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Offline Noach  
#1 Posted : Thursday, August 23, 2007 6:36:26 PM(UTC)
Noach
Joined: 7/5/2007(UTC)
Posts: 127

In Chapter 8 of future History, Ken Power gives us a potential future view of the harpazo ("rapture"). Ken seems to be very optimistic in this future view of the number of those who will be taken. Until I learned about the appointed times, I always had trouble reconciling how the "rapture" could take place. You know, pilots being taken and airplanes falling out of the sky, automobiles careening to a stop into buildings and people because their drivers were taken. Thousands and thousands of boats stranding their passangers at sea because their captains were taken. In general, total and complete chaos. Ken pretty much describes this scenerio. We know though, that this event will take place on the Miqra of Taruwah. This being the case, wouldn't those in a familial relationship with Yahuwah be resting or preparing to meet with Him as He has prescribed? Wouldn't they be setting this day apart to rest with Yahuwah? Or would they be surfing, or shopping, or flying, or driving, or boating, or any number of activities that always seem to be depicted as happening when the ekklesia is taken? While there may very well be those who do not observe Taruwah and are taken, the number would seem very small. There may also be the fact that our observance of Taruwah may not coincide with Yauwah's calendar, whereby those who did observe Taruwah or were going to might not have done so at the same time, but the 7th new moon isn't very hard to figure out. Anyway, ths hypothosis would explain the out of control mechanical devices and complete disaster that is never really described in Scripture. What do you all think?
Offline Robskiwarrior  
#2 Posted : Friday, August 24, 2007 2:41:23 AM(UTC)
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Location: England

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
very good point :)

If the harvest is like the other prophetic feasts, and is executed on the feast day, then I know where I would be lol, and I wont be flying a plane :D
Signature Updated! Woo that was old...
Offline kp  
#3 Posted : Friday, August 24, 2007 11:18:54 AM(UTC)
kp
Joined: 6/28/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,030
Location: Palmyra, VA

Interesting observation, Noach. If I recall, I was careful not to make any prognostications about numbers of people getting raptured, other than to guess that the U.S., having a relatively large "christian" population, would be most significantly affected. But out of a nation of 300 million, even three hundred people all disappearing without a trace at the same time would surely cause a stir among those who were left behind. I mean, this is a country where a puppy falls down a well and the whole nation holds its collective breath. Anyway, it is my sincere hope that way, way more than "enough to make the evening news" will be taken home on rapture day.

I'll tell you where my real optimism lies, because it speaks to your observations. Although I have no solid evidence one way or the other, I'm thinking that knowledge of what Yom Teruah is prophetic of won't be a factor, nor will a formal observance of the day by gentile believers have any bearing on whether or not Yahweh counts them among His children on rapture day. I say this because although I have been a child of Yahweh since I was a child, it has taken me half a century of fellowship with Him and study of His Word to reach the level of understanding I now possess (a level that is still woefully inadequate, to my mind). Ten years ago, it never would have occurred to me to converse with my Heavenly Father by His revealed name, Yahuweh. I had never even heard the name Yahushua---only Jesus. Five of six years ago, Yahweh's seven miqrym were only dimly understood theological tidbits floating around in my head, bereft of context and significance. My point is that just as the repentant thief on the cross was assured of a place at Yahushua's side (not understanding shinola about what the Torah's symbols meant) I believe that full knowledge and compliance with God's word is not synonymous with a relationship with Him. A two-day-old infant is still his parents' child, even if he doesn't know all that much about them. If the rapture had occurred when I was in my thirties, I wouldn't have known diddley squat about Yom Teruah or any other miqra, and yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my relationship with Yahweh was real at that point.

I fully expect to see my mom and dad again on rapture day. Both of them passed away many years ago. Both were godly believers, both were relatively well versed in the Scriptures, but neither of them had much of a handle on the fine points of eschatology. I have to conclude that it was their relationship with God, not their shortcomings in knowledge (or even observance), that will place them among the "dead [who] will rise first" to meet Yahushua in the air. That being said, we may have a few years left before the big day. It is one of our jobs to enlighten our brothers and sisters to what God's Word has to say about this blessed promise. Who knows? Maybe in the time left, we can get folks to wake up.

On the other hand, we're told that "Of that day, no one perceives" (Greek: eido, not ginosko--"knows"). Maybe the day will sneak up on most everybody. I, for one, intend to keep my eyes peeled.

kp
Offline Noach  
#4 Posted : Friday, August 24, 2007 6:29:50 PM(UTC)
Noach
Joined: 7/5/2007(UTC)
Posts: 127

Thanks Robski and KP.

