and living God only. It is with this in mind I leave you with the following words which are found in the tenth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: But they understood not what thing sthey were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of his fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:1-18).

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