Monthly Archives: October 2014

Larry Rice, New Life Ministries in St. Louis Mo

I was driving home in a terrible rainstorm and turned on the radio and heard the best sermon ever!! It blessed my soul, with just what I needed to hear at the moment. I am trying to get a copy of the radio broadcast for you to hear right here. I was listening to 91.3 FM out of Van Buren, MO. Ralph Case is the manager of that station. His number is: 573-323-8867

If you would like more information about the New Life Evangelistic Center, please write us or call us:

By Mail

By Phone

New Life Evangelistic Center, Inc. Phone: (314) 421-3020
1411 Locust St. Toll Free: 1-800-334-3276
Saint Louis, MO 63103 Fax: (314) 421-1702

Business Office hours: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Monday-Friday) You can also send us an email using the form below. We are happy to reply by email to questions about upcoming events, volunteering, donating, church services, operating hours, problems with the website or our social media pages.

It was THAT good. No one could talk like he did that was not connected to Jesus. I was just wondering how open he was to advancing in the light? Am I open to advancing in the light? I think we would work well together if both of us are open to new light that does not contradict old light – for truth is truth for eternity! It does not change. Wonderful ministry Larry Rice is doing for the homeless people of St. Louis Mo and lots of other areas.


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God Will Soon Speak – Through the 144,000

  1.  The number, 144,000, as in any census is a literal number. The Bible never indicates that a number is anything other than literal. God required a census of the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land and He will carefully number all of the redeemed (in addition to the 144,000) before they enter His Kingdom, even though it will be a number beyond human ability to count.
  2.  The 144,000 will be God’s “servants, the prophets.” These servants will be anointed and appointed to speak on God’s behalf during the Great Tribulation.
  3.  The 144,000 will be composed of men and women coming from every nation, kindred, tongue and people.
  4.  The 144,000 will not originate from one particular church or denomination.
  5.  The 144,000 are selected from the twelve tribes of Israel just before the Great Tribulation commences. The twelve tribes of Israel are not the biological offspring from Abraham. Since the end of the 70th week (which I believe occurred in A.D. 34), the twelve tribes of Israel have been reckoned as believers in Jesus.
  6.  The 144,000 will begin their work at the same time.
  7.  The 144,000 will not, for the most part, know each other, and yet, their unique message and ministry will be the same around the world.
  8.  The 144,000 will be distributed throughout the world according to population. Nations with large populations will be blessed with a larger number of the 144,000.
  9.  The 144,000 have not yet appeared.
  10.  The 144,000 will be sealed just before the Great Tribulation begins.
  11.  As “first fruits” of the numberless harvest who will live during the Great Tribulation, the 144,000 will be sealed first. This sealing will be a final and permanent transformation of their human nature. God will continue to seal all believers during the 1,260 days of the Two Witnesses. The sealing is a transformation of man’s nature from “a propensity for sin” to “a propensity for righteousness.”
  12.  Many, if not all, of the 144,000 will perish during the Great Tribulation.
  13.  The 144,000 will perform many miracles, similar to Moses and Elijah. Their miracles will testify that they are God’s spokespersons. Of course, the devil’s prophets will also produce many miracles, signs and wonders during this time-period. Fortunately, the devil’s prophets will perform miracles which are inferior to the ones the prophets of God perform.
  14.  The 144,000 will suffer much rejection and torture for their clear, straightforward and truthful testimony.
  15.  Many different personality types will make up the 144,000. Most of them will not have a professional clerical background. Membership in this group is by divine appointment. In other words, no one can appoint or qualify himself to be a part of this group.
  16.  The 144,000 will be highly dedicated and loyal to the service of God.
  17.  The 144,000 will sing a song of experience and victory that others cannot sing.
  18.  The 144,000 will not fail to accomplish the plans of God.
  19.  The 144,000 will be taken to Heaven just before the seven last plagues begin.
  20.  As they ascend to Heaven, the 144,000 will become Jesus’ “servants in waiting” – they will be His personal aides throughout eternity.
  21.  The 144,000 will victoriously return with Jesus when He comes for His righteous people at the Second Coming.
  22.  The 144,000 will wear the names of Jesus and the Father on their foreheads throughout eternity.
  23.  The 144,000 will be empowered by the Two Witnesses for a limited time – 1,260 days.
  24.  The 144,000 will accomplish in this short amount of time what denominations have failed to do during the past 2,000 years.
  25.  The prophets of the Antichrist will greatly outnumber the 144,000.

End-time Perspective

The 144,000 will accomplish, through the enabling power of God, something that mere men and women cannot do. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the 144,000 will proclaim the everlasting gospel to every living person on Earth in less than 1,260 days! The result will be an international harvest of people that will be numberless. Consider for a moment the significance of preaching the everlasting gospel. What is the everlasting gospel?

