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LATEST WORLD NEWS-ARTICLES SATURDAY FEBRUARY 24th 2018

DAILY SCRIPTURE:

 

Rev. 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed AN HUNDRED AND FORTY AND FOUR THOUSAND of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Rev. 7:5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev. 7:6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev. 7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev. 7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev. 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Rev. 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb

 

IS 144,000 A SYMBOLIC NUMBER?

https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/144000-symbolic-number/

QUESTION:   I would like to ask if it is possible that the number 144,000 is a symbolic number fullness? It seems to me that in Revelation 7:4 is the symbolic figure of all Israel, and in Revelation 14:3 is a symbolic number fullness of the Gentiles.

ANSWER:   In the case of the 144,000 in Rev. 7 I take it to be a literal number for the following reasons. First, the number is broken down into 12 portions of 12,000 each. And second it can’t be symbolic of all of Israel because 2 tribes, Dan and Ephraim, are not mentioned. And yet these two tribes will be represented in the re-division of the land following the 2nd Coming. Dan (Ezekiel 48:1) and Ephraim (Ezekiel 48:5) will both receive tribal allotments.

But like you, I believe the 144, 000 mentioned in Rev. 14:4 is symbolic of the raptured Church. They have been redeemed from Earth, are pure, have been purchased from among men (implying Jew and Gentile), and follow the Lamb where ever He goes. These are qualities unique to the church.

Here’s a link to a study I wrote on this subject that contains more detail on the differences between these two groups.

ADMINISTRATOR: See the above study article at the end of the News Message (Bottom of page)

 

24 ELDERS AND THE 144,000

https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/24-elders-and-the-144000/

QUESTION:   I have a question regarding some numbers in the book of Revelation. Firstly, in Chapter 4, where the 24 elders are believed to represent the raptured church, what’s the significance of the number 24? Why wouldn’t we be inclined to take this number literally, as you previously suggested for the two groups of 144,000 which appear in chapters 7 & 14?

Which brings me to my next question: if one of the groups are Jews, and the other represents the raptured Church, does that mean that 144,000 is the pre-determined number of Christians who will be saved & raptured before the Great Tribulation? In which case, aren’t there a lot more Christians in the world than that today? Does this mean that only a select portion of the Church will be taken in the rapture? I have read in a study Bible, that this 144,000 probably represents a group of believers who have remained in a ‘purposeful celibate state of separation unto God’, (hence the mention that they ‘have not defiled themselves with women’)…what does this mean? Is the 144,000 even referring to the Church at all or am I missing something? Please help! I believe in the rapture of the Church but this is really confusing to me…

ANSWER:   As far as the 24 Elders is concerned, I believe it is a literal number. They appear 7 times in the Revelation, and there are always 24. Some say this number symbolizes the 12 tribes and the 12 disciples combined to suggest the union of Old Testament and New, but I think it’s exclusive to the church. 12 is the number of government and being a multiple of twelve, 24 expresses the same thing in a higher form. It is the number associated with the heavenly government and worship, two duties to which the Church is called. While the 24 represent the entire Church, their presence around the throne isn’t meant to symbolize millions of elders sitting on thrones there. It may be that just as King David divided the 20,000 priests of his day into 24 groups with one priest at the head of each to more effectively govern Temple activities(1 Chron. 24), so will the Church be divided to more effectively govern in Heaven.

As for the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14 I wrote that both are literal numbers as well, though they represent different groups. In Rev. 7 we have 12,000 from each of 12 tribes of Israel living on Earth. In Rev. 14 we have 144,000 who have been redeemed from the earth. This 144,000 is a sampling of the redeemed, brought to heaven in the rapture of Rev 4, and presented as the first fruits of the harvest of souls, just as the wave offering was the first fruits of the harvest of grain (Lev. 23:9-14). All the grain was harvested, but only a sample was presented. So it is with the Church. The 144,000 is not meant to be the full number raptured, just a sample.

As far as the phrase “defiled themselves with women” is concerned, it’s used to symbolize the worship of idols. Since pagan worship was sexual in nature, the Lord sometimes described idol worship in sexual terms. These 144,000 had not done that. In fact they were found to be totally blameless, further evidence that they’re the redeemed in Heaven. No human on Earth is blameless. There’s no Biblical evidence that men who remain celibate will receive special rewards.

