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  • Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

    Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

    The historical premillennialists thought that Christ would rule on earth for a thousand years following the tribulation period. Perhaps they did not all think the thousand years was a literal period. But they did not hold to anything like a pre-millennial rapture. And they did not teach that physical Israel remains the chosen people. This was all before the time of Origen (184-253 A.D.). Before Origen, Ireneaus [140-203], Justin Martyr [100-165], and Papias [80-155], and others were historical premillennialists.

    Origen made use of broad allegory in interpreting Scripture, and Augustine followed his lead, saying the thousand year reign of Christ in Rev 20: 1-8 is an allegory of all the "church" age. Catholics and traditional Calvinists do the same. Catholics and many Calvinists now say that the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14 are merely the saved people of the entire "church age.".

    This Over-Allegorization by the Catholics and Calvinists of the 144,000 as a Remnant in the last days destroys their ministry - for the Catholics and Calvinists.

    Daniel 11: 33 says "And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days."

    The 144, 000, who follow Christ wherever he goes, and are not deceptive (Revelation 14: 5), are witnesses to Christ at a time near the last trumpet and before the end of the tribulation of Matthew 24: 29-30.

    On the other hand, the Christian Zionists, or dispensationalists, Over-Literalize the 144,000.

    The site http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/es...william-e-cox/

    says "Dispensationalists boast of literal interpretation of
    Scripture, and cast aspersions at those who "spiritualize" some
    passages of the Bible. Charles C. Ryrie, President of The Philadelphia
    College of the Bible, says: (Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 114, July, 1957,
    p. 254), only dispensationalism provides the key to consistent
    literalism."

    Charles Ryrie says that "Dispensationalists claim that their principle of hermeneutics is that of literal interpretation. This means interpretation gives to every word the same meaning it would have in normal usage, whether employed in writing, speaking, or thinking. It is sometimes called the principle of since the meaning of each word is determined by grammatical and historical considerations. The principle might also be called normal interpretation since the literal meaning of words is the normal approach to their understanding in all languages. It might also be designated plain interpretation so that no one receives the mistaken notion that the literal principle rules out figures of speech. Symbols, figures of speech, and types are all interpreted plainly in this method, and they are in no way contrary to literal interpretation. After all, the very existence of any meaning for a figure of speech depends on the reality of the literal meaning of the terms involved. Figures often make the meaning plainer, but it is the literal, normal, or plain meaning that they convey to the reader." [Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism, Revised and Expanded, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 80-1]

    Christian Zionists will usually interpret a text by use of their theology, and/or by their their literalist grammatical-historical interpretation system rather than by other scriptures as was more often done prior to the 19th and 20th century takeover of so many denominations by this theology.

    Therefore since the Book of Revelation lists the 12 tribes of Israel in Revelation 7: 4-8, and Revelation 14: 4 says they are not defiled with women and are virgins, therefore, following their
    "Hermeneutics," from the pagan god Hermes, the 144,000 cannot be any other group than male Jewish virgins.

    For example, the Christian Zionists would never look at Revelation 17: 1-11 where the metaphor of the "great *****" and a "woman" are used in talking about false religion or apostasy of several religions. These verses, for Christian Zionists, cannot be relevant to Revelation 17: 1-11 because their theology demands an honoring of physical Israel and the use of the humanistic grammatical-historical or literal method of intrpretation.

    John Darby, known as the father of dispensationalism said " "The Church has sought to settle itself here, but it has no place on the earth... [Though] making a most constructive parenthesis, it forms no part of the regular order of God's earthly plans, but is merely an interruption of them to give a fuller character and meaning to them..."

    John. N. Darby, 'The Character of Office in The Present Dispensation' Collected Writings., Eccl. I, Vol. I, p. 94.