The everlasting gospel is the truth about God and the terms and conditions of His salvation. The 144,000 will proclaim THE TRUTH and this truth will expose the false teachings of every religious system on Earth! This is an amazing point: God will not use an existing denomination as a vehicle to proclaim the everlasting gospel during the end-time. If this startles you, consider this point: The book of Revelation does not identify a “true denomination” at the end of time. Instead, Revelation identifies a “true gospel” and identifies the people who cling to it as “the remnant of the woman.” (Rev 12:17; 14:12)


Why does God “leapfrog” the great religious organizations that exist during the end-time and use a mere 144,000 ordinary people? If we consider the vast resources that some religious organizations have and then say that God will not use the great religions of the world to speak for Him during the end-time, we seem foolish! Nevertheless, here are six reasons why I believe God cannot use them:

  1.  The glory of doing the impossible, proclaiming the gospel to the whole world in 1,260 days, belongs to God and not to man.
  2.  The seven religious systems of the world are corrupt and therefore, cannot and do not speak for God. Consequently, they can neither correctly explain the everlasting gospel nor properly explain the plans and purposes of God for the Great Tribulation.
  3.  Most people will agree that God does not save people because of a church affiliation. Salvation is not gained through membership in an Earthly organization. In fact, if God used a religious organization to proclaim the everlasting gospel during the end-time, church affiliation would be an insurmountable problem for many people. Prejudice is a human frailty. Some people would rather die and go to hell than to join another church or even worse, the church of someone who has offended them. Consider the following example: Let us suppose that God looks down on Earth and decides to use a particular sect within the Moslem faith to give the truth for the end-time. How many Catholics, Jews or Christians do you think would join “that church” to be saved? Now turn the table around and ask yourself how many Catholics, Jews, Protestants or Moslems would join your particular church to be saved?
  4.  God does not save a person because his biological great-grandfather was Abraham or Daniel. The Lord has made it clear in the book of Ezekiel that one’s ancestry has nothing to do with salvation! (Ezekiel 14:18; 18:4-28; Matthew 3:9)
  5.  One man cannot prove the superiority of his religion over that of another man. If history proves anything, this point has been proven true beyond question. Not even Elijah could prove that his God was superior to the god of Baal without the physical proof of fire falling from Heaven? Therefore, it will be impossible for any religious group to argue their superiority (e.g., it alone speaks for God) over another religious group without physical manifestations. But remember, the devil and his minions will be using physical manifestations to deceive “even the elect” if possible. Ultimately, what makes one view of God superior over another? Is it because one God is more powerful than another and able to do great signs and miracles? Is it only because God has the power to save you? Or is it because His ways are righteous, pure and true? Why do you serve your God? In the end, every knee will bow confessing that He is the only true God and the only One that deserves our worship. Not because of His power, but because everyone will realize His grace, mercy, justice and perfect love warrant it.
  6.  God knows that Earthly religion has more to do with social structure than with a personal love for TRUTH. (Statistics show that 95% of people remain loyal to the religious system into which they were born and raised in – even if they fail to practice their religion.) Since properties of religion are so influential within the human race, God must test humankind. Because social relationships can be more important than loving truth, God must test people. A significant distinction exists between serving God and serving the church, and God must test humankind to see if we love Him and His truth above everything else. The test will be simple and applied without partiality. God will require everyone to leave his or her church for the sake of truth! Only then will the object of our deepest affection be revealed. At that time, some people will discover they loved their church more than they loved God! What a sad thought! Only when a contest exists between God and a person’s church can humans detect the distinction that exists between serving God and serving the church. Until this test is applied, most people cannot understand this distinction or problem. Remember, in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees could not discern how they were as blind as Jesus claimed! However, the day is coming when the same test given the Jewish nation will be applied to everyone, and each of us will be forced to make a choice – God or religion. Unfortunately, many people cannot separate themselves from their church of birth, even when presented with the plainest truth.

So, to help people make up their minds, God will allow the devil to appear on Earth. The devil (embodied as the Antichrist) will dissolve all religions and forcibly create a new global church. This event alone will help motivate some people to move beyond their denominations and leave their church for truth’s sake. On the other hand, all of the cowardly will prostitute their faith and join the Antichrist’s newly created church. The devil will make it difficult to refuse to join his church.

He will set up stringent laws, and if you choose to disobey and are caught, you will be put to death. Remember that God considers cowardice as great a sin as murder and sexual immorality. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

To make the religious playing field level for everyone during the end-time, God will choose 144,000 loyal men and women from all religions of the world to proclaim His truth. Just as Jesus gave Ezekiel and John little books to eat in their day, Jesus will give the 144,000 the words to speak in our day. Because all religious systems or denominations of the world are corrupt, they will be aligned against God’s truth. The line of demarcation will be very clear.

People who love God will leave Babylon and step across the line to God’s side. Conversely, people who refuse to surrender to the truth will have no other option but to join with the devil. In choosing his church people will receive his mark, which will allow them (through buying and selling) to obtain the necessities of life. The mark of the beast (a tatoo showing either the literal number 666 or the name of the devil) will indicate church membership in the devil’s church.

