Participants: Pastor Stephen Bohr
Series Code: CGC
Program Code: CGC000026
01:12 Shall we bow our heads?
01:15 Father in heaven, we thank you so much
01:17 for the privilege of being in Your house.
01:20 We thank you for the awesome privilege of opening up
01:24 Your holy book... the book of Genesis
01:27 and the book of Revelation...
01:29 to study about that select group: the 144,000.
01:35 We ask that Your Holy Spirit will guide us in our study today
01:39 and help us to learn the lessons which will be
01:42 useful in our own personal walk with Jesus.
01:45 And we thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayer
01:47 for we ask it in Jesus' name, Amen.
01:52 I'd like to invite you to turn in your Bibles with me
01:55 to the book of Revelation chapter 21.
01:58 Revelation chapter 21.
02:02 And we want to read verses 10 through 13.
02:05 Revelation 21 and verses 10 to 13.
02:10 Here the New Jerusalem is being described
02:14 and it says this:
03:07 We find here a description
03:09 of the New Jerusalem.
03:12 And what I want you to notice
03:13 as we begin our study
03:15 is that the New Jerusalem
03:16 has twelve gates.
03:18 And on each gate is one of the names
03:22 of the twelve sons of Jacob.
03:27 Now the question is: what are those names?
03:30 We're not told in the passage that we just read
03:34 so we must go to Revelation chapter 7
03:37 and verses 1 through 8.
03:40 Revelation chapter 7 and verses 1 through 8.
03:47 Here we find in the first three verses a description
03:51 of the great tribulation which is soon to come
03:55 upon the world. It says in verse 1:
04:14 By the way, when the winds are released
04:17 that's the tribulation... the period of the plagues.
04:20 Time of trouble such as has never been seen in the
04:22 history of the world. Verse 2:
04:49 I want you to notice here that the reason for the sealing
04:54 is to identify those who are going to go through the
04:57 tribulation so that their lives are preserved,
05:01 their lives are spared.
05:03 That's the reason why it says before the winds are released
05:07 "seal My servants on their foreheads. "
05:10 In other words, it is a mark of protection upon God's people
05:14 who will go through the tribu- lation when the winds of strife
05:19 are released.
05:21 And then I want you to notice who are the ones that receive
05:24 the seal. Verse 4:
05:41 So now we're going to notice the names of the individuals
05:45 that are found on the doors that we read about
05:48 in Revelation chapter 21. Verse 5:
06:44 The names of the sons of Jacob
06:48 which later became the tribes of Israel.
06:53 Now there's a critical question that we need to ask
06:57 before we move on to study about the 144,000
07:01 and that is: when will the 144,000 live
07:07 in the history of the world?
07:09 There's no doubt whatsoever, folks, as we examine
07:13 the book of Revelation that the 144,000
07:16 are those who will be alive when Jesus comes.
07:20 You say: "How do we know that? "
07:22 Well, let's go back to chapter 6
07:25 and we'll notice that very clearly.
07:27 Revelation 6, and I would like to begin at verse 15. It says:
07:54 "and from the wrath of the Lamb
07:57 for the great day of His wrath has come
08:00 and who shall be able to stand? "
08:03 Now what event is being described in these verses?
08:06 There's no doubt that it's talking about the second coming
08:10 of Christ. That's the "great day of His wrath. "
08:14 Now my question is: who will live during this period
08:18 of the outpouring of God's wrath?
08:21 The answer is in the very next chapter where we read from.
08:24 It says there that the winds of strife are being held
08:28 until the servants of God are sealed on their foreheads.
08:32 So when the question is asked: "Who shall be able to stand? "
08:36 the answer is: "Those who have received... " What?
08:41 "Those who have received the seal of God. "
08:45 So when Jesus comes and He manifests His wrath
08:50 according to the book of Revelation
08:51 those only ones who will be able to stand
08:54 are the 144,000
08:57 who have the names of all of the sons of Jacob
09:02 of the tribes of Israel.
09:05 Now we need to ask the question
09:08 "Who are these 144,000? "
09:11 Are we dealing here with literal Jews?
09:16 Is this God's final plan for the literal Jewish nation
09:20 where He's going to rescue literal people from the literal
09:24 tribes of Israel? Or is this referring to
09:28 spiritual Israelites who have the characteristics
09:33 of the sons of Jacob who later became the tribes of Israel?
09:39 Well, what we need to do to answer this question
09:42 is examine what the New Testament means
09:47 by the word Israel.
09:49 Obviously, these people are going to be saved
09:52 because in the day of the wrath of the Lamb
09:54 they are going to be able to stand.
09:56 They are sealed with the seal of God.
09:58 They're going to be saved in other words.