    "Them" are physical Israel (I Corinthians 10: 18, Romans 9: 8). The church, for Darby, exists to "give fuller character and meaning to all physical Israel." Darby thought that the purpose of the Christian church, the ekklesia as a meeting, assembly or congregation of Israel reborn in Christ, the Israel of God, made into The Body of Christ like the Catholic capital C Church, was to honor all physical Israel. The dispensationalists say that God's people, the Jews, are earthy. They are involved in physical and literal things, like the blood sacrifice of animals, a literal bloodline from Abraham, circumcision, and a physical temple building.

    So, the followers of John Darby must say the 144,000 are all male Jewish virgins in order to honor physical Israel. This does not mean that there cannot be some people who will belong to the 144,000, and may now be part of the remnant, that were formerly Jewish in the flesh and in their doctrines. Those in Messianic Judaism mix the two covenants and are not witnesses to Christ in full because of their doctrines.

    It is not given to those who Over-Allegorize or Over-Literalize the 144,000 to understand the truth about them at this time. There are other prophecies for which an understanding has not been given to those in various man-made theologies, or even to the Remnant at this point in time. Revelation 11 on the Two Witnesses, with its several statements from Revelation 11: 1 to Revelation 11: 6, are verses difficult to understand - and as far as I know, no one has been given the full meaning of these verses for a metaphoric understanding of this chapter.

  • #2
    Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

    Those in Messianic Judaism mix the two covenants and are not witnesses to Christ in full because of their doctrines.
    What "two" covenants?

    There was a covenant offered to Israel and accepted by her in Sinai with Moses.

    Jeremiah prophesied of a New covenant to be offered to Israel.

    Jesus came and offered the new covenant and sealed it with His death and resurrection.

    Israel has not yet accepted this new covenant, but she will.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

      Originally posted by timf View Post
      What "two" covenants?

      There was a covenant offered to Israel and accepted by her in Sinai with Moses.

      Jeremiah prophesied of a New covenant to be offered to Israel.

      Jesus came and offered the new covenant and sealed it with His death and resurrection.

      Israel has not yet accepted this new covenant, but she will.
      Israel did accept it, at least those chosen of Israel. Remember not all of Israel is Israel. I'm Jewish by my dad's side of the family. I'm Christian by faith. That makes me a Messianic Jew, but I don't keep the OT covenant with it's laws. I sure don't, because Jesus put the law in my heart, with the Holy Spirit. That happened because the new covenant made the old covenant obsolete.

      Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

        Some of the basic problems in considering the 144,000 are those that add to what the scriptures say in reference to them.

        The bible does not say that they will come back to earth to be witnesses of Christ. Rather, they are with Christ, and they never leave Christ.

        The bible does not say that the sealing of the 144,000 is future. Rather it is always past tense.

        The Old Testament references the sealing in the forehead of Jews in Ezekiel chapter 9.

        The New Testament says they are the firstfruits unto God.

        Why wouldn’t you expect that perhaps they are those that arose with Christ on the third day?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

          Yes the 144,000 are called "firstfruits' in Rev 14. But in chapter 7, it is clear that the 144,000 are only a small part of the firstfruit harvest.

          In verse 9, 10 of chapter 7 we read " behold a great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, people and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.............."

          Both these groups make their appearance after the Great tribulation and just before the Day of the Lord-it's not just the 144,000.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

            Originally posted by rejoice44 View Post
            Some of the basic problems in considering the 144,000 are those that add to what the scriptures say in reference to them.

            The bible does not say that they will come back to earth to be witnesses of Christ. Rather, they are with Christ, and they never leave Christ.

            The bible does not say that the sealing of the 144,000 is future. Rather it is always past tense...
            Also, the tribe names are different. Some are missing, some are added. This is obviously the "New Jerusalem" or the completed church.

            Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

              Originally posted by God's legacy View Post
              Yes the 144,000 are called "firstfruits' in Rev 14. But in chapter 7, it is clear that the 144,000 are only a small part of the firstfruit harvest.

              In verse 9, 10 of chapter 7 we read " behold a great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, people and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.............."