I am with you KP. I want nothing more than a large harpazo party and I pray you are right. While I agree with you that our taking away isn't dependent on the observance of Taruwah, it is evidence that we are in a relationship with our Creator and that we listen to Him. You gave the example of Lot being taken away from destruction. This is of course a great example. I wonder if this event might of even happened on Yom Taruwah. What's concerning though is that only 4 people were taken away out of the entire cities of Sedom and Amorah. Surely Lot's sons in law had a relationship with Yahuwah but they chose not to heed the warning given to them that day. They chose not to listen to Yahuwah. Taruwah is the warning, it seems to me that most Christians do not heed it or listen to yahuwah. They probably will though after the event. That is why I thank Him every day that I was given His Torah. Without it, I never listened to Him even though I thought I knew Him.

I pray you are right, but Scripture seems to paint a different picture. Isn't this the essence of why Yada says that religion is not a victimless crime? Even the christian religion wich teaches belief, but not trust and reliance on Yahuwah's word. I think Yahuwah's day of taking away snuck up on Lot's sons in law because they were unprepared. Lot and His wife and daughters seemed to be ready though. They were the ones taken. Those flying airplanes, driving cars, shopping, playing sports, boating, or any other activity other than preparing for Yahuwah won't be ready. Not even the sound of the trumpets blaring out the immediate warning may have any effect on them.

Noach
Offline kp  
#5 Posted : Saturday, August 25, 2007 11:02:03 AM(UTC)
kp
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Posts: 1,030
Location: Palmyra, VA

Good points all, Noach. It's just that I find no evidence that any of Lot's family had a relationship with Yahweh except for Lot himself. Yes, he had sons in law and daughters whom they had married, but the only two children he took with him out of the city were virgins (G19:8), thus still under his protection; the rest of his kids stayed behind and got toasted. Even his wife showed her true colors in the end, though the angel appeared willing to let her ride her husband's coattails. I guess Yahweh had other ideas.

Yada is right in observing that "religion is not a victimless crime." But I disagree with the contention that the "Christian religion teaches belief but not trust and reliance on God's Word." Some of it does, and some does not. I was raised a Baptist, Yada a Presbyterian. Perhaps that explains my more optimistic outlook, though I'm the first to admit that things have gotten worse of late. Much worse. Can one walk through the doors of a church today and find Yahweh's word preached without apology? Alas, the best I'm able to say is "occasionally." It's not a sure thing by any stretch.

By the way, strict observance of Yom Teruah is impossible today. Lev 23:25 says that "You shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh" on that day. But the only place that can legally be done is at the temple in Jerusalem ("the place where Yahweh chooses to make His name abide"). Failure in part is failure in the whole.

kp
Offline Noach  
#6 Posted : Saturday, August 25, 2007 12:26:39 PM(UTC)
Noach
Joined: 7/5/2007(UTC)
Posts: 127

Thanks KP. It isn't often you get to chat with the author of one of your favorite books. Kudos to Yada Yahweh for providing this opportunity.

I agree, by association, all of Lots family and even his friends it seems were given the opportunity to be taken away from destruction, and this is a very good thing for them and us. But they were given this opportunity because the one they were associated with Yada Yahuwah. I would wager to guess that by association, Lots family would have considered themselves follwers of Yah or in todays society "Christians", even though their daily actions might not have evidenced that. I see the same thing today with Christianity where family members consider themselves "Christian" because they grew up in a Christian home or have Christian parents or relatives. They are by association "Christian". But just because they know about God and therefore call themselves Christian, doesn't necessarily mean they Yada Yahuwah. It doesn't even mean the ones they associate with actually know Yahuwah, it just means they associate with someone who calls themself "Christian". It was a good thing for Lots family that they were associated with someone who actually knew Yahuwah and relied upon His instructions. Your right, the heavenly messengers certainly didn't come to Lots wife. Christianity definetly teaches knowledge of God, but if even one denomination trusted in Yahuwah's Word, there would be no confusion or disregard of the Shabbath. It is after all the fourth Commandment. It doesn't get any clearer. Instead, every denomination, every one, glosses over it and excuses it or turns it into something else. This is sad. These denominations probably won't be saving anyone by association.

Help me out with your last paragraph. We know that we can't observe the ceremony associated with Yom Taruwah, but we don't need to because Yahushua provides that service for us. We are only asked to partake in the celebration of what the ceremony points to by observing the appointed time because we rely on Yahushua. This is the evidence that we rely on Yahushua, that we observe the day that He works for us. It is a meeting with Him to commemorate His service and look forward to the prophetic realization of what this observance points to. What I am saying is that the observance is the evidence that we trust in His service. Not that we have to fullfill that service ourselves. My hope is as your hope is KP. My prayers are as yours are. But the simple fact is that if christianity taught what is should, by association, the harpazo would probably be how you depicted it in chapter 8, less maybe the mechanical chaos :). Unfortunately for most, I think Scripture points to a very small event compared to what it could be. And I think this is what the Sedom and Amorah picture is showing us.