10:01 Now if they're going to be saved and they are Israel,
10:04 we need to understand what Israel means
10:07 in the New Testament.
10:10 Go with me to Romans chapter 2 and verses 28 and 29.
10:15 Romans 2:28-29. Let's identify Israel.
10:21 It says here, the apostle Paul speaking:
10:37 Notice that a Jew is not necessarily one who has been
10:41 circumcised. Verse 29:
11:02 Who is Israel according to this passage?
11:05 Israel is composed of those
11:08 who have circumcised hearts.
11:11 Who have been converted
11:13 to Jesus Christ as their Savior
11:16 and Lord. That is true Israel.
11:19 Now go with me to Galatians chapter 3 and verse 16
11:24 further emphasizing this point.
11:26 Galatians chapter 3 and verse 16.
11:30 It says here: "Now to Abraham and his seed
11:35 were the promises made.
11:37 He does not say 'and to seeds' as of many
11:43 but as of one. And to your Seed who is Christ. "
11:49 Who is the only true Seed of Abraham? Christ.
11:54 The promises were not made to seeds but to the Seed...
11:59 Jesus Christ.
12:00 Now you say: "Well that excludes all of us. "
12:04 No it doesn't.
12:06 Notice chapter 3 and verses 27 and 29.
12:11 Galatians chapter 3 verses 27 and 29.
12:17 Here we find the apostle Paul saying this:
12:29 Verse 29:
12:40 Who are the children of Abraham according to this verse?
12:45 The children of Abraham are those who belong to whom?
12:49 To Christ.
12:51 In other words, Israel is not defined
12:54 by the blood we have, by the place we live,
12:57 or by the surname we possess.
13:00 Israel is defined as those who have accepted Jesus Christ
13:04 as Savior and Lord...
13:07 which is a spiritual relationship.
13:10 In other words, you can not be a literal Jew
13:13 and still, according to the Bible, be a Jew.
13:17 You can not be a literal Israelite and yet still be
13:21 Israel because Israel is defined spiritually...
13:25 it is not defined physically and literally.
13:28 Would this apply to the 144,000?
13:32 Obviously the 144,000 by the New Testament definition
13:37 are not those literal Israelites
13:40 but they are spiritual Israelites who have received
13:44 Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
13:47 Notice also Romans chapter 9 and verses 6 through 8.
13:52 Romans chapter 9 and verses 6 through 8.
13:57 The apostle Paul could not be any clearer than he is in this
14:00 passage. He says this:
14:03 "But it is not that the Word of God has taken no effect
14:07 for they are not all Israel who are of Israel. "
14:12 Did you notice he said not all Israelites are Israelites?
14:18 Not all Jews are Jews
14:21 according to the definition of the apostle Paul.
14:24 Who are Jews? Who is Israel?
14:27 Notice verse 7:
14:28 "Nor are they all children because they are the seed
14:31 of Abraham. " Notice that just because you are
14:33 the literal seed of Abraham you're not a child of Abraham.
14:36 "But in Isaac your seed shall be called.
14:39 That is... " Notice... "those who are the children
14:43 of the flesh... " That is, literal Jews...
14:46 "these are not the children of God, but the children
14:50 of the promise are counted as seed. "
14:55 We could go to other places in the New Testament.
14:57 I'll just mention the gospel of John in passing.
15:01 John chapter 8. Jesus is speaking with the Jews
15:03 and He says: "I know that you are Abraham's children;
15:07 I know that you are Abraham's seed. "
15:09 But then He goes on to say:
15:11 "I know that you're really not Abraham's seed
15:14 because Abraham rejoiced to see My day
15:17 and he was glad but you want to kill Me.
15:20 And so even though you are literally children of Abraham
15:24 by wanting to kill Me - manifesting a different spirit
15:27 than Abraham - you show that you are not really
15:30 children of Abraham. "
15:32 So Israel in the New Testament is defined relationally to
15:37 Jesus Christ. Which means that the 144,000
15:40 are not literal Jews. They are Jews in the sense that
15:44 the New Testament uses the word Jew,
15:47 the word Israel. They are spiritual Israelites
15:50 who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
15:55 Now let's go to Revelation chapter 21 and verse 12
16:00 which we already read. But I want you to notice here
16:03 another interesting detail.
16:06 Revelation chapter 21 and verse 12. It says here:
16:22 Did you notice this? That the gates are not just open
16:26 and vacant. The gates have what?
16:31 An angel at each gate.
16:34 And I believe that what they're doing is checking I.D.
16:39 to make sure that you're going through the right gate.
16:43 We'll come to that a little bit later on.
16:45 Now the question is: who will be allowed by the angels
16:49 into the Holy City?
16:52 Revelation chapter 22 and verse 12 has the answer.
16:56 Revelation chapter 22 and verse 14 actually.