              Both these groups make their appearance after the Great tribulation and just before the Day of the Lord-it's not just the 144,000.
              The 144,000 are sealed before any tribulation, nor is it stated that they came out of tribulation as the other group. If it was not the 144,000 that arose on resurrection day, who were they that arose?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

                Originally posted by Raybob View Post
                Also, the tribe names are different. Some are missing, some are added. This is obviously the "New Jerusalem" or the completed church.

                Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
                Isn't there only one tribe missing, and wouldn't that be Dan? Jacob said of his son Dan - Genesis 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

                Perhaps Dan foreshadowed Judas, and was replaced.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

                  Originally posted by rejoice44 View Post
                  The 144,000 are sealed before any tribulation, nor is it stated that they came out of tribulation as the other group. If it was not the 144,000 that arose on resurrection day, who were they that arose?
                  The sealing of the 144,000 was to protect them from the coming trumpet plagues during the Day of the Lord

                  Sealing has to do with receiving God's Holy Spirit - Eph 1: 13-14

                  Rev 7: 13-14 - " these are they who came out of the great tribulation" refers to the 144,000 and the great multitude (a far greater number than 144,000)

                  There was no resurrection up until Jesus returns in the Day of the Lord-the first resurrection is all those dead in Christ from past ages of mankind like David, and Abraham, etc. and they join those who are alive in Christ and instantly transformed into spirit being to meet Jesus up in the air. Then the 1.000 year reign of Christ begins. After the 1,000 period is over all the rest of the dead who ever lived on earth rise up and are eventually in the Great white throne judgment.
                  Then the New heaven and earth begins-that's the time frame I know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

                    Originally posted by God's legacy View Post
                    The sealing of the 144,000 was to protect them from the coming trumpet plagues during the Day of the Lord
                    Let me ask you when they are sealed. Are they sealed now?

                    Sealing has to do with receiving God's Holy Spirit - Eph 1: 13-14
                    Are you saying sealing only has to do with receiving God's Holy Spirit?

                    Rev 7: 13-14 - " these are they who came out of the great tribulation" refers to the 144,000 and the great multitude (a far greater number than 144,000)
                    It doesn't say that. The book of Revelation is about the past, the present, and the future. You are tying the two groups together where the bible doesn't do that.

                    There was no resurrection up until Jesus returns in the Day of the Lord-the first resurrection is all those dead in Christ from past ages of mankind like David, and Abraham, etc.
                    Consider these verses in Ezekiel. Ezekiel 9:4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

                    Ezekiel 9:11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which [had] the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.

                    Consider that the 144,000 are Jews only. Now consider all those that arose out of the grave at the resurrection. Matthew 27:51:53 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Would you call this a resurrection, or not?


                    and they join those who are alive in Christ and instantly transformed into spirit being to meet Jesus up in the air. Then the 1.000 year reign of Christ begins. After the 1,000 period is over all the rest of the dead who ever lived on earth rise up and are eventually in the Great white throne judgment.
                    Then the New heaven and earth begins-that's the time frame I know.
                    It doesn't sound like Abraham, Daniel, and Moses are in this group, does it? Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                    We don't have to force the Gospel to say something that fits our understanding. Sometimes it is best to wait for the Lord to reveal it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

                      Originally posted by rejoice44 View Post
                      The 144,000 are sealed before any tribulation, nor is it stated that they came out of tribulation as the other group. If it was not the 144,000 that arose on resurrection day, who were they that arose?
                      You sure can't prove that with scripture. The only time you see all 144K sealed is when they are with Jesus in Rev. 14.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

                        Originally posted by Raybob View Post
                        You sure can't prove that with scripture. The only time you see all 144K sealed is when they are with Jesus in Rev. 14.
                        That is the point. They are the firstfruits that were resurrected with Jesus. I can't prove it, but those saints that were resurrected with Jesus were most likely Jews, since Jesus came for the Jews. There were no Gentiles in the 144,000.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