Noach




Offline shohn  
#7 Posted : Saturday, August 25, 2007 12:34:38 PM(UTC)
shohn
Joined: 7/24/2007(UTC)
Posts: 160
Location: Texas

Not sure if this is completely related to the thread, but I recall reading something somewhere once about the number of Job's family that were saved after Satan was allowed to come in and wreaks havoc on Job's family. It was something to the effect that when all his children were counted at the end of the account in Job, the count of his family members was double because it also included his children his new earthly family members and those killed previously in the earthly life; therefore his other children were in safe hands somewhere up above.


--
Shohn of Texas
Offline kp  
#8 Posted : Saturday, August 25, 2007 6:54:11 PM(UTC)
kp
Joined: 6/28/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,030
Location: Palmyra, VA

Noach, I believe you're on the same kind of thin ice that invariably gets religious people in trouble. If I understood you correctly, you're saying that since we can't actually keep Yom Teruah as required in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 29, then a substitute celebration of our own invention will have to do. That is precisely how errant christian traditions get their start (at least the ones that aren't purposeful deceptions on the part of power hungry clerics). And the Talmud and Mishnah have made a fine art out of the same kind of thought process: "God said to do this, but we've decided to do this other thing instead."

As I see it, the solution to the conundrum lies in the fact that the Torah's precepts are signs that point toward something. They are the symbols that direct us toward the reality. The first four miqrym have been fulfilled in history. We can now point back to the events to which they were meant to lead us and observe them---we celebrate not Passover, but the sacrifice of the Messiah. We observe not the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but the removal of our sins. We celebrate not the Feast of Firstfruits, but the resurrection---a guarantee of our own eventual harvest, and so forth. But there are three miqrym left to go, none of which can be observed in the manner prescribed in the Torah. In the light of Yahshua's historical accomplishments, should we not be celebrating the destination instead of the signpost pointing toward it for these final three appointments? In other words, in the end, keeping Yom Teruah for us will entail participating in the harpazo, not keeping annual celebrations of our own design.

kp
Offline Noach  
#9 Posted : Saturday, August 25, 2007 8:34:04 PM(UTC)
Noach
Joined: 7/5/2007(UTC)
Posts: 127

KP,

Absolutely, I agree with you. I was confused from your last post regarding the observance of the appointed times. I know that they point to a realization in Yahushua. I guess our confusion is over the ceremony associated with each. I completely agree with you; there is no way we can fullfill the ceremonial requirements, but we don't need to. All I was saying is that I agree that we don't need to because Yahushua fullfilled those requirements for us. Maybe our difference is that it is still Yom Taruwah. Its not Yom Harpazo although this is what it points to. We still need to set this day apart, not disregard it and expect those who don't know any better because they think that the appointed times have been done away with to be ready for what this time points to. Will the trumpets blowing just before we are taken make any difference to those who have no idea what they mean? Would a christian who doesn't have any idea what to expect in the harpazo be scared to death about what is happening, or be competely ready for it?

In Acts 2, those who had gathered for the appointed time of Shabuoth recieved the set apart spirit and were not confused over what was happening. Those who were not prepared and didn't understand what this celebration pointed to were mocking and confused. Did the Spirit fall on those who were not ready to recieve it that day? Will those who are not ready for the pre trib harpazo be taken or will they come to a realization of what happened and what Taruwah pointed to after it has happened just as they did in Acts 2?

Your last sentence is exactly what I am getting at. In the end, those who trust in what Yahushua will do for us on Taruwah will be ready and expecting the harpazo because they will be observing the time. Those who don't will have no idea what is coming. For them, it will start out as just another day. It will end very much different from every other day whether they are taken or not. In that day, it may be good for them to be associated with one who knows what is happening.

Noach


Offline kp  
#10 Posted : Sunday, August 26, 2007 3:58:40 PM(UTC)
kp
Joined: 6/28/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,030
Location: Palmyra, VA

Sure, Noach. Being well informed and perfectly prepared are always to be preferred to being taken completely by surprise. But our degrees of preparedness (or unpreparedness) have next to nothing to do with the reality of what the miqrym's symbols represent. Not even Yahshua's closest companions had any idea what would transpire on Passover, Unleavened Bread, or Firstfruits in the year 33. And they were only ready for Pentecost (Weeks) because they had been specifically told... well, I'll let Luke relate the tale: "And being assembled together with them, [Yahshua] commanded [the disciples] not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which,' He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'" (Acts 1:4-5) Only in hindsight could you see that what would transpire in Acts 2 corelated to the descriptions of the Feast of Weeks in the Torah (nor do I thing any of us can really be properly prepared for the rapture, no matter how much we're looking forward to it).