17:01 Revelation 22 and verse 14. It says:
17:19 Who is allowed to go into the city through the gates?
17:23 Those who what?
17:25 Those who keep His commandments.
17:28 Who allows them in? The angels who are standing
17:33 at the gates. But now we have a serious problem.
17:39 Let me ask you this: were the sons of Jacob sinners?
17:46 Were they pretty wicked?
17:49 Allow me to tell you something about the 12 sons of Jacob.
17:53 The names that are immortalized on the doors of the city.
17:59 The sons of Jacob were filled with covetousness
18:04 and envy.
18:07 They coveted Joseph's position.
18:10 They were envious because his father gave him a coat
18:14 of many colors.
18:16 They were liars.
18:19 In fact, they lived a lie for years and years
18:23 telling their father that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast.
18:27 And they hid this lie for years.
18:31 They were murderers.
18:34 They were filled with hatred.
18:37 And by the way, the Bible says that hatred is murder.
18:41 He what hates his brother is a murderer
18:43 according to I John.
18:45 And so you have them hating their own brother.
18:49 You have them having a murderous spirit.
18:51 In fact, when they saw Joseph coming they said...
18:53 and Simeon and Levi were probably the main culprits...
18:56 They said: "Let's kill our brother...
18:59 our own flesh and blood. "
19:02 Not only this. They were cold- blooded killers and thieves.
19:08 I don't know whether you're aware of the story
19:10 that we find in Genesis about Shechem.
19:14 Genesis 34 has the story.
19:17 Just so happens that these 12 brothers had 1 sister.
19:20 Her name was Dinah.
19:23 And Dinah went with some of her friends to Shechem
19:26 and there Shechem, who was the son of the king,
19:29 actually had sexual relations with their sister
19:33 and she conceived a child.
19:36 And of course Shechem
19:39 the Bible says loved Dinah
19:41 with all of his heart and he wanted to get married with her.
19:43 So he contacted Jacob and he said: "You know
19:48 my son Shechem wants to marry your daughter Dinah. "
19:53 And when Simeon and Levi heard about this
19:58 they said: "This cannot go unpunished. "
20:01 And so what they did... they prepared a very special plot.
20:05 They said to all of the men of Shechem: "We cannot allow
20:08 our sister to marry an uncircumcised man.
20:10 If you will be circumcised and all of the men of Shechem
20:13 are circumcised, then we'll allow Shechem
20:16 to get married to Dinah. "
20:19 And so they were circumcised.
20:21 And when they were in the third day - which is the moment
20:23 of greatest pain from circumcision -
20:27 Simeon and Levi went to the city of Shechem
20:30 and they killed every single one of the men
20:33 that were in that town.
20:35 And not only that, they also went in and they plundered
20:39 and they stole everything that belonged to the inhabitants
20:42 of Shechem.
20:44 That's the kind of individuals that these men were.
20:47 And then you have Reuben who slept with his father's wife
20:53 That's called incest.
20:56 And then you have the merciless and mean-spiritedness
21:00 when Joseph is crying out "Please don't sell me. "
21:02 They have no mercy.
21:04 No compassion whatsoever.
21:07 And then of course you have Reuben, who has the backbone
21:12 of a jellyfish.
21:13 You know, when they throw Joseph into the pit
21:17 Reuben should have said "This is wrong. "
21:19 He was the oldest brother. "This cannot go; let him go. "
21:23 But he didn't.
21:25 He worked and said: "Well, you know, I'll go
21:27 and I'll take him out of the pit
21:29 after the anger calms down and when my brothers leave. "
21:34 And when he came back he had already been sold.
21:37 And by the way, you also have Judah
21:41 lying with his daughter-in-law
21:43 thinking that she was a prostitute.
21:46 That's amazing.
21:49 You have all of these children from four mothers
21:53 all living under the same roof.
21:56 In other words, this was a totally dysfunctional family.
22:01 I mean... with a dysfunctional lifestyle.
22:07 Totally - almost - corrupt.
22:09 Not totally because they changed later on.
22:13 And yet their names stand immortalized
22:19 forever on the gates of the New Jerusalem.
22:24 You can imagine the wicked outside the city saying:
22:27 "Oh, You left us outside 'cause we're liars.
22:29 What about those whose names are on the doors?
22:34 On the gates? " "Oh, You cast us out here
22:37 because we're thieves. What about them? "
22:40 "Oh, you left us out here because we're murderers.
22:43 What about them? "
22:45 In other words, those who are inside
22:49 were just as much sinners as those who were outside.
22:53 At least at one stage in their lives.
22:55 So how could the sons of Jacob have their names immortalized
22:59 on the gates of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem?
23:04 The book of Revelation has the answer.