Consider the outcome: If people side with God, they will experience the devil’s wrath. If people side with the devil, they will experience God’s wrath. Surely, this will be a time of wrath for everyone!

Before leaving this section, one question needs to be asked. Why does God use a literal number of 144,000 people to proclaim the everlasting gospel during the end-time? Since nearly six billion people now live on Earth, why did He choose 144,000 – why not one million or 10 million to accomplish His task?

Answer: The 144,000, like Gideon’s army, are too few to accomplish the task humanly. By choosing such a tiny number of people, God will again demonstrate that He is not dependant upon man.

Why does God mention the twelve tribes in Revelation’s story? The 144,000 are mentioned in conjunction with the twelve tribes because of God’s original plan to proclaim the everlasting gospel through the twelve sons of Jacob. The history of the twelve tribes is as follows:

After the flood, God chose Abraham and his descendants as trustees of the gospel. Later, God renewed the trusteeship of His covenant with the thirteen descendants of Jacob. (Remember that Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

They were counted at the Exodus as two tribes; thus the nation of Israel was reckoned as thirteen tribes until the tribe of Dan disappeared.) As trustees of the gospel, the twelve tribes were appointed to be “the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14; Acts 13:47) When the twelve tribes of Jacob failed to let the light of God’s truth shine, Jesus modified His covenant with Israel and basically put a constitutional amendment into effect.

This amendment offers gospel trusteeship to the disciples of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20) Under the provisions of the amendment, anyone and everyone who receives Christ as Savior becomes an heir of Abraham and a member of Israel. (Galatians 3:28,29; Ephesians 2; Romans 10 & 11) Paul wrote, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

This is why Paul says, “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.” (Romans 10:12) And again Paul said,“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

What is a Tribe?

During the end-time, God will take 12,000 people from each tribe to produce the 144,000. A “tribe” is a group or family of people having a certain distinction. (Those living in multiracial communities often speak of this phenomenon.) Notice three things about the twelve tribes: First, the twelve tribes must exist at the end-

time since God takes 12,000 from each tribe as “first-fruits.” Second, very few people on Earth today can trace their biological ancestry back to Jacob, and since biological heritage means nothing when it comes to salvation (Ezekiel 14:12-21), I believe God groups all people on Earth according to twelve personality types.

This idea is supported by the fact that each of Jacob’s twelve sons was identified by unique personality characteristics that were passed down to their offspring and Jacob blessed the sons accordingly. (See Genesis 49 and 1 Chronicles 4:21,23 for an example of a unique characteristic.)

From this I deduce that the twelve tribes at the end-time are grouped according to personality traits or gifts similar to the sons of Jacob. God will use ordinary people to accomplish all that needs to be done. Jacob’s sons had very diverse personality traits and so will the 144,000. Third, God will choose 12,000 from each personality type as a practical matter. By dividing the population of the world into 144,000 segments, each prophet will have a “parish” of less than 40,000 people to serve during the end-time.

If we divide 40,000 people by 1,260 days, each servant-prophet will only need to speak to about 32 people per day to get the job done!

Note: Some people insist that the original twelve tribes of Israel still exist. The evidence they purport is widely disputed and lacks the historical and scientific authority to back up their claim. In A.D. 70, Jerusalem was destroyed and the genealogical records were destroyed with it.

Jewish ancestral tracing ended. Even if the original 13 tribes still exist, the divine amendment to the covenant allows anyone who receives Christ to be an heir of Abraham. (Galatians 3:28,29)

When are the 144,000 Sealed?

The 144,000 are selected and sealed just prior to the commencement of the Great Tribulation. “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: `Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’ Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.” (Revelation 7:1-4)

The four winds held back until the 144,000 are prepared for their work are the four terrible judgments contained in the fourth seal; sword, famine, plague and wild beasts. Jesus delays the opening of the fourth seal until the development and selection of the 144,000 is completed.

Then, when the fourth seal is opened, the seven angels that have the seven trumpets commence their destructive work. I believe the seven angels were given the seven trumpets in March 1994 – at the termination of the 70th Jubilee cycle. Since then, these seven angels await the sealing of the 144,000.

When the 144,000 are sealed, the first four angels of the seven trumpets will begin to harm the Earth. Specifically, the first two angels of the seven trumpets will harm the land, trees and sea – the very elements protected until the 144,000 are sealed. (Revelation 7:1-4; 8:7,8)

Importance of Character

John not only tells us the number of servant-prophets, but he also describes the characters of the 144,000. “These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.” (Revelation 14:4,5)

Comments on Purity

What an interesting statement about ordinary people! “They kept themselves pure . . . No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.” In the past, some popular TV evangelists in the USA have brought embarrassment upon Christians due to impropriety with women and money. Men claiming to be “servants of God” have been exposed as slaves of Satan. Perhaps the greatest sin in such cases is that these men did not come forward to confess their sins until “caught.”