Here's an eye-opener. Check out Nehemiah 8:1-8. It's the only recorded celebration of the Feast of Trumpets we have in the entire Tanach. It bears no resemblance to the Torah's (admittedly brief) description. Rather, it was a wake-up call for the returning exiles of Babylon. And I can assure you, the rapture will be a similar wake-up call for Israel in the coming days. The first instinct of the people upon hearing the unfamiliar Torah precepts read to them was to weep and mourn. Ezra, however, instructed them that this day (the first day of the seventh month) was instead to be a day of celebration. The real heart-breaker, however, is in verse 17, where it is recorded that the Feast of Tabernacles had not been celebrated in Israel since the time of Joshua! Do the math: That means that none of the great men of Israel like Samuel, David, Elijah, Hezekiah, Josiah, or Jeremiah ever kept the miqrym of Yahweh. I am therefore inclined to cut our less-well-informed believing brothers a little slack. The day may take them by surprise, but it will take them.

kp
Offline lassie1865  
#11 Posted : Saturday, November 13, 2010 2:23:05 PM(UTC)
lassie1865
Joined: 2/18/2008(UTC)
Posts: 309
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Location: Colorado

I read this interesting study about the 144,000 "Servants of YHWH":

Sabbath Observance
and
“The Rapture”

Scott Nelson 10/09

Introduction

As the title suggests, we will be exploring evidence that there is a direct connection between Sabbath observance and being counted “worthy to escape” the difficult times that are soon coming on the earth. Even though the term “rapture” is not found anywhere in Scripture, it has become a popular term to describe the taking-out or catching-up of believers to heaven before Yahshua returns. There have been numerous rapture scenarios taught by various Christian sects over the years. Of these, the most prominent teaching is that all Bible-believing/faith-alone/born-again Christians will be taken out of the world, without notice, prior to the rise of the antichrist and the last seven years of “tribulation”. This is the “pre-tribulation” rapture theory. Some have noticed the Scriptural fallacies of this doctrine and the highly-marketable lullaby aspect of it and have gone to the other extreme teaching that there will be no rapture at all until just before the final judgment only a short time before Yahshua’s return. This has been called the pre-judgment rapture theory. There is an element of truth in each that unfortunately the other can’t seem to get its arms around. The debate has been long and one could go on in an extensive essay outlining the arguments and the respective truths and fallacies of each, but I would loose most readers before even getting to the main thrust of this article, so I will just state my position on this part. I believe the Scriptural truth of the matter lies squarely between the two. This position includes two phases of the “rapture”. The first is an early taking-out of a relative few who are ready and worthy before a three and a half year tribulation (as opposed to seven years), and the second rapture occurs immediately before Yahshua’s return. These in the second group are those who have gone through the fires of persecution and remained faithful by not taking the mark of the beast.

A brief overview of some classic passages that clearly portray that there is an early taking out of those few who are ready include Yahshua’s parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins as found in Matthew 25:1-13. In this passage, all ten virgins undoubtedly represent believers who are espoused to him, but only a few of them were ready and counted worthy to go with him.

A second classic passage is found in Luke 21:36 where after describing the terrible things that would be coming on the earth, Yahshua said:

“Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the son of man.”

Working from this premise, the question becomes: How exactly does a follower of Yahshua become “worthy” of getting out early? As you will see, there is strong Scriptural evidence to suggest that the proper observance of YHWH’s Sabbath is an important and key part of the answer to that question. There is no single passage from the Scriptures that states one must be a Sabbath observant believer to qualify for getting out early, but when the numerous pieces of the puzzle are shown in their proper light, the picture clearly emerges.



Looking at the Pieces

A significant part of the confusion over the rapture issue stems from misunderstanding the references made to it in the book of Revelation. It is important to know which of the two raptures is being referred to when it is portrayed. For the purposes of this article, we will concern ourselves with only those that refer to the first rapture. It might surprise the average Bible reader to find out that there are actually three references in Revelation made to this rapture and/or those who are part of it. Another important fact that must kept in mind is that the prophecies in Revelation are not listed in the chronological order in which they will be fulfilled. There is indeed the general chronological framework in chapters 5-16 of seven seals, leading to seven trumpets which in turn lead to the last seven bowel-judgments, but within this 7-7-7 framework, as well as later in chapters 17 and 18, we are given a number of flashbacks to certain events in which we are given more detail and the events are portrayed from a different angle. This observation of the structure of Revelation is one of the most important keys to understanding the book.

