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The Sealing: Who Are the 144,000

David Shin


Pastor David begins a three part series entitled "The Sealing". In this first installment Pastor David shares a study on the identity of the 144,000. 


David Shin

Dr. David Shin is the President of Ouachita Hills College.



  • August 19, 2017
    11:30 AM


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Today we begin a 3 part series of messages we've been titled the ceiling and I invite you to open your Bibles to the Book of Revelation Revelation Chapter 6 and verse 14 as we back up a few verses before their scripture reading today is going to be a study of the notion of who is going to be sealed before Jesus comes Revelation Chapter 6 verse 14 this is after the 6th seal or during the 6 seal I should say then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up and every mountain and island was moved out of its place and the kings of the earth the great men the rich men the commanders the mighty men every slave and every free man hid themselves in the caves in the rocks of the mountains and sent to the mountains and rocks fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb for the great day of His wrath has come and who is able to stand this scene is that Jesus is coming the earth is shaking the sky is Rend open like a scroll. And there is a group of people that are wanting not to see the face of Jesus they are calling for the mountains and rocks to fall on them they want to hide from the face of Jesus and in verse 17 the 6th Seal ends with this question you see it there in your Bible who is able to stand. Now when you read the book of Revelation there are 7 seals you have the 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th. And between the 6th and the 7th seal there is what feel logins and Bible scholars call an interlude there is a pause before the 7th seal comes and the pause is really answering the question in verse 14 who shall be able to stand in other words who is going to be able to stand in the presence of God when He comes the 2nd time and Chapter 7 answers this question Who is the group of people that are going to be able to stand before God virtue after 7 verse one after these things I saw for Angela standing at the 4 corners of the earth holding the 4 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 4 angels to whom it was planted 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 forehead and heard the number of those who are sealed 144000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed this is the response to the question in verse 14 of Chapter 6 who shall be able to stand this group called 144000. Chapter 7 begins with the scene of 4 angels there holding the 4 winds of 50 angel comes and says hold them until we have sealed the servants of our God on their forehead. Now there seems to be in our community of faith some anxiety about this notion of the $144000.00 isn't there and there's several underlying trigger points of anxiety We'll get to a few of those in a moment but the 1st one is are the 144000 literal Israelites Now if you keep reading in your Bible you'll see how these 144000 are divided up verse 5 of the tribe of Judah 12000 were sealed of the tribe of Ruben 12000 were sealed of the tribe of Gad 12000 were sealed of the tribe of Asher 12000 and it goes on through the 12 tribes 12000 from each tribe now Mervyn Maxwell only on misc oller notes that ever since the Jews returned from Babylon in the 6th century B.C. some 2500 years ago no serious attempt often not attempt at all has been made to prevent intermarriage among the tribes it is extremely difficult to conceive that there exist today $12000.00 pure blooded representatives of each of the tribes listed in Revelation Chapter 7. You remember in the Book of Kings there was a division in Israel Solomon's son Rhea Bohem caused an uproar and 10 of the tribes to the north seceded from the kingdom it became the. The country of Israel with some area as his capital and then 2 tribes stayed with Judah or it became the kingdom of Judah Judah and Benjamin and these 2 co-existed for a time and the 10 northern tribes were taken away into captivity by the Assyrians and lost their national identity the 2 kingdoms to the south continued on to the time of Christ. So this is a misunderstanding when it comes to the 144000 because the Bible tells us that the New Testament Jew Gornja Romans chapter 2 verse 20 and 29 for he is not a Jew who is one outwardly nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh but he is a Jew who is one what inwardly and circumcision is that which is of the heart by the Spirit not by the letter and his praise is not from men but from God you know that you're a spiritual Jew going to scripture that's what it's saying Galatians chapter 3 verse $29.00 if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise so New Testament Israel consists of anyone that has accepted Jesus Christ as their savior that's what the Bible is telling us the promises of Abraham apply to us as God's church and God's people now the point of anxiety for many 7th Day Adventists is this notion right here one of them anyway is the number 144008 literal number and this is where the anxiety comes what if I'm number 144100. Lord comes David's at all I'm sorry I got to get my perfect round number here and you're your last that's kind of a difficult thing to swallow isn't it and what if he has 12000 from the tribe of Ruben whatever that means and you're the extra portion there and you don't get in and this causes a lot of anxiety among people now the significance of 144000 as a number is when you look at the breakdown it is from how many tribes from 12 tribes $12000.00 from each tribe it's a square root of 12 when you look at it and the number 12 has special significance in Scripture you have the Old Testament church God's people consisted of what the 12 tribes the New Testament disciples were 12 as well and according to Dr Dukan who's professor of Old Testament at Andrews the logical seminary he says that the number 12 has significance in that it means the totality of God's people this is a symbolic number friends let's not get caught up in this anxiety here this represents God's people who are alive just before he comes in here is another point of anxiety that people have are the 144000 saved by a different means than everyone else some people say oh you know what the 144000 is this assumption there they're going to get to heaven with a little bit of their merit. Well