Reading the story of Achan (Joshua 7) one could wonder how sincere a confession can be after being “caught in the act.” God rightfully expects those “talking the talk to be walking the walk.” John says of the 144,000, “they are not defiled with women.” This does not mean they remain unmarried, for the marriage relationship is holy and ordained by God.

This statement simply indicates that these people are morally pure and fully committed to Jesus. Some people insist the 144,000 are not defiled with false doctrines that come from the daughters of the harlot (false religions) mentioned in Revelation 17 – insinuating that there is one true religion on Earth today.

I do not believe a true religion on Earth exists today. I believe there is one God and one truth. It is the privilege of human beings to enjoy greater fellowship with God the closer they come to Him so they understand and practice His truth. However, the statement about “not being defiled with women” refers to dedication to God. The time will come when our allegiance to God will become more important than Earthly ties! (See Nehemiah 13 for a parallel study on the purity required of the Levites to serve God.)

One thing is certain about these 144,000 servants of God – they are blameless before God. Even the Old Testament prophet Zephaniah says of the remnant, “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth . . . “ (Zephaniah 3:13)

According to John, the Father’s name and the name of Jesus will be written in the foreheads of the 144,000. (Revelation 14:1) The placement of the names serves to indicate their exceedingly high rank in Heaven’s administration. The phrase “blameless before God” means that these men and women walk humbly in uprightness before God, just like Noah, Abraham and others. They speak truth, live truth and from living by faith, reflect the loving character of Jesus.

Through Jesus’ enabling, these individuals have come to love Jesus more than their besetting sins. The key to being selected as one of the 144,000 is perseverance to “overcome.” Review the promises Jesus made to each of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Jesus said to the church in Laodicea, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:21)

John also says the 144,000 are “offered as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” What does this mean? “Firstfruits” is a term describing a special offering presented to the Lord at various feasts. At the feast of Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles, which was the final feast of the religious year, an offering of first fruits was presented. The “firstfruits” became the property of the high priest after they had been presented at a sacred service.

The term “firstfruits” refers to the first fruits of the coming harvest. If a man grew peaches, then his “first fruits” would be the first peaches to ripen.

Old Testament feasts are shadows or patterns of the Heavenly Temple. From them, we learn that Jesus, our High Priest, will receive the first fruits of the coming harvest shortlybefore the great harvest takes place. He will receive the 144,000 as “first fruits” of Earth’s harvest and the 144,000 will become His special property.

This elite group will form a special entourage that will accompany Jesus at the Second Coming and later, throughout the eternal universe! John says, “They follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” (Revelation 14:4) Think of the privilege that belongs to this group of people – being a personal attendant of Jesus!

Twelve Tribes

The Holy City, new Jerusalem, has twelve gates and twelve foundations. Each gate bears the name of a tribe and each foundation, the name of an apostle. (Revelation 21:12,14) This should be an important point for those who think that God is going to use the twelve original tribes of Israel. The twelve foundations of the Holy City bear the names of the twelve apostles, not the twelve tribes! Perhaps the saints will enter the Holy City through the gate corresponding to their personality type.

If so, a group of 12,000 servants of God will lead their kinsmen through their gate! Everyone will belong to a tribe! Everyone will have a family! Think about the generosity of God. There will be an elite group from each character-type of the human family to help the newcomers as they move into their new homes. Even more interesting, God finds perfection in twelve different character types! No, He did not create the members of the human race to be identical.

What is the Sealing?

A few additional words are needed regarding the special sealing that the 144,000 will receive. Remember, the 144,000 are first fruits and they are sealed first. This means the rest of the harvest will eventually receive the same special sealing. What is this sealing? What does God do to His people before closing the door to salvation? After passing the test of faith, He transforms their nature. Notice, God does not propose to change our character, the development of character is our responsibility as we walk daily with God.

However, when the end-time arrives, God will test the faith of every person on Earth. Those who pass the test will be permanently transformed. No longer will sin be attractive to them. God’s children will be sealed with a nature like Adam and Eve before they fell. Attraction for sin will be gone – free from the influence of sin at last!

This is why Jesus declares at the close of mercy (seventh trumpet): “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” (Revelation 22:11)

Here are a few texts to confirm this point: Hebrews 8:10-12; 1 John 2:28-3:2; Zechariah 3:1-7; Revelation 11:12. In this last text (Rev. 11:12), God takes the 144,000 to Heaven before the Second Coming. Their ascension as “first fruits” proves their natures are transformed before the Second Coming; in fact, they were sealed before the Great Tribulation began!

Singing Songs

The 144,000 will sing a new song in Heaven which no one else can learn. What does this mean? After leaving Egypt, Israel faced an excruciating moment on the shore of the Red Sea. Today’s vernacular would read, “Israel was between the devil and the deep blue sea” as Pharaoh’s army rushed to capture the fugitives. On one side Israel faced impassable mountains and on the other side, open desert. Before them was the Red Sea and behind them was Pharaoh’s advancing calvary of 600 chariots. What a predicament! What a moment of extremity!