MESSIANIC JEWS AND THE 144,000

https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/messianic-jews-and-the-144000/

QUESTION:  First I’d like to say I love your site. The questions are often ones I’d have asked myself, and your answers are enlightening. You have really been a blessing in my expanded knowledge and understanding of the Bible. On another website there was an article concerning the number of Messanic Jews in Israel and the US. The numbers were 50,000 something in Israel and around 350,000 in the US

ANSWER:   The 144,000 witnesses are only identified as coming from 12 named tribes. Neither their physical location nor their nationality is given, although I think most people assume they’re Jews from Israel. As for being from among the Messianic population of today, that’s impossible because true Messianic Jews are part of the Church (Gal.3:26-29) and as such will go in the Rapture. The 144,000 will not be chosen until after the Church is gone.

 

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(CLICK ON) LATEST DAILY NEWS CLIPS:

News Clips Obtained From Many Sources – Including

HEADLINES FROM TRACKING BIBLE PROPHECY

http://www.trackingbibleprophecy.org/birthpangs.php

Rapture Ready News

Prophecyupdate.Com

Main News Channels

Other Christian Sites ​​24/02/2018

 

ISRAEL NEWS:

 

WORLD TERRORISM – WARS

 

 

GENERAL WORLD NEWS: 

 

 

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MASSIVE EARTH CHANGES/EARTHQUAKES/VOLCANOES ETC:

 

 

CHRISTIAN WORLD NEWS:

 

 

EXTRA WORLD – ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

http://www.stevequayle.com/index.php?s=143

 

 

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PROPHETIC NEWS ARTICLES:

MIDDLE EAST WAR LOOMING THE BUILD UP TO PSALM 83 AND GOG OF MAGOG WARS EZEKIEL 38:

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RELATED NEWS CLIPS:

 

IDF SIMULATES WAR IN LEBANON, AMID TENSIONS WITH IRAN, HEZBOLLAH

Reservist, conscript brigades take part in large-scale exercises along the Lebanese border to ‘improve preparedness on the northern front,’ army says

https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-simulates-war-in-lebanon-amid-tensions-with-iran-hezbollah/

The IDF Galilee Division on Thursday completed a series of large-scale exercises designed to prepare the military for a potential rapidly unfolding war in Lebanon, the army said amid rising tensions in recent weeks along Israel’s northern frontier.

“Conscripted soldiers, along with reservists, took part in the exercise. They practiced a rapid call-up of reservists, as well as operational capabilities and readiness to fight in Lebanese terrain,” the Israel Defense Forces said.

In addition, the army’s 188th Armored Brigade conducted its own, separate exercise in northern Israel, along with troops from combat engineering, infantry and artillery.

The drills came amid heightened tensions in the country’s north, following aerial clashes between the Israeli air force and the Syrian military earlier this month, and amid an ongoing diplomatic dispute between Israel and Lebanon over a portion of the Mediterranean Sea, which is believed to contain a natural gas reserve, that each claims as its own.

“The brigade exercises were held as part of the enhanced 2018 training program. Their purpose is to prepare combat soldiers and their commanders for any scenario, and to enhance their readiness and capabilities for real-time threats,” the army said.

In addition, the army’s 188th Armored Brigade conducted its own, separate exercise in northern Israel, along with troops from combat engineering, infantry and artillery.

The drills came amid heightened tensions in the country’s north, following aerial clashes between the Israeli air force and the Syrian military earlier this month, and amid an ongoing diplomatic dispute between Israel and Lebanon over a portion of the Mediterranean Sea, which is believed to contain a natural gas reserve, that each claims as its own.

“The brigade exercises were held as part of the enhanced 2018 training program. Their purpose is to prepare combat soldiers and their commanders for any scenario, and to enhance their readiness and capabilities for real-time threats,” the army said.

The commander of the 188th Brigade, Col. Gal Shochami, stressed the importance of the exercise as conflict could break out at any time.

“We must remember the meaning of the command, ‘War tomorrow,’ which tells us that any training situation may be the last before the real test of our abilities: the battlefield,” Shochami said.

“The 188th Brigade will be ready to fight on the battlefield, whenever, and wherever it will be required,” he said.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and the head of the Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, visited the exercises in northern Israel, speaking with the commanders of the various participating units and assessing the brigade’s abilities, the army said.

The military faced deep criticism following the 2006 Second Lebanon War against the Hezbollah terrorist group over its failure to properly train soldiers for the types of fighting they encountered in the conflict, having instead focused on preparing troops for West Bank counter-terrorism operations.