Another important key to understanding Revelation is the fact that everything John saw was to be fulfilled in the future from his point of view in time. Immediately before embarking on his prophetic journey John heard these words: “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”[1] Therefore we must assume that no prophecy from Revelation chapter 4 and on concerns any event from before John’s visions. Some common interpretations of certain prophesies actually flash-back too far and include events that were history at the time of John’s visions. One such prophecy that is commonly misinterpreted is The Woman Clothed with the Sun. [2] This prophecy comprises the entire 12th chapter, and correctly gleaning all that is being said in it is key to understanding the significance of Sabbath observance and its relation to the first rapture. Here are the highlights of that prophecy.

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. … And she bore a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. … Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. … And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah. (Revelation 12:1-2, 5-6, 13-14, 17)

Every resource I have consulted concerning the interpretation of this prophecy identifies the woman as Israel , and the child as the Messiah. Many translations of this passage actually capitalize the word “Child” in an effort to steer the reader to this conclusion. They argue that the twelve starts on the woman’s head represent the twelve tribes of Israel . The single greatest support for the interpretation that the child represents Yahshua resides in the fact that the prophecy says the child is “destined to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” Even though this is indeed descriptive of Messiah, it is the only point, and there is an alternative interpretation. I will get to that in a moment. While this is the only substantive point, it is important to notice that there are a couple of serious problems with the interpretation that the child represents the Messiah. The first is the fact that Israel , having given birth to the Messiah, who later ascended to heaven, was already history, as opposed to a future event, at the time John saw the vision. The second is that those who believe the woman is Israel , have the impossible task of explaining how 1,260 days (also spoken of as 3½ years) where the woman is protected from the dragon in the wilderness, fit into their picture.

The assumption that the child must be the Messiah because he is destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron is flawed because it presupposes that this description can only apply to him. That presupposition vanishes in light of Revelation 2:26-27 where Yahshua himself said:

“And he who overcomes, and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations… he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potters vessels shall be broken to pieces… as I also have received from my Father.”

It should be clear that there will be a group of obedient over-comers who will rule the nations with a rod of iron right alongside Yahshua.

Here I submit a better interpretation of The Woman Clothed with the Sun, one which takes into account all the known facts.

The woman is not Israel past, but Christianity in general future.
The twelve stars on her head represent the twelve apostles of Yahshua from whose testimony all of Christianity has come into existence. The stars in fact represent both the apostles of the Lamb and the twelve tribes of Israel-future that they will judge! (Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:27-30)
The fact that the woman is “clothed with the sun” is indicative of Christianity itself in that Christianity has been steeped in pagan sun-worship observances since the days of Constantine . For one thing, Mithraism celebrated December 25th as the birthday of the sun, and the most blatant sun-worship observance of all was the abandonment of the seventh-day Sabbath rest to instead gather on “the day of the sun” …Sunday!
The moon under the woman’s feet represents the fact that Christianity has traditionally stepped out and gone back to work on the pagan “day of the moon” now known as “Monday”.
The child that the woman gives birth to and is “caught-up” to God are those who are also known as the “wise virgins” of Matthew 25:1-13, the “obedient over-comers” of Revelation 2:26-27, and the “counted worthy to escape” of Luke 21:36, who are taken out of this world and will return to rule with Yahshua (Revelation 20:4) and his apostles. (Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:27-30)
The 1,260 days that the woman is persecuted represent the last 3½ years of Daniel’s last seven-year period, where it is prophesied that in “the middle” of the seven, the beast (antichrist) sets up “the abomination of desolation”, which is also when all hell breaks loose against God’s people. (Daniel 9:24-27)
The fact that the child is not clothed with the sun and is separated from woman who is, is indicative of those who abstain from the pagan idolatrous rituals of Christianity and keep only YHWH’s appointed days. These individuals are portrayed as a labor pain to the woman (Christianity) from which she desires to be delivered.
This is just the beginning of the Sabbath observance rapture picture. There are several other Scriptures that dovetail perfectly with this interpretation. The best will be saved for last. But first, there are two more prophecies from Revelation concerning the first rapture that we need to look at.