The anguish of the moment was so great that the Hebrews cried out in terror for deliverance! The Lord heard the cries of His children and delivered them! God divided the water and the children of Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. When Pharaoh’s army pursued the Israelites, God allowed the divided waters to come together again and it swallowed Pharaoh’s best soldiers. Israel’s worry with Egypt was over.

Their rejoicing knew no bounds and they sang this song to the Lord: “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: `I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation . . . Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone.’ “ (Exodus 15:1-5)

This specific song of deliverance relates to a specific experience. Only the people who went through this experience could spontaneously sing the words in unison! In Heaven, a song is a personal testimony.

The 144,000 servants of God experience the most extreme circumstances on Earth. Because they are designated and anointed as special servants of God, Satan’s wrath will be extremely fierce against them. However, John saw them as more than conquerors! These “true prophets” will be victorious over the “false prophet,” Satan, although a large number of the 144,000 will die. John saw them victorious – singing a new song that no one else could sing. No one else can sing this song because no one else goes through their experience. No one else can join in because no one else can sing that testimony!

Glory to God

The 144,000 accomplish a very great feat! They proclaim the everlasting gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people during the time-period of the seven trumpets. They walk with God, just as Enoch did and they reach a level of spiritual maturity that pleases God. Even though they will be allowed to experience the sufferings and burdens of Christ, they will receive the highest honor God can bestow upon a Christian – to enter into Christ’s suffering. (2 Corinthians 6:3-10, Mark 10:38,39)

What does spiritual maturity involve? The 144,000 will know what it means to live by faith, just as Jesus lived by faith. These people understand what it means to submit to the will of God completely and lovingly. They would rather die than willfully commit a sin. These people carry the responsibility of the gospel during the judgment hour to a reeling world – a compelling burden that most people cannot grasp or understand.

These people are serious about following God and they are the first recipients of the latter rain or outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Their lives are both a demonstration and proclamation of the character of Jesus. The 144,000 are the choicest fruits of Heaven’s harvest.

When does this maturity occur? “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” (Revelation 7:3) Since these people have not appeared yet, and obviously, the first trumpet has not sounded yet, it is my conviction that the sealing of the 144,000 is taking place right now! Jesus says, “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.” (Psalm 101:6)

Stephanos Means Victory

In Revelation 12, the story of a great conflict between the “true church” (represented by a pregnant woman) and a violent dragon is told. The woman wears a crown of twelve stars on her head. From the Greek language, we learn that these stars are set in a stephanosor crown of victory.

Stars symbolize messengers or angels and by applying the words of Daniel 12:3 to this portion of Revelation’s symbolism we find a very beautiful fit. “Those who are wise (or teachers) will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever.” In other words, the crown of victory worn by the woman is set with twelve stars that represent the glorious triumph of the twelve tribes. The 144,000 will be her “stars” in every sense of the word!

Literal Number

Is 144,000 a literal number? If the number is symbolic and does not represent a literal number of people, then the Scripture should reveal the meaning of the symbol (according to the rules of interpretation). Since no such explanation exists for the number 144,000 or for that matter, any number in Revelation, we can freely conclude that this number is literal. What value is there in treating numbers as symbolic? For example, in Revelation 17, John saw a beast having seven heads and ten horns.

The heads and horns are symbolic — not the numbers! The number 144,000 is a literal number. The term “servants of God” suggests that these people will powerfully lead out in proclaiming the everlasting gospel. In fact, in Revelation 10:7 the servants are called prophets! So, the work of the 144,000 will be to gather God’s remnant together.

Jesus said, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen [Israel]. I must bring them also [into my kingdom]. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd [when I claim all that has been given to me].” (John 10:16) [Words in brackets are supplied.]

The 144,000 Notified

“How will the 144,000 be notified of their appointment?” This is a question often asked. Of course, the only way to answer this question is to consider the relevant texts and look at a biblical parallel. In Revelation 10, John is given an open book and told to eat it. The book is sweet in his mouth and bitter in his stomach.

Then, John is told to prophesy again before kings, nations, etc. Within the context of Revelation 10, John is representing the experience of the 144,000. The book represents God’s message to Earth. The 144,000 will be given the words to speak. The final proclamation of the gospel is not a matter of human prowess. God will give the words and the Holy Spirit will provide the power. (Matthew 10:19)

A fine parallel of Revelation 10 is found in Ezekiel 2:8-3:4. From these verses we learn three things: First, Ezekiel was given a book to eat that was sweet in his mouth. The book represents an understanding of God’s will. Second, Ezekiel is told to speak to the people, whether they listen or not.