                          [B][FONT=Co

                          The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible

                          Revelation 7:4

                          "And I heard the number of them which were sealed…

                          And therefore could be sure of the exact number, which did not depend upon his sight, and telling them, in which some mistake might have been made, but he heard the number expressed:"

                          [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty, [and] four thousand:

                          "which is a square number arising from twelve, the square root of it, being just twelve times twelve thousand; and may denote their being the true and genuine offspring of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, holding their doctrine, and being built on their foundation; see (Revelation 21:14) ;"

                          Revelation 7:5

                          "Of the tribe of Judah [were] sealed twelve thousand…

                          Judah is mentioned first, because Christ sprung from that tribe, and the pure worship of God was preserved in it; and that itself was preserved a distinct tribe until the coming of Shiloh; its name signifies "praise God", (Genesis 29:35) ; and shows, that it becomes all the sealed ones, all true believers, and every member of the church of God, to praise him for all favours and blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. "

                          "Of the tribe of Gad [were] sealed twelve thousand;

                          his name signifies a "troop", (Genesis 30:11) , and may denote that there would be a numerous company of saints and faithful witnesses during the time of sealing, and amidst all the troubles and afflictions that would attend the church and people of God, and who in the issue would be conquerors, and more than conquerors, through Christ; see (Genesis 49:19) . "

                          Revelation 7:6

                          "Of the tribe of Aser [were] sealed twelve thousand…

                          "Asher", which the Septuagint pronounce "Aser", as here, signifies "blessed", (Genesis 30:13) ; as all the sealed ones are, blessed with all spiritual blessings, with grace here, and glory hereafter. "

                          John Gill was a Baptist, but also a follower of Calvin. In his interpretation of the 144,000 he emphasizes the sealing mentioned in Revelation 7: 2-3. But - and this is very important - Gill does not deal at all with Revelation 7: 1 and 7: 3, "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree" and "Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."

                          This metaphoric language says something is going to be let loose to hurt the earth, the sea and the trees, called the four winds of the earth. The four winds may hurt the literal earth, but this hurting of the earth is not all that is to happen. In Revelation 9: 1-5, the bottomless pit is opened and locust-scorpions came out.

                          Then in Revelation 9: 13-21 another set of spiritual creatures with tails like serpents are let loose.

                          Revelation 9 is talking about something that will do spiritual harm, demon spirits and their human minions to torment and kill (metaphorically and maybe physically also) those who claim to belong to Christ.

                          You can find locust-scorpions and just scorpions and serpents in scripture (Matthew 23: 33, Luke 10: 19 for serpents, and Ezekiel 2: 3-8, and again Luke 10: 19).

                          John Gill is following the amillennial view of the 144, 000, that they are all just the sealed ones or the elect of the entire church age. In doing so, he denies the 144,000 are a specially sealed remnant who witness for Jesus Christ near the last trumpet, and the end of the tribulation. Something that can spiritually harm those who claim to be Christians is to be released, called the four winds of the earth, and the 144,000 as a last days remnant are to be sealed so this does not hurt them spiritually. They are made immune to deception - and the dialectic.

                          The 144,000 interpreted to be a remnant whose characteristics are briefly described in Revelation 14: 4-5, are similar to the remnant of Israel described in Zephaniah 3: 12-13. "The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth:" In Revelation 14: 4-5 "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."

                          Remnant, meaning a few faithful to Christ and his doctrines, is used only four times in the New Testament. Paul quotes Isaiah 10:22-23 in Romans 9: 27, using kataleimma, Strong's 2640, a remainder, a few."

                          In Romans 11: 5 Paul says there is a remnant according to the election of grace, referring to the few from physical Israel who accepted Christ. Here he uses leimma, "a remainder."

                          Then in Revelation 11: 13 the remnant was afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. Remnant is from loipoy, remaining ones, other, which remain, remnant, residue, rest.