these are a special group the elite that are going to get to heaven with something a little more than we have when you read the Bible and I wish that we would just have this practice more and more often just read the chapter it says they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb when you have to wash something that implies that it was dirty before these are people that need a Savior they need the righteousness of cries so they are saved by grace just like everyone else so here's the question Who are the 144000 Simply put 144000 represent God's people that are alive when He comes that is the group that are described here now when you look at this list that is described in Revelation Chapter 7 this particular list of the 12 tribes exists nowhere else in Scripture when Jacob goes through his sons on his deathbed he begins with Reuben the oldest and then goes down through the different sons but in this it begins with Judah. Another interesting thing is that there is no tribe of Joseph found in the Bible but here he is listed as a tribe Reuben forfeited the birthright because of an egregious act he was supposed to receive a double portion that double portion went to Joseph through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh became tribes so he received the double portion. So this is fascinating because Ephraem is missing from this list. Another individual that is missing from this list is the tribe of Dan in Bible scholars have conjectured as to why this is missing from the list of 144000 here's a text that seems to indicate tendencies Hosea Chapter 4 verse 17 Ephraim is joined to idols lean of him alone the other tribe that is missing is the tribe of Dan and here is Jacob on his deathbed going through his sons and he mentions a characteristic that became true for the Tribe of Dan in general Genesis Chapter 491-7318 Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel Dan shall be a serpent in the way a horn to snake in the path that bites the horse's heels so that the rider falls backward one of the characteristics of Dan is that Dan was a backbiter the individual that would smile to your face. And you in your turn the way they would you know talk about you behind your back that was one of the characteristics of Dan. By the way if you have someone that's always talking about someone else behind their back be where it. Is just a matter of time before you become the subject of their conversation when you're not around matter fact one author said one of the ways to build integrity is to defend those who are absent you build integrity with those who are present. Dan was a backbiter now it's fascinating when you look at the tribes will get to this in a moment these are not stellar characters Simeon and Levi. Committed genocide they were murders but they're listed there and dances you know what I'm going to leave out backbiters and I have been in some different circles in Adventism very conservative very liberal it's fascinating because I've been in some circles where they will go. On the warpath for certain standard. The line is drawn the theological swords come out brandishing ready to go at it all right stand up for a particular thing but those same individuals would not bad and I bite you in the back tells you where God's priorities are matter of fact this theme comes out again in some 151 through 3 Lord who may abide in your Tabernacle in other words who is going to be in the New Jerusalem who may dwell in your Holy Hill look at this he who dwells uprightly and works righteousness and speaks the truth in his heart look at that last line he who does not what does it say back by with his tongue the question is asked Who is going to be in the New Jerusalem God says not backbiters now in the hierarchy. Of Deadly Sins considered by a community of faith I guarantee backbiting doesn't even make the top 10 makes the top 10 in God's Book matter of fact this is so heinous God says Dan's out and not in Dan was Judge Mental and critical Genesis 49 says Dan is a judge he had the ability of an analytical mind he could pick you apart and he knew every motive at least he thought. This is a characteristic you know in all honesty all of us have certain tendencies that gravitate toward Dan And here's a quotation from Bernay Brown that struck a chord in my heart we are often motivated by a need to compare ourselves favorably with the people around us we tend to judge others in areas where we feel most vulnerable or not good enough in these moments we take unconscious refuge in the thought at least I'm better then someone research tells us that we judge people in areas where we're vulnerable to shame especially picking folks who are doing worse than we're doing if I feel good about my parenting I have no interest in judging other people's choices if I feel good about my body I don't go around making a fun of others people's weight or appearance were hard on each other because we're using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency she goes to the solution it starts with showing compassion for ourselves all Lee when we feel comfortable with our own choices and embrace our own imperfections when we stop feeling the driving need to criticize others I have seen churches torn apart through Judge mentalism and criticism one district that will go unnamed I received papers that were served to me by members lawyers threatening if I did not fork over $10000.00 they were going to sue me and the whole context was we were like look you just need to stop tearing apart our church shoes or to legal aspect. This is really a condition you remember Adam and Eve when they ate the fruit the immediate consciousness that they had was that they recognized they were what they were naked and what do they do try to cover themselves then when God came around today what happened they felt their shame in and went to Blaine Adam said the woman made me do it. Woman said The serpent made me do it and ultimately they were blaming God it's it's a coping mechanism for our own depravity it really is because we just can't handle the ugliness inside and the solution is is the cross I read this powerful editorial by Clifford Goldstein and he said you know what the cross is like therapy because it's the only place that we can afford to take off our masks because it is safe. To come to grips with our own depravity and be real with ourselves because at the cross it's it's safe tells us how much God loves us but also at the same time shows us the exceeding sinfulness of sin we can we can take it