23:07 It is true that they were vile sinners,
23:10 but the book of Revelation emphasizes that they were
23:12 overcomers. They overcame their sins.
23:17 They overcame their defects.
23:21 They gained the victory over all of these besetments
23:24 in their lives. Notice Revelation chapter 21.
23:28 Revelation chapter 21 and verse 7 on this point.
23:32 Revelation chapter 21 and verse 7.
23:35 It says here:
23:37 "He who... " What?
23:42 "overcomes shall inherit all things
23:47 and I will be his God and he shall be My son. "
23:52 He who overcomes what?
23:54 Notice verse 8. The contrast of those who are outside the city.
23:58 It says: "But the cowardly, unbelieving,
24:01 abominable, murderers,
24:04 sexually immoral, sorcerers,
24:07 idolaters, and all liars
24:11 shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire
24:15 and brimstone which is the second death. "
24:18 Who is inside the city? The what?
24:21 The overcomers.
24:23 Overcomers over what?
24:25 It has to be over what is mentioned in verse 8.
24:28 In verse 8 you have a list of sins and transgressions
24:33 which are violations of the Ten Commandments.
24:36 And those who are outside never overcame these things.
24:40 But those who are inside the Bible says
24:43 that they "overcame. "
24:46 Notice Revelation chapter 2 and verse 7.
24:49 By the way, this is a formula that is used after every single
24:52 church. There's 7 churches in Revelation 2 and 3.
24:55 After every single church is mentioned
24:57 you have this formula.
24:59 It says there in Revelation 2 and verse 7:
25:03 "He who has an ear let him hear
25:06 what the Spirit says to the churches. "
25:21 What is the condition for eating from the Tree of Life
25:24 in the midst of the Paradise of God?
25:26 It means to what? To overcome.
25:29 By the way, if we compare with that the verse that we read
25:32 a few minutes ago - Revelation 22 verse 14-
25:35 it says: "Blessed are those who do His commandments
25:38 that they may have the right to the Tree of Life. "
25:41 So what does it mean to overcome
25:43 if we compare these two verses?
25:45 Overcoming means to obey His what?
25:48 It means to obey His holy law.
25:51 And lest you wonder about this
25:53 notice Revelation 22 and verse 15
25:56 which comes immediately after saying that those who keep
25:59 the commandments will be allowed through the gates into the city
26:03 to partake of the Tree of Life
26:05 it says in verse 15:
26:25 So what have we seen so far?
26:27 First of all we've seen that the New Jerusalem
26:30 has twelve gates.
26:32 And inscribed on each gate is the name
26:36 of one of the sons of Jacob.
26:39 We found that the 144,000
26:43 are composed of those who have those names of the tribes.
26:47 And we discovered that the 144,000
26:50 are those who are going to be alive when Jesus Christ comes
26:55 and they're going to be preserved by the seal of the
26:57 living God. We've noticed that they're not literal Jews
27:01 because the New Testament definition of a Jew
27:03 or of Israel is one who has accepted Jesus Christ
27:07 as Savior and Lord... no matter what nation they come from.
27:10 We've noticed that at the gates there will be angels
27:14 guiding the people through the gates.
27:16 We have notice that those who go through the gates
27:19 are overcomers. They are overcomers of all
27:22 of the list of sins that are mentioned concerning those who
27:26 are outside the Holy City.
27:30 No matter how vile, how evil, how bad people have been
27:35 the final generation will be a generation of victorious people
27:39 who will overcome every defect of character.
27:42 Whether it is inherited or whether it is cultivated
27:46 they will gain the victory and they will remain firm to God.
27:51 By the way, go with me to Revelation chapter 15 verse 2
27:55 and I want you to notice that this group is going to live
27:59 in the world in the worst period of its history.
28:02 Revelation chapter 15 and verse 2. It says here:
28:25 By the way, are these the end-time saints?
28:29 When is it that the beast is going to manifest its power?
28:32 When is it that the image of the beast is going to be erected?
28:35 When is it that the mark of the beast is going to be imposed
28:38 on pain of death. Is that at the very end of human history?
28:42 Most certainly yes.
28:45 And it says that they were standing on the sea of glass
28:49 having the harps of God.
28:52 They have overcome.
28:54 They are victorious.
28:56 They have washed their garments we're going to notice
28:59 in the blood of the Lamb
29:01 and they have gained the victory over sin in their lives.
29:06 Now I want you to notice a very interesting detail
29:09 which I did not underline yet
29:11 in Revelation 22:14.
29:16 Revelation 22 and verse 14.
29:18 I don't know whether you've ever stopped to think about this
29:20 but let me ask you: is everybody going to enter
29:23 through the same gate?
29:29 There's twelve gates, right?
29:32 So is everybody going to enter through the same gate?