The 144,000

Another prophecy that has caused an immense amount of confusion is that of the 144,000 who were redeemed from the earth. This group is mentioned twice in the book of Revelation, the first time in chapter 7, and then again in chapter 14. Most popular interpretations have erred in suggesting that these are two different groups of 144,000. The first group is believed to consist of 12,000 members from each of the twelve tribes of Israel , while the second group supposedly consists of 144,000 celibate men. But upon closer analysis it should become clear that these two prophecies are speaking of the very same group of individuals. The first passage describes the sealing of these people while they were still on the earth, and the second is a closer look at them after they were brought to heaven as “first fruits”. Here is the first reference.

After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I hear the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed… Revelation 7:1-4

Now, here they are portrayed later as first fruits.

Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion , and with him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes, These were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to 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
The problem with the celibate-men picture:

The one significant problem that makes it difficult to see that these passages are speaking of the same group of people is that we are led to believe the second group consists entirely of celibate men. The problem with the sentence that I have highlighted in yellow is that it suggests only celibate men can be members of this group, and what’s worse, women are only capable of “defiling” men and keeping them from it! First of all, nowhere in Scripture can it be found that sexual relations between a man and a woman permanently defile either one. Moreover, there is good reason to believe this particular verse has been touched up by early ascetic Christians who were predisposed to hating all things sexual. The first clue is that the context in which these words are found has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality or gender specifics. If celibacy and gender were critical factors, there certainly should have been something more in the context to corroborate that picture. But there is nothing! The very first verse certainly could have helped by stating that these were “one hundred and forty-four thousand men”… specifically males. But it doesn’t. In verse 4 where is says “These were redeemed from among men”, the Greek word translated “men” is not gender-specific, but indicates “mankind” in general.

The most significant key to understanding this passage is found in the Greek word translated “virgins”. It has two predominant meanings. The first is literally a virgin maiden and is indeed gender specific. It is never used in reference to sexually celibate men! A secondary meaning is more figurative of sexuality, is non-gender specific, and refers to “a person who has abstained from all uncleanness and whoredom attendant on idolatry, and so has kept their chastity”.[3] This picture fits perfectly in the context where these 144,000 who have The Father’s name on their foreheads are contrasted in verses 9-10 with idol worshipers who receive the mark of the beast.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation”.

So here is what I believe happened to that part of verse 4 that I highlighted above. I believe it originally read;

“These are the ones who are not defiled, for they are chaste (of idolatrous practices)”.

Later, when an early ascetic monk read this, knowing that the Greek word chaste could mean a virgin sexually, he interjected his own commentary/foot-note “with women” after the word defiled. His interpolation later became part of the text.[4] This is why the words “with women” stand out like a sore thumb with absolutely no contextual support. I don’t believe that these two words were in John’s original text.

This group of 144,000 in chapter 14 consists of both men and women who keep themselves from idolatrous worship and are therefore deemed worthy to be “redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to God and to the Lamb”. Now let’s go back and take a closer look at the first mention and description of this same group in chapter 7 where it says:

“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I hear the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed…

Here the prophecy refers to the 144,000 as “the servants of our God”. This description of the 144,000 is of utmost significance. Please remember it. We will return to it in a moment.

Notice also that the 144,000 in this first passage are being sealed “on their foreheads.” And in the second reference they are described as having been “redeemed from the earth” as “first fruits to God and the Lamb”, who have Yahshua’s “Father’s name written on their foreheads.” It should be obvious that having Yahshua’s Father’s name written on these people’s foreheads earlier is what had sealed them to become the redeemed from the earth as first fruits later!

This first reference to the 144,000 goes on in verses 5-8 to further identify them as consisting of twelve thousand members of each of the twelve tribes of Israel . The text even names the tribes. But now there is the problematic fact that 10 of the tribes have been lost and are unidentifiable today! Are we to assume that God knows who the physical descendants of these tribes are today and has exactly 12,000 from each tribe marked? I don’t believe so, because that picture smacks of predestination. Or, could it be that God intends to adopt into these tribes idolatry-free Gentiles who have joined themselves to Him and Israel ... as many as are needed to fill the remainder of each to 12,000?

Now comes the really good part.

Tying it all together from Isaiah

Bearing in mind that the 144,000 who have been redeemed (raptured) from the earth as first fruits, and follow The Lamb where ever he goes are also referred to as “the servants of our God”, take a good long look at this passage from Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-8 and ask yourself what constitutes being called a servant of God.