Having to speak the words of God which creates so much personal offense is the bitter part of the equation. (This is why the life-span of prophets is usually short.) Last, the enabling power within Ezekiel was the Spirit of God. In other words, the Holy Spirit enabled Ezekiel to say (and do) things that were beyond mere human capability.

When we combine the context of Revelation 10 with the parallel in Ezekiel 2 & 3, we can conclude the following: The 144,000 will be fully informed of their appointment by a direct and powerful confrontation with God. Their appointment will not come prematurely. In other words, until God speaks, the identity and selection of the 144,000 remains unknown.

How will the 144,000 be Recognized?

The 144,000 will be recognized in three ways: First, by the conformity of their message with Scripture. Remember, the 144,000 will operate during the Great Tribulation. They will proclaim and explain the everlasting gospel. Second, the 144,000 will be recognized by the power (simplicity and clarity) of their message. Remember John the Baptist? People walked out into the wilderness area of the Jordan to hear this man because he spoke with power and authority that comes from the Holy Spirit! (Luke 7:24-26)

People also marveled at Jesus because of the authority with which He spoke. (Mark 1:22) Last, the 144,000 will be recognized as prophets because their predictions come to pass. Their ability to perform signs and miracles will verify their appointment. However, this manifestation of power proves little in those days because the servants of the devil will also be doing “miracles.” (Matthew 7:20-22)

The point here is simple: During the Great Tribulation, many will find it easier to put faith in “miracle workers” than to yield to the “faith testing” terms and conditions of salvation. If some “prophet” can perform a miracle upon demand, many will use the testimony of the miracle worker to justify rebellion against God. If God cannot reach mankind with a clear and penetrating presentation of truth, then a miracle won’t do much either. (Remember Moses in Pharaoh’s court.) This is why I say signs and wonders will not prove very much.

In Closing

The purpose for the 144,000 servant-prophets will be to proclaim the everlasting gospel. God knows many people on Earth in all religions love Him and serve Him to the best of their ability. To gather these people into His sheep pen, He must first separate the sheep from the goats.

God has revealed in Revelation the process of how He intends to separate the sheep from the goats. First, He will empower the 144,000. Joel 2:28-30 says, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all [types of] people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my [144,000] servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke [as the Great Tribulation commences].” [Words in brackets supplied.]

Next, to gain the whole world’s attention, God will cause the seven trumpet events to occur. The resulting calamities will sharply awaken the inhabitants of Earth to the enormity of their sins. Then, while still in this frame of mind, God will have His servants speak. What will they say?

They will present the everlasting gospel with power and authority. (Revelation 14:6-10) Individuals who take to heart the message presented by the 144,000 will be saved. Those who have ears, but refuse to hear will be destroyed. Actually, when you look at the big picture, the story is quite simple and depends on a very tiny number of human beings. Personally, I believe the 144,000 could appear any day. When God reveals who they are, they will not show up on TV and they will not receive a round of applause or glittering rewards.

The 144,000 will not ride in limousines or have world fame. However, when they begin to proclaim God’s message, you will know God has taken control of the events on Earth and the end has come. No wonder Paul wrote, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
(1 Corinthians 1:27)

144,000 Sealed

144,000 servants of God are sealed at a particular point in the prophetic events foretold in the book of Revelation. There are some important events that lead up to that time. I will include some background information so you can see how these events fit together.

In the book of Revelation there are three main sequences of numbered events. There are 7 seals, 7 trumpets and 7 bowls (plagues). All three of these sequences follow the same pattern. First there is an introduction followed by 6 events. Then there is a break and then the seventh event. Here is a picture of how this works:

Seals Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 Break 7
Trumpets Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 Break 7
Bowls Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 Break 7

In each series, the events happen in the exact order they are given. The introduction happens first and events 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 follow. The break is the only part that occurs out of chronological order. The break is a separate vision that portrays events that do not occur sequentially after 6 and before 7. In each case the break has the words “I saw” near the beginning.

Seals ‘After these things I saw’ Revelation 7:1
Trumpets ‘I saw’ Revelation 10:1
Bowls ‘And I saw’ Revelation 16:13

The events during the seven trumpets are described in Revelation chapters 8 – 12:

Introduction Revelation 8:2-6
Trumpet 1 Revelation 8:7
Trumpet 2 Revelation 8:8,9
Trumpet 3 Revelation 8:10,11
Trumpet 4 Revelation 8:12
Trumpet 5 Revelation 9:1-12
Trumpet 6 Revelation 9:13-21
Break Revelation 10:1 – 11:14
Trumpet 7 Revelation 11:15-19

Introduction to the seven trumpets

“2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” Rev 8:2-6

“7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” Rev 8:7

Notice the sequence of events:

1 7 angels are given 7 trumpets Introduction
2 Another angel with a censer offers incense Introduction
3 Angel throws censer to the earth Introduction
4 7 angels prepare to sound their trumpets Introduction
5 The first angel sounds his trumpet Trumpet 1

These five events happen in the precise order they are listed above. Let’s look at each event in more detail.