29:35 No. Notice Revelation 22 and verse 14.
29:39 It says:
29:56 So are different people going to enter through different gates?
30:00 Obviously yes.
30:02 Because you're not going to enter through all twelve!
30:05 You're going to enter through one.
30:07 Now the question is: through which gate
30:11 will you enter?
30:14 Through which gate will I enter?
30:16 What will determine which gate we will go through?
30:21 I believe we have the answer in Genesis 49.
30:24 Go with me to Genesis 49
30:28 and I want to read verses 1 and 2.
30:32 Genesis 49:1-2.
30:37 Here Jacob gathers his sons together
30:41 and he's going to pronounce his final blessing upon them
30:44 before he dies, but he is also going to predict
30:49 what their characters are going to produce
30:53 in the last days.
30:55 Notice Genesis 49 verses 1 and 2.
31:13 Let me ask you: were they going to be literally alive
31:15 in the last days? Were the sons of Jacob
31:18 going to be literally alive in the last days?
31:20 Of course not. So what does this mean:
31:22 "I will show you what will befall you in the latter days? "
31:28 It's talking about the influence of their lives
31:34 and people who have similar characters to the characters
31:39 that they possess.
31:41 And then notice verse 2:
31:51 You know, it's very common for people today to speak about
31:54 four personality profiles.
31:57 They've got it wrong. They've got to multiply 4 x 3
32:03 because there are not four personality profiles...
32:07 there are actually twelve personality profiles.
32:11 I've done an extensive study of the names
32:14 of the sons of Jacob and also all their trajectory
32:18 through scripture, and I've discovered beyond a shadow
32:20 of a doubt that each one of the sons of Jacob
32:24 had a character different than the other one.
32:27 They had different shades or variations in their character,
32:31 in their way of being.
32:33 And what God is trying to say is that in the end time
32:36 there's going to be in the world
32:38 twelve different personality profiles.
32:42 Twelve different types of persons.
32:45 And your personality profile will determine
32:49 through which gate in the Holy City you go through.
32:53 If you have the personality, for example,
32:57 of Simeon or Levi,
32:59 who would lose it real fast - they had a short fuse -
33:03 and they said: "Hey, let's just kill Joseph... "
33:06 because according to Jewish tradition the ones that came up
33:09 with the idea of killing Joseph were Simeon and Levi.
33:12 They also were the masterminds in killing all of the men
33:15 of Shechem. I mean, these were bloodthirsty killers.
33:19 There's going to be people in the world that have
33:21 that type of character.
33:23 There are going to be people like Reuben
33:25 who had the backbone of a jellyfish.
33:28 Always contemporizing and saying "I'll take care of it later. "
33:32 Procrastinators... who perhaps don't stand for truth at the
33:35 moment that they're supposed to.
33:37 And I could go through each one of the sons of Jacob.
33:40 Each one of them has a personality profile
33:44 which will be shared by people who live on planet earth
33:48 in the end time. But the important thing is:
33:50 that no matter what the personality profile
33:53 every single one of those who enter through the gates
33:57 into the city will eventually be overcomers.
34:00 They will overcome the defects in their character
34:03 and they will develop the strength of their character
34:06 and they will overcome the deficiencies and the weaknesses
34:10 of their characters. And, like the 12 sons of Jacob
34:13 are inscribed upon the doors of the city,
34:16 they will go through the gate into the city
34:19 to partake of the Tree of Life.
34:21 There is no sin, there is no besetment
34:25 whether inherited or cultivated that cannot be overcome.
34:30 In fact, the sons of Jacob are an inspiration to us.
34:35 I mean, how much more vile could you become
34:38 than sleeping with your father's mother?
34:44 How much more vile than to visit a prostitute
34:48 and sleeping with your daughter-in-law?
34:51 How much more vile could you be than to want to kill
34:55 your own brother?
34:57 How much more vile could you become
34:59 than being so bloodthirsty that you would want to kill
35:03 a whole town of people
35:05 because they had sexual relations with your sister?
35:08 And yet their names are inscribed on the gates
35:11 of the Holy City.
35:12 Wow! If that's not comforting to you
35:16 I don't know what would be comforting.
35:18 No matter how evil and how wicked we are
35:21 if we overcome through the power of Jesus
35:24 who overcome, we will be able to go through one of the gates
35:28 into the Holy City, the New Jerusalem,
35:31 and partake of the Tree of Life.
35:34 But we're talking not about literal Reubenites
35:37 and literal Levites. We're talk- ing about spiritual Israelites.
35:42 who have the same types of character as the original
35:46 sons of Jacob.
35:49 It's interesting to notice that in the list of the sons
35:52 of Jacob that are found in Revelation chapter 7
35:55 two of them are missing.
36:00 The first one that is missing is Dan.