Thus says YHWH: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to YHWH speak, saying, ‘YHWH has utterly separated me from His people’”… “the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to YHWH, to serve Him, and to love the name of YHWH, TO BE HIS SERVANTS—EVERYONE WHO KEEPS FROM DEFILING THE SABBATH, AND HOLDS FAST MY COVENANT—even them I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My alter; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”. YHWH God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel , says, “YET I WILL GATHER TO HIM ( Israel ) OTHERS BESIDES THOSE WHO ARE GATHERED TO HIM”

Putting all the pieces together

The “child” that was “born” out of “pain” to Gentile Christianity, who was not “clothed with the sun” worshipping practices of the pagans, but instead became “servants” of the Most High by refraining “from defiling the Sabbath”, are those “144,000” “wise virgins” who “kept oil in their lamps” and were thus recognized by the angels to be sealed with “the name of Yahshua’s Father on their forehead”, effectively marking them as adopted into “the twelve tribes of Israel” and “counted worthy to escape” and be “redeemed from the earth” as “first fruits to God and to the Lamb.”

The woman who was clothed with the sun had to stay behind for a period of three and a half years for further testing and purification by fire.




[1] Revelation 4:1

[2] Even within this one chapter it is obvious there is a flashback/scene-change in verses 7-12, where the focus of the vision goes from the woman having fled for protection in the wilderness to Satan being thrown out of heaven, which is the reason the woman needed to flee. After opening this another window of insight, the prophecy concerning the woman then resumes in verse 13.

[3] Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament # 3933.

[4] A scholarly analysis of the history of NT manuscripts documents that this phenomenon of interpolated-commentary later becoming part of the text has occurred numerous times. See Misquoting Jesus, by Bart D. Ehrman, ISBN 0-06-073817-0



Offline Royce  
#12 Posted : Saturday, November 13, 2010 7:45:31 PM(UTC)
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interesting
Offline ks77  
#13 Posted : Sunday, November 14, 2010 6:36:10 PM(UTC)
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kp wrote:
Interesting observation, Noach. If I recall, I was careful not to make any prognostications about numbers of people getting raptured, other than to guess that the U.S., having a relatively large "christian" population, would be most significantly affected. But out of a nation of 300 million, even three hundred people all disappearing without a trace at the same time would surely cause a stir among those who were left behind. I mean, this is a country where a puppy falls down a well and the whole nation holds its collective breath. Anyway, it is my sincere hope that way, way more than "enough to make the evening news" will be taken home on rapture day.

I'll tell you where my real optimism lies, because it speaks to your observations. Although I have no solid evidence one way or the other, I'm thinking that knowledge of what Yom Teruah is prophetic of won't be a factor, nor will a formal observance of the day by gentile believers have any bearing on whether or not Yahweh counts them among His children on rapture day. I say this because although I have been a child of Yahweh since I was a child, it has taken me half a century of fellowship with Him and study of His Word to reach the level of understanding I now possess (a level that is still woefully inadequate, to my mind). Ten years ago, it never would have occurred to me to converse with my Heavenly Father by His revealed name, Yahuweh. I had never even heard the name Yahushua---only Jesus. Five of six years ago, Yahweh's seven miqrym were only dimly understood theological tidbits floating around in my head, bereft of context and significance. My point is that just as the repentant thief on the cross was assured of a place at Yahushua's side (not understanding shinola about what the Torah's symbols meant) I believe that full knowledge and compliance with God's word is not synonymous with a relationship with Him. A two-day-old infant is still his parents' child, even if he doesn't know all that much about them. If the rapture had occurred when I was in my thirties, I wouldn't have known diddley squat about Yom Teruah or any other miqra, and yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my relationship with Yahweh was real at that point.

I fully expect to see my mom and dad again on rapture day. Both of them passed away many years ago. Both were godly believers, both were relatively well versed in the Scriptures, but neither of them had much of a handle on the fine points of eschatology. I have to conclude that it was their relationship with God, not their shortcomings in knowledge (or even observance), that will place them among the "dead [who] will rise first" to meet Yahushua in the air. That being said, we may have a few years left before the big day. It is one of our jobs to enlighten our brothers and sisters to what God's Word has to say about this blessed promise. Who knows? Maybe in the time left, we can get folks to wake up.

On the other hand, we're told that "Of that day, no one perceives" (Greek: eido, not ginosko--"knows"). Maybe the day will sneak up on most everybody. I, for one, intend to keep my eyes peeled.

kp

Thanks for the post! I love good optimism.


I read somewhere Yada saying that it's in Yahuwah's word that only mere thousands would ever enter the kingdom of heaven. I didn't want to believe it, but he mentioned it being from the scriptures so obviously I'm going to believe His word over what christianity teaches. After reading it I didn't really want to come back here, as much as I love this place because I learn more about our God, I really didn't want to be exposed to something so depressing; the truth can hurt. After a while I thought well maybe there's some kind of mistake somewhere along the line, and when you just reminded me about the thief on the cross, it made me feel a lot better.

I really love reading your posts and your views on things.