off and it's only from that vantage point and we can have compassion on everyone else. I mean this and by the grace of God. We all need therapy. Mr feeling moving on very quickly evil speaking as a twofold curse falling more heavily upon the speaker than upon the here he was scattered the seeds of dissension and strife reaps in his own soul the deadly fruits the very act of looking for evil another's develops evil in those who look by dwelling upon the faults of others we are changed into the same image the irony by talking about the faults of others we become what we behold she goes on cultivate the habit of speaking well of others dwell upon the good qualities of with whom those you associate and see as little as possible of their errors and failings when tempted to complain of what someone has said or done pray something in that person's life or character Leslie Harding a. Bible scholar says Dan was a backbiter like a serpent in the path he bit the horse's hooves critical he knew exactly why everyone did everything or the sea thought sadly it was usually the wrong motive if you happen to be a dan or if you happen to know someone who is a Dan start praying for yourself for him you want to have your name changed and then there is no gate in the New Jerusalem name for Dan Christ says I will give you a new name it's interesting that one of the characteristics of the 144144000 are described as having no deceit found in their speech Jesus is described as having no deceit found in his mouth as well. Now when you look at these tribes there is actually a lot of hope that we can draw out of this because even though Dan is missing in as Leslie Harding said we can receive a new one name. The tribes are not. Stellar examples minus Joseph. God could have named the gates of the New Jerusalem something much different he could have said Daniel Joseph of Elijah. Right. Yeah these are the gates but he goes down through and says you know what Judah and if you read the Bible before Judas conversion not very good. When you read Reuben desecrated the family name. Simeon Levi committed murder the 2nd mites were killed in cold blood this was a dysfunctional family let me put a graph here of the family of Chico the epitome of dysfunction it looks like a reality show Jacob you know the story. Deceives his brother then he gets to see imagine the wedding night he thinks he's getting Rachel he wakes up in the morning to Liam and he marries Leo and this caused a lot of dysfunction in the home sister wives who were rivals who were always jockeying for who love me more Leo was the one that was 2nd class. And so she prays to God says Give me a son and so they go on this race for who is going to have the most children and Rachel goes to Jake up and says give me children or I die in the Bible tells us Jacob got mad and said And my God I mean this is the dysfunction and so Rachel gets a bright idea and says you know what my servant bill up have children there are so Jacob. OK. As kids through her and then Lee is like wait a minute this is not fair my servant zilch have children there are so this is the environment that these boys poor girl Dinah that that they grew up in just the animosity and the jealousy and the vitriol and the bitterness these were hardened men to the place that they didn't even cross their conscience they sold their own half brother as a state and so when God comes to the 144000 who people have misconceived as these people that to get to heaven on their own merits he says Ah these are coming from these tribes in other words these are the natural characteristics that these individuals are going to come from and the message of hope is this. It doesn't matter what kind of dysfunction I should say to God It doesn't matter what die and type of dysfunction you are born into he says you know what I'm going to take all of that dysfunction all of those issues all of those flat spots do you have idiosyncrasies and raise my hand right here do you have character flaws do you have issues of drive your family crazy drive your husband wife crazy you have just these 4 walls and these flat spots in these issues just depravity you were just. Born into it we're all born into a mess we all have issues we're all broken in a way and dances you know what I'm going to take that symbolized by this dysfunction and by grace. I'm going to transform you and transform you so much that you're going to look like. A man bike race bike race that's the beauty of the under 44000 that God can take anyone with any dysfunction with any issue with any problem with any family background with any genetics with any parents that DOT did not reflect the character of God and say you know what I'm going to make something beautiful out of this while I get this Revelation chapter 21 and it carried me away in assist in the spirit to a mountain grade in hind showed me in the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God and it shone with the glory of God and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel like a Jasper clear as crystal it had a great high wall with 12 gates with 12 angels at the gates and listen to this. The gates were written the names of the 12 tribes of Israel a testament that you know what with all of our problems and dysfunction there is a gate for you a man there's a gate for you named after whatever characteristic that we struggle with he says you know what this is your gate come on. Let us pray. Father in heaven we thank you today for Grace Lord we need you as never before we are born into dysfunction we've been hurt we hurt other people because we ourselves are hurting. And Lord in this minor of the pit of sin we thank you for the message of hope of the under 44000 that you can take something so depraved. And make it a new creature you can transform us by your grace and today Lord we just want to thank you for who you are that you can work in us and through us both to will and to do of your good pleasure and I'm just wondering if there is someone here today that wants to say Lord. I just want to ask that you work this miracle of grace in me you know this is a plea that he never says no to and if you want to say that the Lord does raise your hand said Lord I want you to work this miracle of grace in me. Bless you. Probably see these hands seal them with your spirit. We thank you that what you have started in our lives you'll be faithful to complete we can see sings in Jesus' name. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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