                          The same Greek word, loipoy, is used in Revelation 12: 17, where the dragon goes to make war with the remnant, a few, those remaining who are faithful to Christ,keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

                          Remnant is used also in Matthew 22: 6 and in Revelation 19: 21, but in these texts remnant does not refer to a small number who remain faithful to Christ and his doctrines.

                          The Catholic and dispensationalist theologies tend to be broad way, or majority theologies, which would not find attractive the teaching that after the falling away of II Thessalonians 2: 3-4 and the leavening of the churches of Luke 13: 21 the elect becomes only a few, a remnant. So, the Catholics, followed by many Calvinists because of Calvin's use of Augustine as an authority on doctrine, do not see the 144,000 as an end time remnant.

                          The dispensationalists,also a broad way theology, would place the arrival of the 144,000 during their tribulation period, supposedly after the dispensationalist church has been raptured off the earth. So, for them too, the 144,000 cannot be a remnant of the "church" which remains faithful to Christ and his doctrines and in that way threatens the broad way majority who have fallen away from the doctrines of Christ into other Gospels. After all, the 144,000 are all male virgin Jews, or 144,000 Jewish Billy Grahams, sometime in the future after the church is in heaven.

                          Broad way theology refers to Matthew 7: 13, "Enter ye at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, nd broad is the way. that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

                            Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

                            Why doesn’t everyone see this as what happened at Pentecost? The Holy Spirit came down and filled the believers with power to spread the gospel. No one can deny that the everlasting gospel was preached unto the world, from the day of Pentecost right up to the present day.

                            Consider what you are saying when you say Revelation 14:6 is a future event. You are ignoring the history of the last 2,000 years. You are saying it didn’t work, therefore God is going to try it over again. This makes absolutely no sense.

                            (The gospel was preached in the whole world and then judgment came, and then those that rejected Christ will get a second chance, because God is going to start all over again with the gospel.) ????

                            Doesn’t it make more sense to say Revelation 14:6 occurred at Pentecost. The order of things, the 144,000 Jewish Saints being those that arose out of the grave to be with Jesus at the resurrection, and following Jesus wherever Jesus goes. And then the angel presenting the good news that the Saviour has come.

                            Why try to make the 144,000 fit into some future event that no one fully understands?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Over-Allegorization or Over-Literalization of the 144,000

                              Originally posted by rejoice44 View Post
                              Let me ask you when they are sealed. Are they sealed now?



                              Are you saying sealing only has to do with receiving God's Holy Spirit?



                              It doesn't say that. The book of Revelation is about the past, the present, and the future. You are tying the two groups together where the bible doesn't do that.



                              Consider these verses in Ezekiel. Ezekiel 9:4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

                              Ezekiel 9:11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which [had] the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.

                              Consider that the 144,000 are Jews only. Now consider all those that arose out of the grave at the resurrection. Matthew 27:51:53 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Would you call this a resurrection, or not?




                              It doesn't sound like Abraham, Daniel, and Moses are in this group, does it? Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

                              We don't have to force the Gospel to say something that fits our understanding. Sometimes it is best to wait for the Lord to reveal it.
                              The 144,000 are a literal physical descendants of the children of Israel Rev 7:4 - yes

                              they would be converted servants of Christ probably happening during the Great tribulation period. In Rev 14 they are being described as been redeemed. But no, they are not sealed now since we are talking about a future event that hasn't occurred yet-the tribulation.

                              In Matt 27, it is a resurrection of sorts but it is not the resurrection to eternal life as in Rev 20 and 1 Cor 15. Lazarus and several believers of Christ were resurrected to underscore the monumental power of God and to highlight the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. They were only resurrected back to a physical life, not an eternal one. It didn't include Moses and David, etc..that promise was still to come .

                              There are different forms of sealing-baptism for the faithful and in contrast the mark of the beast.

                              Comment

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