In this chapter of Revelation, a special group from the elect are identified and honored by the Lord: the 144,000 first mentioned in the seventh chapter of the book. They are the Firstfruits of Yom HaBikkurim, comparable to the first crops gathered in the harvests of ancient, agricultural Israel; only, these are believers gathered to God from the Gospel harvest.
As most readers already know, the Old Testament of appointed holy days and feasts (the Torah’s moedim) was primarily based upon the Hebraic monotheism of YHVH (God) and His role in their (1) commemorating the exodus from Egypt; (2) agricultural seasons; (3) animal sacrifices; (4) laws for justice and life wisdom; and (5) historical stories since the Garden of Eden. What few readers become aware of- often after years of study and developing their spiritual insight- is that prophetic symbolism for a panoramic Divine plan, for national and world redemption, is woven throughout all these features of Hebrew Scriptures. Further, the prophets and scribes of Israel were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write all Scriptures in the light of the Messiah’s two arrivals.
In the big picture of redemption, Messiah is the Reshit Katzir (i.e., Beginning of Harvest), also known by the Yom Hannafat HaOmer. He fulfills the foreshadowing feast day as the first of the world harvest waved before the people and God at the cross (a.k.a. Omer Wave Offering).
Christ was the Beginning of the Firstfruits of God in bringing in a harvest of righteous souls- people redeemed for everlasting life. The specified 144,000- first of the sealed harvest during the sixth year of the Apocalypse- are particularly connected to Yeshua Messiah’s ministry and resurrection, foreshadowed by the Feast of Firstfruits of God. They signify prophetic times and are composed of first century Christianity (both Jews and some of the “lost sheep” of Israel). These are the ones who first brought the good news of God’s spiritual harvest from Israel and began spreading it to the world. Thus, the whole world became a field to harvest the redeemed and righteous.
This chapter essentially backtracks to identify the Firstfruits of the Gospel before Revelation clarifies the Ingathered harvest of God from among all nations. Here we find the 144,000 born again for the coming messianic Kingdom of Heaven on Earth (i.e., the millennium of Christ in common Christian terminology). Having the initial seal of the Spirit, they will be sealed for protection during the sixth year/seal of the Apocalypse for the Day of YHVH (Great Sabbath).
The fuller meaning of being born again is no longer taught in popular church doctrines and eschatology, and it has not been since Hellenized Catholicism forbade it as Jewish mysticism. Nonetheless, Scripture should be our guide for establishing our biblical worldview and beliefs, not popular ideas nor what the so-called “popes” (i.e., religious papas) and their cardinals believe. Scriptures make it quite clear that that those who lived in ancient times must be born again by Spirit and water (breaking of water, physical birth) to enter the coming Kingdom- not the spiritual Kingdom but the Kingdom that Christ explained in parables as something hidden from mankind in the earth, in this world.
Scriptures reveal that the Firstfruits are both alive on Earth during the Apocalypse and that they come from the early harvest of believers in God’s works through Christ.
For many Christians this is offensive: that the Firstfruits would be born again for the coming Kingdom of Heaven; yet some of the same people who are so easily offended in this are not offended when they suppose that our God will resurrect dead bodies from millennia ago, supernaturally from the earth- bodies that were eaten by lions, burned in fires, fertilized plants, decomposed in oceans, and scattered like dust to the winds of heaven!
How ridiculous is it that the life matrix of womanhood, designed by our God, is considered an offensive means of entrance for spirits into this world- that many are repulsed that the saints might be glorified with new bodies in this manner? If being born of women is suboptimal for holiness, Christ would not have been born through the common matrix of maternity, born by a subdebutante.
The Firstfruits are born again, and they will be unveiled at the coming Kingdom, both to themselves and others. The Bible clearly tells us that the only believers to be miraculously resurrected in their flesh, and glorified at Christ’s coming, will be the slaughtered and beheaded martyrs who will refuse the Mark of the Beast, at the last trumpet and the revelation of Messiah (see Rev. 20:4-6). This is not difficult to comprehend: that the rest of those who died in Christ, including the patriarchs, matriarchs, and others of the ancient faith, will be alive via the common means and reign with Him in the coming Kingdom. They are made new creatures in Christ, and their past sins are forgotten; they live as He lives, only not all by the miraculous means of physical resurrection.
Some people call this “reincarnation,” but I write “born again,” because I did not learn this truth from some eastern religion nor some mystic guru. I came to know it despite my Baptist family tradition, facing the unwavering facts of what Scriptures reveal. Indeed, the New Covenant Gospel of Life is incomprehensible without readers heeding the truth of what being born again fully, originally meant.