In the interim 12 years, the army sought to address that issue, building special facilities that mimic southern Lebanese terrain and investing considerably more resources in training exercises for reservists.

In September, the military conducted its largest exercise in decades, aimed specifically at simulating a war with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

This has all been to prepare for another bout with the terrorist group and its supporters — Iran and Syria — which many defense officials and analysts see as only a matter of time.

The prospects of such a clash between Israel and the Iranian-led axis of Tehran, Damascus and the Beirut-based Hezbollah were raised following a significant aerial exchange earlier this month.

Earlier this month, an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace near the Jordanian border before it was shot down by an Israeli attack helicopter. In response to the drone incursion, Israeli jets attacked the mobile command center from which it was operated, the army said at the time.

During the reprisal raid, one of the eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets that took part in the operation was hit by a Syrian anti-aircraft fire and crashed. The Israeli Air Force then conducted a second round of airstrikes, destroying between a third and half of Syria’s air defenses, according to IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus.

In the aftermath of the exchange, officials from Iran, Syria and Hezbollah boasted that the downing of the F-16 marked the end of Israel’s ability to freely operate in the region. Meanwhile, Israeli officials said the fact that the air force destroyed a sizable portion of Syria’s air defenses after the F-16 was shot down proved that the Jewish state maintained its aerial superiority in the Middle East.

 

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 CONFIRMED: DONALD TRUMP WILL OFFICIALLY RELOCATE THE US EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM ON MAY 14, 2018

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/confirmed-donald-trump-will-officially-relocate-us-embassy-jerusalem-may-14-2018/

EXTRA WORLD NEWS CLIPS:

 

 

The Trump administration will officially relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, timed with Israel’s 70th Independence Day, a State Department official confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Friday. The official was responding to a message on Twitter by Transport Minister Israel Katz, who seemed to confirm the move would occur in the spring. “We’re planning to open the new US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May,” the US official told the Post. “The Embassy opening will coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.”

The Trump administration will officially relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, timed with Israel’s 70th Independence Day, a State Department official confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” Jeremiah 29:10 (KJV)

For quite some time now, we here at NTEB have been telling you that if any major fulfillment of prophecy related to the Rapture of the Church and the consequent start of the time of Jacob’s trouble was going to happen, it would be right around the time period of the 70th anniversary of the regathering of Israel on May 14, 2018.

So it is with a happy surprise and not just a little shock that our position received another nice validation today with this stunning news coming out of Israel, and here it is:

The Trump administration will officially relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, timed with Israel’s 70th Independence Day, a State Department official confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

The official was responding to a message on Twitter by Transport Minister Israel Katz, who seemed to confirm the move would occur in the spring. “We’re planning to open the new US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May,” the US official told the Post. “The Embassy opening will coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.”

“The Embassy will initially be located in Arnona, on a compound that currently houses the consular operations of Consulate General Jerusalem,” he continued. “At least initially, it will consist of the Ambassador and a small team.”

How’s THAT for a start to your day, all you prophecy watchers out there? Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than this. Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is not in Bible prophecy, but the events that this move could trigger certainly are. I believe with all my heart that the time period surrounding May 14 of this year, 70 years of Israel regathered, will be perhaps the greatest period of prophecy fulfillment in my lifetime. Here are some of the reasons why I believe that.

After 70 years the LORD will again visit Israel according to the prophet Jeremiah

The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 30 and verse 7 makes a reference to something he calls the “time of Jacob’s trouble”, which is the same thing Jesus mentions in Matthew 24 when He talks about the coming time of “great tribulation”.

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7 (KJV)

But just one chapter before that, Jeremiah mentions something that immediately preceded that, a visitation from the Lord after 70 years. Historically this is talking about the Jews in Babylonian captivity, but is also a prophecy of the Jews in the time of Jacob’s trouble in the end times.

“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” Jeremiah 29:10 (KJV)

It is interesting to note that in the book of Revelation, Jesus says that in the time of Jacob’s trouble Israel will be like “Sodom and Egypt”. (Remember the Boston Globe article calling Tel Aviv the “gayest city on Earth”?)  They have turned so far away from the LORD that this is how God now views them.

“And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Revelation 11:8 (KJV)

But Revelation also directs our attention to spiritual Babylon that has now trapped the Jews just like physical Babylon did in Jeremiah’s day.

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

So I ask you, those of you who are Bible believers and understand that there is much prophecy yet to be fulfilled, is it possible that sometime around the 70th anniversary of the regathering of the nation of Israel, could the LORD be planning to once again visit Israel and His chosen people the Jews?