36:07 The second one that is missing is Ephraim.
36:11 You say: "Why would Dan and Ephraim be missing? "
36:14 The Bible explains why Ephraim is not there.
36:17 There's a declaration of God where He says
36:20 "Ephraim is joined to his idols. Leave him alone. "
36:27 What a terrible declaration.
36:30 He totally identified himself or his descendants with idolatry.
36:35 What about Dan?
36:37 Go with me to Genesis chapter 49 and verse 17.
36:41 One of the worst characteristics that a person could have.
36:44 You see, Dan's name is not inscribed on one of the gates
36:48 of the Holy City because of his trait of character.
36:51 And anyone who has that trait of character
36:53 will not go through a gate into the city
36:57 because Dan is not there.
36:59 And you say: "What was this trait, this evil trait of
37:02 character? It says in Genesis 49 verse 17:
37:21 In other words, Dan was of those types that become a stumbling
37:26 block to people. He was a backbiter.
37:30 And by the way, there's a text in Psalm 104
37:32 that inter-relates the idea
37:36 of lying, the tongue, and backbiting
37:42 like it says here in Genesis 49 and verse 17.
37:46 There will be no Ephraimites.
37:48 There will be no Danites in the Holy City.
37:51 Because you know that sin originated with one who was
37:54 a liar about God.
37:56 One who was a backbiter. One who worked underground.
38:00 One who led a third of the angels to betray their trust
38:04 to God.
38:06 There will be no people who
38:07 have a character like Dan.
38:09 There will be no one who has
38:10 the character like Ephraim.
38:13 Now let's go back once again to Revelation 22 and verse 14.
38:18 It says:
38:32 Now some of you might have some versions of the Bible
38:36 that express this verse differently.
38:40 For example, the NIV will say
38:42 not blessed are those who keep His commandments
38:46 but many of the modern versions, in fact, most of them say
38:50 "Blessed are those who wash their robes
38:56 that they may have a right to the Tree of Life
38:59 and enter through the gates into the City. "
39:01 Now the question is: what is the correct translation?
39:04 Is the correct translation washed their robes?
39:07 Or keep the commandments?
39:09 The fact is, folks, that we don't have to choose
39:12 between one or the other.
39:13 I believe that the best translation is "keep His
39:15 commandments, " by the way.
39:17 I believe that that can be proven
39:19 by studying the ancient manuscripts, by studying
39:21 the context, and the relationship between this verse
39:24 and Genesis chapters 1 and 2.
39:26 I have no doubts whatsoever.
39:28 But just for the sake of argument, it doesn't really
39:30 make that much difference be- cause in the book of Revelation
39:33 both expressions are used elsewhere.
39:36 Notice Revelation chapter 7 and verse 14.
39:40 Revelation chapter 7 and verse 14.
39:44 It's speaking about that great multitude of redeemed
39:47 that no one can number from every nation, kindred,
39:49 tongue, and people. And it says there
39:52 in Revelation chapter 7 and verse 14:
40:13 Is the idea of washing the robes and making the robes white
40:17 in the blood of the Lamb contained in the book of
40:19 Revelation? It most certainly is.
40:21 And by the way, washing our garments in the blood
40:25 of the Lamb simply means two things.
40:29 Number one: it means that we accept Jesus
40:33 as our justification.
40:36 In other words, we receive Jesus as our Savior
40:39 and He looks upon us as if we've never sinned.
40:42 One our ledger in heaven He writes "forgiven. "
40:47 We are accepted in the beloved not on the basis of
40:51 what we do but on the basis of what Jesus did.
40:54 When we accept Him our slate is clean.
40:59 But we can't stop there
41:02 because from a justified life flows also what?
41:08 A sanctified life.
41:10 In other words, when Jesus wipes our slate clean
41:13 and He looks upon us as if we had never sinned
41:17 it will be our delight and our joy
41:19 to keep the commandments of God
41:22 because we love God.
41:25 And so in Revelation we find the expression
41:28 "blessed are those who wash their robes"
41:31 but the expression "blessed are those who keep the commandments"
41:34 is also used in Revelation.
41:37 You're all acquainted with Revelation 12 verse 17
41:40 where it says that the dragon was wroth with the woman
41:43 or enraged with the woman?
41:45 And went to make war with the remnant of her seed
41:49 who what? Who keep the commandments of God.
41:53 See the idea wash their robes?
41:56 Keep the commandments.
41:58 We also have Revelation 14 verse 12
42:01 which is the concluding verse of God's last message to the
42:04 world: the Three Angels' Messages. It says:
42:17 So both ideas are there.
42:19 If your garments have been washed in the blood of the Lamb,
42:23 the natural consequence will be to what?
42:27 To keep the commandments of God.