Refusing this is one of the reasons that passages are so confused and have never been universally agreed upon. The world has over forty thousand denominations and messianic sects of Christianity since Roman Catholicism lost its iron grip of enforcing their errant scholarly interpretations on Western nations, and the reason this number continues to grow is because many vital truths must be clarified and restored. One of the them is what “born again” means.
Nonetheless, expounding on this chapter of Revelation is not the place for a lengthy exegesis on being born again. It is not something we must all agree upon to gain salvation, as discerned via Christ asserting that John the Baptist was Elijah reborn: “If you are able to receive this…”
Before moving on, we should consider that the beginning of this 14th chapter, in some texts, reads (concerning the 144,000) that John looked and saw his “own people,” which means early Christian Jews whom he could have recognized from the 1st century world- a very different world in which he lived. This reading correlates with the rest of the Scriptures that confirm that the early assemblies were the “firstfruits” of the Lord. John would have seen people like Peter and Paul (Kefa and Saul), verifying that the early progenitors of messianic assemblies were indeed seen as born again for the coming Kingdom of Heaven.
Apostle John, knowing that the 1st century Ekklesia called themselves “firstfruits” (see 1 Cor. 16:15) of the faith, was clearly declaring that those who died in Christ would again live in the world and be sealed by the Holy Spirit during the Apocalypse. Christ was the absolute Firstfruit of “those who slept” (1 Cor. 15:20, meaning death), but the early Ekklesia that possessed the “firstfruits of the Spirit” also waited for new physical life in the “redemption of our body.” Again, there are several clues that let us know that they are alive on Earth during the Apocalypse; for one thing, they are sealed among the persecuted who come out of the Great Tribulations, and for another, they are seen on Mount Zion during the Apocalypse rather than at the last trumpet.
Not only are they sealed on Earth, but the current chapter we are considering clearly concerns the wrath of God being poured out on the unsealed during the Apocalypse, as we shall see. Thus, Paul counted himself among the “We who are alive and remain” as opposed to “those who sleep” (the martyred dead who will be raised at the last trumpet and come with Christ), for Paul was among the Firstfruits, and he will help teach the true Gospel of the Kingdom during the Apocalypse (cf. 1 Thess. 4:15; Isa. 30:20-21).
After Passover (Pesach) on Nisan 14th, the Torah calls for a seven-day feast called the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” (Hag HaMatzot) from the 15th to the 21st of the month. During this week, the Israelites would present the firstfruits of the barley harvest as a wave offering before the Lord. After the first weekly Sabbath in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they would present the Wave Offering then count seven weeks (49 days) before a special “Feast of Weeks” (Shavuot, Pentecost) on the 50th day. At that time they would celebrate the bringing in all of the harvest firstfruits. What all this means in the panoramic picture is that after the Lamb of God was sacrificed on Passover, He was presented to God in fulfillment of the first, waved offering. On the fiftieth day, as other Jews were celebrating the Feast of Weeks, the Jewish apostles and followers of Yeshua received gifts of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). Thus, just as the Israelites in the wilderness were the harvest of God and received the Torah (the Law) on this special day, believers in Messiah Yeshua became God’s firstfruits of the Spirit as chosen people of the Lord.
There were two Hebrew harvesting times in the ancient culture of Israel: the beginning and the end of the harvest season (the first and the last), with the former and the latter rains, and these illustrate both the 1st century harvest of the believers and the Ingathered harvest from all nations at the Messiah’s coming.
The Firstfruits are directly identified with Christ and Israel’s firstfruits celebration. But the whole point is that God will gather all into one family at the end of the age for the coming Kingdom, in His own mysterious ways.
The Feast of Firstfruits of the ancient Hebrew harvest was when a wave offering of barley was witnessed by the people and waved in glory before God. It was followed by a fiftieth day called Shavuot, known as Pentecost among Greek-speaking Christians. This shows how the early Firstfruits were also made a spectacle to the world, yet glorified as witnesses to the spiritual reaping of God. As Christians, we often think of the harvest as something that will only come at the end of the age, but Christ instructed his disciples to look upon the fields of Jewish believers who were already spiritually whitened for Divine harvest. So clearly there are two distinct times of harvest, as foreshadowed in the nation’s agricultural cycle. And clearly there are two outpourings of the Holy Spirit, as the Former and Latter Rain, to witnesses to the people concerning Christ (see Hos. 6).