If so, then wouldn’t that of necessity place the Rapture of the Church before that visit? Yes, it would. The Church has no place in the time of JACOB’S trouble, it is Israel’s final refinement according to the Bible.

“Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Amos 3:1,2 (KJV)

The 70th anniversary of regathered Israel is 3 months away, and there are only 3 possibilities for what is mentioned in this article. It is possible that

1). some of it could happen,

2). none of it could happen, or

3). all of it could happen.

ARE YOU READY FOR WHAT COMES NEXT?

 

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 PEOPLE WILL SCOFF ABOUT THE END TIMES THE BIBLE WARNS

By Howard Green – https://www.christianpost.com/voice/people-will-scoff-about-the-end-times-the-bible-warns.html

Many churches today don’t preach about Jesus’ return.

On March 27th of 1980, there was a small eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state. The volcano rumbled awake after a one-hundred-year sleep. In the weeks to follow, a series of small earthquakes warned of the danger building below the surface of the beautiful mountain.

Federal and local government officials alerted the public to the growing threat and said a large-scale eruption was imminent. Many tourists, backpackers, campers and local residents heeded the warnings and complied with evacuation orders. There were dozens of others who decided to ignore and even scoff at the warnings about the growing danger and chose to stay in harm’s way.

On May 18th, 1980 at 8:32 am. Mt. St. Helens erupted ferociously, sending a pyroclastic blast and a wall of super-heated gas and ash racing down the sides of the mountain at over 300 mph.

In the wake of the volcano’s fury, 57 people lost their lives because they either ignored or scoffed at the warnings of impending danger. The Bible tells us about a time when scoffers will mock people who warn others about coming of the Lord.

Take note that the Bible zeroes in on a particular time in history. Peter tells us these people will be around in the last days. Another key aspect of these people is the fact that they are following their own sinful desires. The Bible tells us that these people will mockingly ask, “Where is the promise of his coming?”

I’ve observed many non-Christians mock the notion of God’s coming judgment and Jesus’ soon return. People on television, radio and social media scoff at the idea that Jesus is coming again. My heart goes out to these people because they are not the enemy, satan is and he wants to keep them blinded.

Knowing the stakes are eternal, we must tell them about God’s holiness, coming judgment and redemption through Jesus. The fact that the secular world scoffs at the notion of Jesus’ soon return shouldn’t be a surprise. What is shocking is the number of supposed Christians who are scoffing about it.

End Time Bible prophecy is like an elephant in the evangelical living room because so many of today’s well-known leaders either choose to ignore it altogether or in some cases, they have become the very scoffers the apostle Peter warns us about.

Ask yourself the following questions: When was the last time you heard a sermon on Bible prophecy? When was the last time your small group discussed the end times? Can you remember the last time your church invited a guest speaker to teach on an End Time subject?

I’m guessing many of you feel the same as I do. I have noticed a steady departure from teaching end time Bible prophecy in most evangelical churches today. This is sad and unbelievable in light of the fact that the four gospels, the epistles and the Old Testament are brimming with chapters that are heavily eschatological.

In the wake of the volcano’s fury, 57 people lost their lives because they either ignored or scoffed at the warnings of impending danger. The Bible tells us about a time when scoffers will mock people who warn others about coming of the Lord.

If a pastor or a Bible teacher you listen to is ignoring this subject, chances are high they are doctrinally flawed in other areas. Ignoring or scoffing at Bible prophecy should be a red flag and I would advise you go elsewhere for biblical instruction and find a godly shepherd who teaches the whole Bible.

When I became a Christian in the mid-1980’s, there was a great deal of interest in Bible prophecy. Books about the End Times were everywhere and many preachers spoke about it with regularity. Here we are decades later but interest and teaching on end time Bible prophecy are at an all-time low.

Today’s Christian bookstores are chock full of life enhancement books that focus on self-esteem instead of God esteem. The most popular Christian teachers focus on the emotions and felt needs of people instead of challenging them to Christ-likeness in light of His soon return.

The gospels are replete with Jesus’ warnings and encouragement as He tells us to be alert, to endure to the end and tells us to make disciples. End Time Bible prophecy is paramount in evangelism because people in the world want to know what the future holds. Bible prophecy is critical in discipleship because it exhorts us to good works, personal holiness and finishing well.