I also don't believe it's about how much you know, but about the person's heart to seek and know the one living God.
Offline Bubsy  
#14 Posted : Saturday, February 8, 2014 4:20:45 PM(UTC)
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I, too, initially got excited about the "Getting All Caught Up" chapter of Future History when I first read it in the late summer of 2012. But after reading Introduction to God, and Yada Yah, and reading that Yahowah said his unfailing mercy is for just "thousands", not "millions", that grabbed my attention. ("I KNEW it couldn't have been THAT simple. That was too good to be true.") If it's only thousands from all around the world who get harvested, albeit they're most likely to be concentrated in the free world, that shouldn't have nearly so dramatic the economic and political impacts (something tells me not nearly so many, if even any, politicians will be harvested) portrayed in the chapter, which seems to describe the effects of a harvest of many millions. Still, to my knowledge, Yahowah didn't specify how many thousands. For an optimistic view, it might be 900 thousands, or 1500 thousands, or at the outside, as many as 1999 thousands before you would have to consider anything higher than that to be plural millionS.
Considering the terms of Yahowah's Covenant, no one is going to accidentally stumble into being harvested (I'll reject the Pauline term which implies an unpleasant, violent, wolf-snatching-away-lamb experience). If I gather correctly, only those in whom Yahowah's Spirit dwells will be harvested, and if I understand the terms correctly, that requires being circumcised if male (how much pain does do-it-yourself circumcision cause, if need be?), separating oneself from all religion (which would imply anyone who still considers himself a Christian, or member of any other religion, is expressly disqualified), performing and understanding at least Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Feast of Weeks (who knows if the first time you execute on the doing of those will be in the year of Teruah's ultimate fulfillment, and you'll get no further?), observing what are commonly called the "Ten Commandments", and circumcising any sons you have. (By the way, anyone out there who has done all that and is indwelled with the Spirit, how different do things feel for you now that you have the Spirit, compared to before you had it? I take it that change occurred right on the Feast of Weeks one year.)
If I also gather correctly from reading The Owner's Manual, "the place where Yahowah's name resides" is now in Yahudym. I take it the miqra'ey can be observed all alone, and you don't have to gather with others in groups to observe the meetings, and Yahowah will still get to know you. Has anyone observed the meetings that way, and still received the Spirit on Feast of Weeks? Or do we really have to find others who already have Yah's Spirit and gather together with them on the meeting days for introductions? (But if so, after Yom Teruah is fulfilled, there won't be anyone with His Spirit anywhere in the world, and that would mean no one in the Laodicea assembly could obtain His Spirit and "prevail".)
I got a practice run at Unleavened Bread last year (the office going out to California PIZZA Kitchen on the first day wasn't exactly helpful in that regard, but I went for a salad - without croutons). I'm hoping this year I'll be able to execute on my part of the participation requirements of the meetings. And if I feel noticeably different after the Feast of Weeks, like feeling the constant presence of a comforting Spirit that wasn't there before the day, I just might part with a few bucks to buy a cassette tape or CD of Blondie's greatest hits, and each year on the day before Yom Teruah, stick that in my car's cassette player or CD player, positioned just before the song "Rapture" before I turn off the car, to provide a hint of what happened to the next one to turn on my car, in case that happens to be the year. Now I just need to find a doctor who does circumcision for spiritual reasons to get started. I wonder if my Jewish dermatologist would be interested...
Ha Shem? I'm kind of fond of Ha Shemp, Ha Larry, and Ha Moe myself. And the earlier shorts with Ha Curly.
Offline Mike  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:50:19 AM(UTC)
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Welcome to the forum Bubsy,

If someone listened to the Blondie "Rapture" CD they would probably think that "The man from Mars shot you dead and then ate your head" instead of thinking anything about the Teruwah Harvest.

Shalom
Offline Bubsy  
#16 Posted : Tuesday, March 18, 2014 6:48:03 PM(UTC)
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Mike wrote:

If someone listened to the Blondie "Rapture" CD they would probably think that "The man from Mars shot you dead and then ate your head" instead of thinking anything about the Teruwah Harvest.


Yeah, well, I suppose that is something that could possibly go wrong.Blushing But hopefully SOMEONE would notice the song's title before a few minutes into the song Blondie gets to, "And you drive all night; and you see a light; and it comes right down and lands on the ground; and out comes a man from Mars. And you try to run; But he's got a gun; And he shoots you dead; And he eats your head." I would just need ONE person to notice the title and then hopefully make the connection… It wouldn't even necessarily have to be right away, either.
Ha Shem? I'm kind of fond of Ha Shemp, Ha Larry, and Ha Moe myself. And the earlier shorts with Ha Curly.
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