Seven angels given seven trumpets

“2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.” Rev 8:2

God has seven important angels that stand before Him. They are waiting to do whatever He asks. They carry seven messages to the seven churches, they blow seven trumpets and then they pour out seven bowls. Four of the seven angels hold the four winds so the winds don’t blow.

God gives the seven trumpets to the seven angels. Each of the angels is responsible for blowing one of the trumpets. It is God who initiates and controls the blowing of the seven trumpets. They are judgments from Him.

Four angels holding four winds

When God hands trumpets to the first four angels He is also giving them the four winds of the earth.

“1 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.” Rev 7:1

The four angels standing at the four corners of the earth are the same four angels who blow the first four trumpets. The four winds are the first four trumpets. Wind is what makes a trumpet blow so when the wind is held the trumpet makes no sound.

When the four winds blow, the earth, the sea, and the trees will be hurt. When the first four trumpets blow, the earth, the sea, and the trees will be hurt. As long as the four angels are holding the winds the trumpets can’t sound.

Trumpet 1 Earth and trees hurt
Trumpet 2 Sea hurt

Something very important has to happen before God will allow the winds to blow and the trumpets to sound.

144,000 sealed with the seal of God

“2 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, 3 saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’ 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.” Rev 7:2-4

The angel ascending from the east is Jesus. He rises from the east as the sun of righteousness. He has the seal of God and He is preparing to seal 144,000 servants of God. He calls to the four angels, telling them not to let the winds blow, not to blow the first four trumpets, until the 144,000 servants of God have been sealed on their foreheads. He tells the four angels not to harm the earth, sea or trees. The first four trumpets harm the earth, sea and trees.

Before the winds are let loose and the trumpets blow, God will seal His 144,000 servants.

Angel with censer offers incense

“3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.” Rev 8:3,4

The angel with the golden censer is Jesus. He stands at the altar of incense in heaven. He is given much incense to offer with the prayers of the saints on the altar. The saints are in earnest prayer because the Holy Spirit is convicting them that something important is happening in heaven and they need to repent and be converted.

“19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19

We can’t see into the sanctuary in heaven. We can’t smell the incense or feel the heat from the fire on the altar. By faith we can understand that Jesus is mixing His righteousness with our prayers and presenting them to God.

Censer filled with fire and thrown to Earth

“5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.” Rev 8:5

Jesus fills the censer with coals of fire from the altar and throws it to the earth. This represents the righteousness of Christ and the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit being poured out on people in a singular way. There is a worldwide earthquake with noises, thunder, and lightning. We cannot see and hear the censer being thrown to earth. But we can see, hear and feel the earthquake, noises, thunder and lightning. When we feel this first worldwide earthquake we will know that the censer has just been thrown to the earth. We know it because the Bible says it.

The censer being thrown to earth marks the beginning of several significant events on earth:

  1. The Holy Spirit being poured out with latter rain power, bringing times of refreshing
  2. The sealing of 144,000 servants of God
  3. The Great Tribulation

We cannot see events that take place in heaven. We can only understand and experience them by faith. The first event that we will see and feel with our senses will be the worldwide earthquake occurring with noises, thunder and lightning. We will see, hear and feel these powerful events. We will know that the censer has been cast to the earth when we feel the earthquake, see the lightning, and hear the noises and thunder.

Coals of Fire

Coals of fire from the altar are used to cleanse people and take away their sins. Notice the experience of Isaiah, the prophet when he was given a vision of the glory of God. He became painfully aware of his own sinfulness and he cried out,

“5 Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.”

“6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.’

“8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'” Isaiah 6:5-8

When the Holy Spirit comes to God’s people and presents Jesus in His purity and righteousness, they will be convicted of their own sinfulness. Like Isaiah, they will cry out for cleansing. These are the prayers of the saints that are ascending before God. Then the censer, filled with coals of fire from the altar, is thrown to the earth. These coals of fire will touch the lips of the repenting saints and their iniquity will be taken away. This prepares the 144,000 to be sealed and to give God’s messages to the rest of the world. They will give the three angel’s messages to the world with power and clarity.

The coals of fire from the altar will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit with even more power than on the day of Pentecost:

“1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4

Seven angels prepare to sound

“6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” Rev 8:6

Right after the censer is cast to the earth and the first worldwide earthquake occurs, the seven angels prepare to sound the seven trumpets. They know that within a few days the 144,000 will be sealed so they prepare themselves to sound their trumpets.

The seven angels know that as soon as the 144,000 are sealed the seven trumpets should blow. As soon as the 144,000 are sealed the 4 angels will release the 4 winds and the first 4 trumpets will blow. Since the angels don’t immediately begin to blow their trumpets we know that the 144,000 are not all sealed yet. We also know that the 144,000 will be sealed very quickly because the angels are already preparing to sound.

During the few weeks following the worldwide earthquake, the Holy Spirit will be poured out in latter rain power and the 144,000 will be sealed.