The Feast of Firstfruits includes biblical, foreshadowing events that were mirrored at the resurrection of Messiah and the beginning of the Gospel harvest. It is traditionally believed that during this time of year the Hebrews crossed the divided waters of the Reed Sea, leaving behind the taskmasters of Egypt (see Ex. 14:26-30). This is also believed to be the day when the Ark of Noah rested on Mount Ararat, out of the waters of the flood (see Gen. 8:4). Then, of course, the Firstfruits of the Promised Land were kept during the Pesach season when Joshua led the children of Israel into the kingdom, after dividing the waters of the Jordan (see Josh. 5:10-12).
These things were done as signs of the Lord later dividing the waters of the Word, leaving behind worldly things for that which is renewed, and bringing in the new harvest of souls. This being understood, there is a reason why the harvest is presented for the seven-year build-up of Zion, sealed during the sixth year/seal and protected for the seventh year/seal. After the gap in prophetic time, the Age of the Gentiles, the harvest will fulfill a hidden generation in Christ that enters the promises of the Sabbath Kingdom. All these things concern new beginnings with God- separated from the world to live in His sight. And with that comprehended, the greatest of these foreshadowing concerns the Sabbath of God in the garden, when He brought in Adam and Eve to live in His sight.
Moreover, the 144,000 will be alive and sealed (protected from death) on Earth for the coming Kingdom of Heaven, which according to Scriptures is like a renewal of the Garden of Eden (Isa. 51:3). Their number of 144,000 shows a particular completion of a period of time before entering the coming Sabbath paradise with God. In the Genesis creation account, God worked for six days forming a garden and then placed Adam and Eve in it as He rested on the 7th day. In mortal days His six workdays would have taken 144 hours (24 x 6).
However, what is hidden in the creation account is that one thousand years are but a day to God, and the creation was a recreation period and restoration (see article on New Genesis Theory). Thus, when we utilize the biblical Key of Knowledge (or the Aleph Key, 1 becomes 1,000) and discern that the restoration period after the last glacial spike, beginning the Holocene, took six thousand years, we can see that it foreshadowed the end of our humankind’s workweek of six millennial days. If we use the key with 144 hours (144 x 1,000 or 24 x 6,000) we come to 144,000. Hence, the 144,000 Israelites who will enter the Great Sabbath are a sign of when the works of God are complete for bringing His people- His harvest of souls- into the messianic millennial of paradise. And the 144,000 are shown with 12,000 from each tribe because 12,000 is the total amount of literal years when we add the six millennial days of the recreation in Genesis with the six mirroring millennial workdays of mankind until the Kingdom comes. All the numbers are purposeful and prophetic, and their fulfillments are not dependent upon religious discernment or theologians agreeing with them.
As previously mentioned, the hidden generation is called “Christ” by Matthew in his clever mystery of Christ’s genealogy- the fruitful of His Body that we are gathered into. By expecting a 42nd generation after only 41 generations with Yeshua, those who know Scripture are compelled to search for the meaning of the hidden or lost generation; then they find that they are the Firstfruits who are alive for the coming of Christ, teaching the glorious truths of God’s great mysteries.
This is the hidden generation of Messiah with Jesus (41st) being the Head of the Body (42nd), and the Body being complete down to the feet at His coming. All of Christianity is in the gap, and the elect Israelites are brought into the gap for completion of this generation called “Christ”- a generation completed during the seven-year build-up of Zion.
He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked- but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. (Isa. 53:8-11) NKJV; emp. mine
As mentioned previously, a generation was counted as forty years when the Hebrews came out of the wilderness into the Promised Land of God, which foreshadows those who are gathered from the world for the coming Kingdom of Heaven. Zion will be built-up and numbered during the seven years of the Apocalypse, with their number beginning with the 144,000 Firstfruits of the Lord on the 6th year. Then the generation hidden in Christ and God will be complete during the 7th year of the Apocalypse. The Ingathered will join the Firstfruits in the Body called “Messiah,” the “anointed ones.”
The Omer Wave Offering, the first of the firstfruits, shares a special relationship with all the harvested crops that are brought in, even the Ingathered harvest at the end of the agricultural season, for it must begin all that will follow. Second, it is special because it sets the time at the beginning for the completion time of bringing in the firstfruits (see Lev. 23:15-16). Seven weeks must be counted from the Wave Sheaf Offering, and the fiftieth day is like a mini-Jubilee of redemption (i.e., fiftieth year in which all the children of Israel were set free from all their debts for a return to family and tribal inheritance).