42:29 Let me ask you: the twelve sons of Jacob...
42:32 the ones that are mentioned on the gates of the City...
42:36 sons of Israel... were those individual's sins
42:40 cleansed by the blood of the Lamb?
42:42 Were they? Were they given a clean slate?
42:46 Must be... because their names would not be inscribed
42:50 forever on the gates of the City unless their sins - all of the
42:54 evil deeds that they performed - had been cleaned away.
42:57 But let me ask you: did their lives also change?
43:01 Their lives must have changed
43:03 because they were overcomers. We read it.
43:07 They were not like those outside the Holy City.
43:10 We read a long list of sins that characterizes those
43:13 outside the City. Those inside will be different than these.
43:18 Notice Revelation 22 and verse 11.
43:21 Very interesting verse describing the close
43:24 of human probation.
43:26 Revelation chapter 22 and verse 11.
43:30 And unfortunately, the King James Version and the
43:33 New King James does not capture the full meaning
43:37 of certain words that I'm going to describe.
43:41 Revelation 22 and verse 11 says:
43:49 It gives the impression that being unjust is a state
43:53 in which you're found.
43:55 Actually, the Greek word should be translated
43:58 "He who is unjust, let him act unjustly still. "
44:06 It has to do not with a state of being but with action.
44:11 And then it says:
44:12 "and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still "
44:16 In the Greek really it say "he who is filthy
44:18 let him continue to act filthily. "
44:22 I know there's not such a word.
44:25 "he who is righteous, let him be righteous still"
44:29 In the Greek it says "he who is righteous
44:31 let him continue to act righteously"
44:35 "and he who is holy, let him be holy still"
44:38 The Greek says: "he who is holy let him continue to act
44:44 in a holy manner. "
44:46 In other words, those who live in the final generation
44:49 will not only be characterized by their intellectual belief
44:53 in Jesus. They will not be characterized
44:56 by their sins being washed away in justification
45:00 but they will act differently.
45:02 They will act in a holy manner.
45:04 They will act in a just manner.
45:06 Their faith will be shown by their works.
45:10 Now notice Isaiah 26 verses 1 to 3.
45:15 Isaiah 26 and verses 1 to 3.
45:20 We have this wonderful passage which is related to what we're
45:23 studying in Revelation chapter 7 and chapter 14.
46:14 What will the character of those who enter in the gates
46:17 be like? It says here: "open the gates
46:22 that the righteous nation which keeps the truth
46:25 may enter in. And You will keep him in perfect peace
46:28 whose mind is stayed on You. "
46:32 As the apostle Paul say in Colossians chapter 3:1-2...
46:37 he says: "Set your mind on the things above
46:41 not your mind on the things below. "
46:44 You know, one author has said that if we could catch one
46:47 glimpse of heaven we would never want to live
46:50 on planet earth again.
46:53 Why not then place our minds in heaven?
46:56 Because that's going to be our permanent home.
46:59 We focus so much on this world.
47:01 The things of this world.
47:03 The houses of this world.
47:04 The money of this world.
47:05 Our automobiles; our toys.
47:07 We focus so much on this world
47:08 as if this is going to last forever.
47:11 We're living in the last days, folks,
47:14 and God wants to separate for Himself a holy people.
47:18 Now notice Psalm 15.
47:20 Let's go to Psalm 15
47:22 are described.
47:26 Psalm 15. And I'm going to read the whole Psalm
47:29 because it's not very long.
47:30 It says there the following... Psalm 15:
49:09 Revelation 6 says
49:11 "Who shall be able to... " What? "to stand? "
49:15 Psalm 15 says that those who practice these things
49:18 will not be moved.
49:22 So the 144,000 are going to have
49:26 a sterling character.
49:29 Now go with me to Isaiah 60 and verse 18.
49:34 Isaiah 60 and verse 18.
49:37 I want you to notice something very interesting which is said
49:40 about the gates.
49:43 It says there:
50:06 And by the way, if you read Revelation chapter 19
50:08 verses 1 and 2 it speaks about a great multitude that are
50:12 singing in heaven. A multitude which no one can number.
50:16 They're singing praises and honor and glory to God
50:19 because He has saved them from final destruction
50:23 at the end of time.
50:26 Now by the way, Revelation 21 and verse 21
50:31 tells us that each gate is one pearl.
50:36 Each gate is one what? One pearl.
50:42 Those must be some massive pearls!
50:45 Is there anything more beautiful than a pearl?
50:49 I've seen many precious gems.
50:51 I can't see anything more beautiful than a pearl.
50:53 You see all of the colors of the rainbow.
50:58 Imagine a gate of a city
51:02 where the city, where you know... the wall of the city
51:07 is as tall as its width and its breadth.
51:11 That's some door!