As we think about Peter’s warning of scoffers coming in the last days, we must understand personal holiness at the center of the issue. Where Bible prophecy is ignored, holiness is diminished. This is important to understand because Peter ties the understanding of end time Bible prophecy closely together with godly living in the last days.

The fact that so many well-known leaders choose to ignore or scoff at End Time teaching is indicative of the last days’ spiritual deception and blindness Peter’s warned us about. The National Hurricane Center warns people of an approaching storm, in the same way, the US. Geological Survey alerts people of increasing seismic activity and probable volcanic eruptions.

The end result is that many people will heed the warnings and prepare accordingly. If you could go back in time to the day before Mt. St. Helens erupted violently or the day before Hurricane Katrina struck, wouldn’t you lovingly warn people with every bit of strength you have despite what the scoffers say? Christians should be warning the world of the approaching storm of God’s judgment and tell them about the hope that Jesus offers.

 

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 SHOULD ALL SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIANS BE SPEAKING IN TONGUES? BIBLE ANSWER MAN, THEOLOGIAN RESPOND

ADMINISTRATOR: I personally will not speak in tongues, I believe that God empowered people to speak in tongues (being in other worldly languages) at Pentecost in order to preach the gospel in all the World for a witness for Jesus, and the beginning of the Church age. I cannot agree with people when they speak in a language that they do not understand (what they are saying), and no one else does either. This in my opinion is bordering on Satanic. God has given us over to a sound mind, and God does not work in “Confusion”.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/should-all-spirit-filled-christians-be-speaking-in-tongues-bible-answer-man-theologian-respond-219143/

Is speaking in tongues evidence of salvation in Jesus Christ and thus something all Christians should be practicing?

The question was posed before Hank Hanegraaff, also known as the “Bible Answer Man,” during his radio show. Hanegraaf made it clear that what happened on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit allowed followers of Jesus to speak in tongues, as described in the book of Acts, was a “non-normative event.” 

“You think for example of what happened back in the Old Testament, when men were trying to excel by their own humanistic endeavors, God divided the languages, so that their plans and plots would be foiled. In the Pentecost you have a reversal of what you have at the Tower of Babel,” Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute, said.

“It is as if a unification takes place in a miraculous way so that the Gospel can go out to the far reaches of the world. I think that the fact that this is communicated as a historical narrative, something that actually happened, is wonderful, but to project this in such a way that this is now normative for all people at all places at all times, simply does not fit what you have in the didactic portions of Scripture,” he argued.

He listed 1 Corinthians 12 as an example that proves that not all believers speak in tongues.Top of Form

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“That gift is not a gift given to everyone. And even if people speak in tongues in the context of Acts, in 1 Corinthians 14 we are told that there has to be an interpretation, otherwise it edifies the person, but doesn’t edify the body,” the radio host, who converted from evangelicalism to Eastern Orthodoxy last year, said.

“The ultimate goal is for the strengthening of the body so that the body of Christ might be equipped, and the body of Christ might be extorted and encouraged, and therefore there is a purpose for the tongues if they are used within the context of the body of Christ.”

He said that the debate on whether speaking in tongues is or is not for today will “go on until the Lord returns,” and said that it’s a valid one to have within the body of Christ.

The CRI president noted that plenty of Christians do believe that speaking in tongues is a gift that God gives to people, and they have various explanations for how that gift is used.

“But to say that this is the evidence of the in-filling of the Holy Spirit I think goes beyond Scripture,” he said.

Craig Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, whose expertise includes the New Testament and miracles, told The Christian Post he would nuance some things differently, but not “radically differently” from what Hanegraaff is suggesting.

“The question Hank Hanegraaff is answering in this case is whether you have to speak in tongues to be saved. Obviously that is false!” Keener told CP in an email Thursday.

The professor agreed with Hanegraaff that what happened in Acts 2 was a “reversal of Babel” and that the Pentecost event was “not normative.”

But he said he would expect such an experience “more often” than what Hanegraaff suggested. 

Keener explained the purpose of the Holy Spirit coming on believers in the book of Acts, believed to be written by Luke.

“I think Luke’s point is to show how the coming of the Spirit is connected with empowerment for ministry to all peoples (Acts 1:8); the disciples worshiping in other people’s languages was showing that God was empowering His church for this mission,” he stated.