What this means from shadows to substance is that Christ began our redemption and inheritance. The Omer Wave Offering was not set on a particular day of the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread, but rather it was rotated from year to year to cover the entire week, for it began on the day after whatever weekly Sabbath fell within the special appointed weak of Unleavened Bread. The first and seventh days of the feast, Hag HaMatzot, were special Sabbaths, or High Sabbaths, which occurred no matter what monthly days they fell on, for they showed that God had a Sabbath millennium in the Garden of Eden on the first millennial day of Adam and another Sabbath millennium is awaited with Messiah (Lev. 23:7-8). But even the days between the beginning-and-end Sabbaths became Sabbaths, and you might have three Sabbath days within one week (two special holyday Sabbaths and one weekly Sabbath), and the Wave Sheaf Offering would we performed after the weekly Sabbath. It was presented with a “lamb without blemish” (Lev. 23:12) to point us back to the Passover of Christ, so all people of the millennial week are offered a Sabbath in the plan of God. But the total number of lambs killed during Hag HaMatzot is fifty, showing the completion we have in the Lamb of God. (See Illustration Below.)
The reason that this special group of the early Ekklesia is brought in and given a unique place among the elect nation is because they will work with Moses and Prophet Elijah in restoring the true Jewish/Christian Gospel of the Kingdom to what it was in the beginning. By their knowledge of the mysteries and clarification of them, they will prepare the elect of the world to receive the truths of God. Just think about the implications of this: The Gospel has been in the world for almost 2,000 years, and yet in Revelation we find that these Firstfruits are brought back into the world to teach the truth of the Gospel in such a small window of time! What does this say about all the mega-ministries and what they are teaching for the Gospel today? They reach hundreds of millions of people and yet teach so very little about the Book. Thus, God brings the 144,000 as the voices of many waters, which are the many witnesses of the true doctrine from the waters of the Word, spoken in various languages around the world. These are the ones who will thunder the truths of God’s Word as they sing a secret song of praise, being led by the Thunderer, and they will bring in a flood of truth:
And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sounds of harpists playing their harps. 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. 14:2-3) NKJV
The reason I gave the above information is because the foreshadowing of Elijah battling the false prophets of Ba’al will be fulfilled during the Apocalypse. God has His virgins who will also refuse to bow before Allah- the modern day Baal. The prophets of YHVH were killed by Jezebel when they refused to bow, but God sealed a remnant of the faithful from death. Likewise, the Lord will seal a number of spiritual virgins who will prophesy during the Apocalypse, even as Moses and Elijah battle the false prophets of Allah to finish the long war and cleanse the land of its abominations.
These virgins of faithful worship will be led by Messiah and help bring in the Kingdom of Heaven. Right after John said that no falsehood was found in their mouths, he tells of the Gospel being preached to the world. This is a clear indication that the true, undefiled Gospel of the Kingdom is in need of being taught to the world, and it will be taught during the Year of Recompense. No false teachings or religious deceptions will be taught by these Firstfruits.
The messages of the angels, or trumpet warnings of the messengers, are preached by this chosen generation for global preparation for the coming Messiah. They will preach God as Creator, and that His time is upon us. They will preach the fall of the Babylon as the Lord’s people escape from her. They will preach that people should not get the Mark of the Beast and why. They will preach the blessings of true martyrdom and the spiritual harvest of God. Finally, they will preach the coming destruction of Israel’s enemies and awaited reign of the Messiah at Jerusalem.
In another article, the details of the two reaping will be elaborated on. For now, know that the reaping of the 4th trumpet reveals that unsealed martyrs will also enter into the resurrection of the cross, to have part in the Great Sabbath when the Lord is revealed. They are killed and rest until the judgment. The reaping of the vine from the 6th trumpet to the last trumpet is as the vine of Sodom and Gomorrah- those gathered against the nation of the Lord. The powers of darkness are released and they begin killing one another after the 6th trumpet until the Messiah is revealed at the 7th trumpet during Battle of Armageddon, resurrecting the martyrs for the Kingdom of Heaven. The order and details of these things will become clearer when I assemble all the passages of the trumpets to better unveil the Day of the Lord.
The Firstfruits are revealed and emphasized before showing the Day of the Lord YHVH because this is the Gospel they will teach: the coming of the Kingdom of God and His judgments of the world. This is what all believers should be teaching: the living God harvesting the world to bring in His everlasting dominion, exalting His nation and people. (Remember, even in all this prophesying and revealing of great truths, if we do not have, and show, Messiah’s love for the lowly people and fellow servants, all our works and prophesying will be in vain and void of honor.)