Revelation 14:1-16 - HARVEST: Firstfruits & Tares

 

 

14 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred 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

King James Version (KJV)

The revealing of Jesus in Revelation is dependent upon an understanding of the feasts and festivals given by Moses to the Israelites.  They were commanded to be the keepers of these truths for all of mankind and serve as landmarks in the last days.  The time of the end begins and ends with the fall festivals.  The spring festivals have long been recognized by many Christians as representative of the first coming of the Messiah because we accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the Passover Lamb.  However, the spring festivals intersect with the fall festivals also serving as landmarks in the last days. The spring festivals come into play specifically in the judgments of God and herald the rescuing of the saints during The Greater Exodus.  Just as it was in the days that the Israelites escaped bondage, there will be a Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Pentecost.

When the church became Hellenized by Constantine, there was a great falling away.  2 Thessalonians 2:3  Our current customs, traditions, holidays, and even some thought processes are based upon the mythologies of Rome and Greece.  We must go back and glean as much information as possible from the Old Testament and challenge our current customs and traditions if we want the wisdom God longs to impart to us as the final generation. 

In Revelation 14:1-5 we discover additional information about the 144,000.  One of the things we know is that they are redeemed from among men and are first fruits to God and to the Lamb.  This information is based upon Jewish spring festivals including Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruit, and Pentecost.  If you desire to learn more about these festivals, please click here.

The Passover was celebrated by Israel because God delivered them from Egypt.  When the angel of death came to slay the firstborn of all in Egypt, the angel passed over the houses of the Hebrews because of the blood over the door post.  Exodus 12:12  The Passover was celebrated with unleavened bread in the spring on the 14th of Abib.  On this same day Israelites clean their home of any leaven. The leaven represents sin and reminds the Jews that they had to leave Egypt (flee sin) too quickly for their bread to rise.  The spiritual understanding is to also flee the tempation of sin before it can raise its ugly head in your household and homeland. 

On the 15th of Abib, the day after Passover, the week of Unleavened Bread begins..  First Fruit was ordered by God to be celebrated during the week of Unleavened Bread on the Sunday after the first Sabbath during the week of Unleavened Bread.  Then fifty days later, on another Sunday, they celebrated Pentecost and received the law.  The First Fruit festival was to be kept forever when they entered the land and began harvesting produce.  A priest waved the first fruit of the barley and then began counting the omer for fifty days resulting in the full wheat harvest on Pentecost.  Leviticus 23:1-22

Christ resurrected on First Fruit (Resurrection Sunday) and is called the first fruit of the dead.  1 Corinthians 15:20  Mary saw Jesus on First Fruit (Resurrection Sunday) and ran to him wanting to embrace Him, but Jesus told her not to cling to Him because He must ascend to the Father. (He had to be presented and accepted as the first fruit of the harvest of the dead in Christ.)  John 20:11-18  Later that day Jesus appeared to the disciples and they could touch him.  Thomas insisted upon touching Him so he could believe.  John 20:11-29 

What happened during the time Mary saw Jesus and he appeared to them that evening?  He presented Himself to the Father as the first fruits of the resurrection of the dead.  He is the representation of those that were dead, but will join Him in eternal life through resurrection.  1 Corinthians 15:20-28

The 144,000 are also first fruit because they follow the Lamb wherever He goes.  They are presented to the Father and to the Lamb as an acceptable first fruit offering representative of the final faithful living and enduring earth's last and greatest tribulation.  Without the understanding of the feasts and festivals how would we know the meaning of the mysterious language in Revelation?  

Christ was crucified during Passover, resurrected on First Fruits to appear before the Father that Sunday. He then came back to complete His mission and ascended into Heaven forty days later. The disciples received the law written on their hearts on Pentecost (ten days after the ascension or fifty days after First Fruits).  The Holy Spirit came into the upper room and with a mighty, rushing wind breathed on them.  With the anointing of the Spirit of God, they began teaching, preaching, prophesying, and healing.  They began their personal ministry of reconciling the world to God.  Acts 2:1-6

The 144,000 are the prophets and apostles to the final generation.  They will agree to go out in the highways and hedges to compel mankind to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ before He comes in the clouds with all His glory.  Anyone that will come to the Father in the name of the Son will be saved at His coming.  All others will war against Him and will be destroyed, but that is not God's will for you.  At the teaching of the 144,000 a great multitude will come out of Babylon to prepare for the coming of God.

Of course, Satan will try to silence them.  At the end of their ministry to the gentiles, when their testimony has ended and their witness is over, he will succeed.  Revelation 11:7-13  They will be offered as an unblemished sacrifice, but they will prevail through the power of God.  The 144,000 will be resurrected in the sight of all the world and will ascend into Heaven just as Jesus Christ did after He was offered on the cross.  The 144,00 will follow the Lamb wherever He goes, even to death.  Through their death and ressurrection, the Father will demonstrate His power over death.  Their faithfulness will increase the faith of many.   

When the righteous witness the ascension of the 144,000 into Heaven.  They will receive a double portion of the faith held by the 144,000 just as Elisha did when he saw Elijah ascend into Heaven.  2 Kings 2  This faith will shelter the saints when they behold the wrath of God but do not partake of its destructive force.  This is the ultimate Passover that surpasses in grandeur the Passover in Egypt. The plagues of Egypt demonstrated the power of God, but were not poured out on the Hebrew children.  The saints will witness the wrath of God on the world, but it will not touch them or come nigh their dwelling.  Psalm 91

Left to their natural inclinations, those that resist God ultimately demonstrate their depravity by shedding innocent blood which fills their cup of iniquity and unleashes the wrath of an angry God.   He has held His silence far longer than He desired, but long enough to provide every woman, man and child of accountable age an adequate opportunity to draw near to Him.  He will also demonstrate His power to protect His own preparing them to cross over to the other side during the Greater Exodus from the bondage of this world.  This group of people did not hesitate to face the giants in the land during their generation.  Their God is eager to reward them and the saints of previous generations waiting in the grave for His soon return.  Make God your refuge and refuse to bow down or fear the giants in your life.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalm 91

Like Pharaoh of old, Satan will not let God's people go.  The Passover shelters the saints
from the death angels.  Turn the page and learn more about the final Passover. 

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