51:15 Now why would God make the gate of pearl?
51:20 Do you know how a pearl is formed?
51:23 A pearl is formed as a result of an irritant
51:29 which is planted in the shell of the mother of pearl.
51:34 There's an irritant... a grain of sand or something.
51:37 And then begins a secretion that starts forming the pearl.
51:43 What is God trying to tell us?
51:46 That if we're going to enter heaven it must be what?
51:49 Through many what? Through many irritations.
51:55 In fact, that's what Paul meant in Acts 14 verse 22
51:58 where he says that we must understand that it is through
52:02 many tribulations that we must enter the kingdom of God.
52:08 There are many irritants in our lives.
52:10 But if we use those irritants to gain strength and to
52:14 draw closer to Jesus we can make something beautiful
52:18 out of these tribulations and trials in our lives
52:21 and we will finally enter through the gates of pearl.
52:26 Finally I ask the question: who are the only ones
52:29 who are going to dwell in heavenly society?
52:33 I'm just going to mention these verses in closing.
52:37 Matthew chapter 5 and verse 8 says:
52:49 What are the rest going to do?
52:52 Did you notice Revelation 6?
52:53 What are those who are not pure in heart going to do?
52:56 They're going to hide in the caves
53:00 and they're going to beg for the rocks to fall upon them
53:02 and hide them from the face of the One that is sitting
53:06 upon the throne.
53:09 But it says: "Blessed are the pure in heart
53:12 for they shall see God. "
53:15 Hebrews 12 verse 14 says
53:18 that we need to be at peace with all men
53:22 and we need to develop holiness
53:25 without which no one will see the Lord.
53:30 You see, folks, there's a special preparation
53:33 of character that needs to take place in order for us to
53:35 be able to stand.
53:38 In order for us to stand like Shadrach, Meshach, and
53:40 Abednego before the image of Nebuchadnezzar,
53:43 the image of the beast so to speak,
53:45 and say: "We will not worship... no matter what.
53:49 You can throw us in the furnace but our heart is set in God. "
53:56 In order for that to happen, folks,
53:58 we need to make everything in this world secondary
54:00 and our relationship to God primary.
54:05 I John 3 says that everybody who has this hope in him -
54:10 the hope of the coming of Jesus -
54:12 "purifies himself even as He is pure. "
54:18 What do we do if we have the hope of the coming of Jesus?
54:22 We purify ourselves.
54:24 The apostle Paul says... In Ephesians chapter 5
54:27 he says that God wants a church "without spot or wrinkle
54:32 or any such thing. " You say: "Pastor, that's impossible! "
54:36 It's not impossible.
54:38 If you believe that it's impossible, then you have to say
54:42 that Philippians 4 verse 13 says "I can do almost
54:45 all things through Christ who strengthens me. "
54:49 "I can do most things through Christ who strengthens me. "
54:53 "I can do some things through Christ who strengthens me. "
54:57 That's not what the text says. The text says:
54:59 "I can do ALL things except overcome sin
55:02 through Christ who strengthens me. "
55:05 That's not what the text says.
55:08 The text says: "He who is able to keep you from falling... "
55:13 The end-time generation will be a generation
55:16 totally victorious over sin;
55:18 washed by the blood of the Lamb in justification;
55:21 and living a sanctified
55:24 holy life.
55:26 Which means that our dress
55:28 will be holy.
55:29 It means that our entertainment will be holy.
55:32 It means that our worship will be holy.
55:35 It means that our music will be holy.
55:40 It means that everything that we do and say
55:43 will have a holy focus
55:47 because the 144,000 are found without guile or spot
55:51 before the throne of God.
55:54 I'd like to end by referring to one individual that we find
55:57 in Genesis who experienced before the fact
56:01 what the righteous living are going to experience
56:04 when Jesus comes.
56:05 His name was what? Enoch.
56:10 Notice Genesis chapter 5 and I would like to read
56:14 verse 22. Genesis 5... actually, verse 24.
56:18 It says in verse 24:
56:21 "And Enoch walked with God
56:25 and he was not
56:27 for God... " What? "took him. "
56:31 What did Enoch do before he went to heaven?
56:35 He walked with God.
56:37 Now go with me to another text. The book of Hebrews
56:40 quickly... Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 5.
56:45 Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 5.
56:47 It explains a little bit more what it meant
56:50 for Enoch to walk with God.
56:52 It says in verse 5:
56:53 "By faith Enoch was taken away
56:56 so that he did not see death
56:59 and was not found because God had taken him.
57:05 For before he was taken he had this testimony:
57:08 that he pleased God. "
57:11 To walk with God is to please God.
57:13 And the apostle Paul tells us that those who are in the flesh
57:16 cannot please God.
57:18 How about we make pleasing God our first priority?