144,000 sealed servants of God

The 144,000 people who are sealed are call God’s servants. God’s servants are also His prophets. Look at these two verses:

“7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.” Rev 10:6-7

“11 And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints. Rev 11:18

God will have 144,000 prophets give His three angel’s messages to the people of the world.

“4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:” Rev 7:4-8

Tribe # Sealed
Judah 12,000
Reuben 12,000
Gad 12,000
Asher 12,000
Naphtali 12,000
Manasseh 12,000
Simeon 12,000
Levi 12,000
Issachar 12,000
Zebulun 12,000
Joseph 12,000
Benjamin 12,000
Total 144,000

Jesus seals exactly 144,000 servants. He selects 12,000 from each of 12 tribes. These 12 tribes are spiritual Israel and not literal Israel.

“28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Genesis 32:23

Jacob’s name was changed to Israel when he struggled with God and prevailed or overcame. When we prevail with God and overcome we become part of spiritual Israel as well.

For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” Romans 9:6-9

When a person chooses to worship Jesus he becomes a member of one of 12 spiritual tribes. In God’s kingdom, the New Jerusalem, there are 12 gates and all the redeemed will enter in through the gate from the tribe they belong to. When Jesus was on earth He had 12 disciples who followed Him during His 3 ½ year ministry. He will now have 12 X 12,000 who will follow Him and witness for Him during the (3 ½ year ministry during the March 19, 2013 and 42 months later to September 19, 2016.)

The 144,000 have been cleansed, purified and sealed. They are prepared by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to give the three angel’s messages to the world.

Now something needs to happen that will get the attention of each person on earth. Each mind needs to be opened so the three angel’s messages can be heard. God will use the seven trumpets for this purpose.

144,000 Sealed – First Fruits – Brides of Christ – Zion is the Bride of Christ, the 144,000

“1 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. 2 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. 3 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.” Rev 14:1-3

Jesus is the Lamb and mount Zion is the kingdom of heaven. The 144,000 are the people that were just sealed on their foreheads. God the Father’s name is written on their foreheads. It is not written visibly. It means that they have taken God’s name as their own and they have made a final choice to worship Him. They were spiritually sealed and spiritually entered the kingdom of heaven.

Heaven is a real, physical, perfect place but the 144,000 won’t get to go there until the Great Tribulation is over and Jesus comes to get them and takes them to heaven.

The 144,000 sing a new song that has never been sung before. It is the song of their experience and no one else has had their experience so no one else can sing this song.

First fruits to God

“4 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 firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Rev 14:4,5

The 144,000 are spiritual virgins and have not committed fornication by joining Babylon. During the fifth trumpet Satan will come claiming to be Jesus and he will set up his worldwide kingdom called Babylon. Anyone who joins Babylon will be defiled and will commit spiritual immorality.

Babylon the great harlot

“8 And another angel followed, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.'” Rev 14:8

“1 great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” Rev 17:1,2

“4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Rev 17:4,5

The 144,000 are sealed before Babylon comes into existence and they will never join Babylon so they are not defiled by Babylon. They will not drink of Babylon’s wine. They will follow Jesus wherever He leads them. They have His faith and they live His life. They adore and worship Him.

They have been redeemed – saved from their sins by the blood of Jesus.

“21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matt 1:21

First fruits of the harvest

Each year at the beginning of the literal harvest the children of Israel would select some of the first grain or fruit to ripen and offer it to the Lord. This was called the first fruits of the harvest. The rest of the field could not be harvested until the first fruits had been presented to the Lord. The 144,000 are the first fruits of the spiritual harvest that will bring people into the kingdom of God. Now that they have been offered to the Lord the rest of the world can be harvested. The 144,000 give the three angel’s messages to the rest of the world. As people respond by worshiping God they are harvested into His kingdom.

The 144,000 tell the complete truth. They do not lie.

Great multitude

“9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” Rev 7:9

The first fruits are the 144,000 and the rest of the harvest is a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and tongue. The great multitude will heed the preaching of the 144,000 prophets and will choose to worship God. They will be clothed in white because they are covered with Christ’s righteousness.

“13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ 14 And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'” Rev 7:13-17

The great tribulation begins just before the 144,000 prophets of God are sealed. The great multitude hear the preaching of the 144,000 and obey their warning. They choose to worship God. They receive Jesus as their savior and are clothed with His righteousness. They have been hungry, thirsty, and hot during the Great Tribulation. But they have received salvation and God will wipe away all their tears.

Comparison of 144,000 and Great Multitude
Question 144,000 Great Multitude
How many are there? 144,000 in number No one could number
Where are they from? 12 spiritual tribes of Israel Every nation, tribe and people
When are they sealed? Before the seven trumpets During the seven trumpets
Are they from Babylon? No, they are virgins Yes, they come out of Babylon
What part of harvest? First fruits General harvest
The 3 angel’s messages? They give them They hear and heed them