“Luke does not mention it in every case of filling with the Spirit in Acts so we don’t have sufficient evidence to say that it will always happen when an individual is filled with the Spirit; given what Luke teaches about empowerment of the Spirit to speak for God, I would expect people who are filled with the Spirit to speak for God sooner or later, and given how beautiful that genuine prayer in tongues is as part of one’s prayer life (certainly it is a very significant part of my own), I always celebrate it when someone experiences this.”

 

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THE 144,000 OF REV 7 AND 14

https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/the-144000-of-rev-7-and-14/

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

In Revelation 7:3-8 a group numbering 144,000 is introduced as the servants of our God. They are given the Seal of the Living God in their foreheads to protect them from the judgments coming on the earth against the land, the sea, and the trees.

“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”  Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

This group is clearly identified as being from among the Jewish population, with 12,000 coming from each of 12 named tribes. There is no good reason to read this passage other than literally. There is too much of a specific nature to warrant a symbolic interpretation (Rev. 7:3-8).

How Many Tribes Are There, Anyway?

There were originally 12 tribes but after the reunion in Egypt Jacob adopted the two sons of Joseph and split his tribe between them. So counting Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s sons, there are actually 14 names to choose from. If you want the original 12 count Joseph. If you want to leave out Levi because you’re going to war and Levi is exempt split Joseph in half and call one half Ephraim and the other Manasseh. In Revelation 7 the Lord wanted to avoid mentioning Dan and Ephraim so He included Levi and split Joseph with Manasseh.

Why Dan and Ephraim?

In 1 Kings 12:12-33 the City of Dan is identified as the location where one of two golden calves was set up for worshiping. The other was in Bethel in the region of Ephraim. Bethel actually became the center of religious worship for the Northern Kingdom before the temple was built in Samaria. Beth-El means house of God. Mind you this all took place nearly 300 years after the escape from Egypt. When they were dedicated, the pagan priest actually quoted the words Aaron spoke at the original introduction of the golden calf at Mt. Sinai, saying “These are your gods, Israel, that brought you up out of Egypt.” Incredible. Once or twice the Lord used the name Ephraim to address all the Northern Kingdom.

The placement of golden calves in these two cities marked the beginning of idol worship in Israel. It was the reason for all the faithful of all the tribes moving south (2 Chron 11:16) and the subsequent destruction of the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrians.

2 Kings 10:29 explains that those calves were still being worshiped in Dan 100 years later. Perhaps this is why the Tribe of Dan is not mentioned at all and Ephraim is only included by inference. (Joseph and Manasseh are included in the list, and of course when you subtract Manasseh from Joseph you’re left with Ephraim.)

So it makes sense to view the 144,000 of Rev. 7 just as they’re described … Messianic Jews called by the Lord to witness to the world after the church is gone. They are the end times fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 43:10, being witnesses for the Lord to the heathen nations of Earth.

Then Who Are These Guys?

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.  And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.  And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.  These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.  No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless (Rev. 14:1-5).

The group identified in Rev 14:1-5 is substantially different. This group is standing on the Mt. Zion in Heaven (Hebrews 12:22-24)  and they have the names of both the Father and the Son written on their foreheads. They are described as having been redeemed from the earth and are before the Throne of God singing a new song, a song only they can sing. (Notice the 24 elders and 4 living creatures are there, too.  They only appear around the throne in Heaven.)  They are pure and blameless, a phrase used only in reference to the church (Ephes. 5:25-27).  They’ve been purchased from among men (Rev. 5:9), and are offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb.  The phrase “did not defile themselves with women”  means they’re virgins, another reference to the church (2 Cor. 11:2). These 144,000 were found to be totally blameless, further evidence that they’re the redeemed in Heaven.  No human on Earth is blameless.

A Beautiful Description

Hebrews 12:22-24 provides a beautiful description of this group. “But you have come to Mt. Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the Living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the Church of the Firstborn whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

The similarity is unmistakable. By their location (heaven) and their spiritual state (pure and blameless) they are reminiscent of a group first seen in Rev 5 and described as Kings and Priests. Only one group fits that description … the Church. In their case the number  144,000 is symbolic, a multiple of 12, the number of governmental perfection.  They’re a sampling of the redeemed, brought to heaven in the rapture of Rev 4, and presented as the first fruits of the harvest.

As you can see the two groups are not the same. With one their number is specific, in the other it’s symbolic. One group is exclusively from the tribes of Israel, the other is simply “from the Earth”.  One group is still in their natural state on earth, the other has been redeemed from the earth and is in heaven.  In short they have one similarity but numerous differences that make it impossible for them to be the same.  (07-02-03).

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