The 144,000 and the Seal of God

Lesson: 7
Who are the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation 7 and 14? This group is called to bring a revival to the church. But they are not the only ones saved.
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Jëan Ross: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome again to "Prophecy Encounter" coming to you live from Sanford, Florida. Very warm welcome to those joining across the country and around the world. And also I'd like to welcome those of you here in Sanford, Florida. Thank you for braving the rain to come out and join us. Very important subject this evening. We're going to be talking about "The 144,000 and the Seal of God." Very important theme that we find in the Book of Revelation. So once again, join me as we welcome the president speaker of "Amazing Facts," Pastor Doug Batchelor. [applauding]

Doug Batchelor: Thank you very much, Pastor Ross. And thank you, friends, again for coming. Want to welcome you to our "Prophecy Encounter" meetings and also want to welcome our friends that are watching on television or online somewhere around the world in one of the many different outlets. I thank our friends who are broadcasting this on 3ABN; we've worked with them many times before in doing these programs and getting prophecy truth out there.

Tonight, our presentation is going to be dealing with the subject of the 144,000, which you find in chapters 7 and 14 of Revelation, and the seal of God. And it pictures a time when angels are holding back winds of strife. And I remember hearing a story about I think it was in 2012 in March, Paul Walden had his wife and daughter call. They were at work and they said, "Have you seen the news? There's a terrible stream of tornadoes that are coming through." And he never paid much attention to storm warnings but he thought he ought to step outside and look at the sky. And right when he went outside to look up at the sky he saw this great big gray wall that was moving towards him that was churning up his neighbor's house. He thought, "Oh, this is the real thing." He ran inside. He grabbed a couple of dogs and he jumped in the closet right by their staircase. And then it hit. You've heard the expression, "It sounds like a freight train is going by" when you have a tornado go by. And the whole house began to shake and he had both hands on the door with all of his strength he was hanging on and trying to keep the door shut as the suction of the storm was trying to pull the door open and suck out him and his dogs. And wasn't very long before it stopped. The noise settled, it moved down and passed away. And he finally got the courage to open the door and this is a picture of what he saw when he stepped outside. The house was gone. He walked out of the closet and he saw blue sky. Everything was gone, except the closet and some of the stairs. And he said it wasn't long after he'd walked outside and the closet fell over and then hail began to fall and he felt like he was getting beaten up by a baseball bat. And he found a container that held vacuum cleaning supplies. He put it on his head, he said, or he would have died from the hail. And his wife always teases him about walking around with a vacuum cleaner accessory box on his head that saved his life. But he was trying to hold back the storm. Well, humans aren't very good at that. Angels do a good job. Revelation pictures this happening.

Let's start with the 144,000 in chapter 7 of Revelation and you can begin with verse 1. Chapter 7, verse 1: "After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth." Now what do the four angels represent? The divisions of the compass. It's talking about simply north, south, east, and west. It's a universal problem. It's a universal sealing that's going to take place. "Holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, or the sea, or any tree." That's talking about everything on the planet. The earth, the sea, the trees, until something happens. It's going to blow eventually. Those winds of strife are really--they're kind of summarized in the seven last plagues. "And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice saying, 'Do not harm the earth, or the sea, or the trees 'til we have sealed the servants of our God on their forehead.'" And it goes on to say, "I heard the number of those that were sealed and it was 144,000," 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. And there's an interesting list that is given.

Then you'll also read in chapter 14, matter of fact, if you have your Bibles. I won't have it on the screen so I'm just going to read it to you here from the Bible. You go to chapter 14 of Revelation, you find the second reference to the 144,000 and it gives us a little more information about them. "I looked, and behold, a Lamb," this is verse 1 of chapter 14, Revelation. "A Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000, having His Father's name written on their forehead." Well, 7 said it was the seal of God. Here it says His Father's name. They must be similar. "And I heard a voice from Heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like a voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harps and harpists playing their harps. And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and before the elders; and no one could learn that song except the 144,000 who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who are not defiled with women, for they're virgins." What does that mean? "These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God." And then it goes on to another passage that is related but we'll pause right there.

So you got the 144,000 are obviously a very important group. You've got, you know, chapter 7 addresses them. Chapter 14 addresses them. They're very close to the Lord. They receive a special seal. Now, typically, if you talk to somebody about Revelation and something in the forehead, what do you think about? Everybody automatically thinks about, "Oh, you don't want anything in your forehead in the last days. Someone tries to put anything in your forehead, run the other way." But if you study the Bible, you'll find out in Revelation everybody's got something in their forehead in the last days. You've either got the mark of the beast or you have the seal of God. You just want to make sure you've got the right mark. And sort of with that as an introduction, let's go through some of our questions now that talk about the 144,000 and the seal of God.

First question. What clues does Revelation provide to help us identify who are the 144,000? Well, there's several things. First of it all, it says here: "12,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel." Now, the list of tribes that are given in Revelation is different from any other list in the Bible. The 12 tribes are listed many times in the Bible. They usually start with the firstborn who is Judah-- I'm sorry, Reuben. But in Revelation, it starts with Judah. It's different. It's a different list. You'll find that it talks about Joseph but Ephraim is left out. And so it's a unique list and you need to just say, "What's going on here? Are these real literal Jews it's talking about, in the last days, he's going to get 12,000 from each of the tribes?" If you know your Jewish history, you'll know that some of the tribes had very few people and Judah had lots of people, hundreds of thousands.

And so the idea of getting an even number from each of the tribes, that would be interesting, but I believe they're actually talking about spiritual Jews. That means it could include literal Jews and it can include people who have been inducted into the seed of Abraham by accepting Christ. Let me tell you why. You read in the Bible in the Old Testament, for instance, go to 2 Kings 17, verse 6, ten of the tribes were conquered by the Assyrians way back hundreds of years before Jesus was born. You read there, "In the ninth year of king Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria," that's the capital of Israel, the northern kingdom, "and carried Israel," those are the ten tribes, "away to Assyria." Now later, the southern kingdom of Judah, they were carried to Babylon, but they came back. Those carried off to Assyria largely intermarried and disappeared as a distinct people. And so when Revelation says 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh, can you please show me somebody from the tribe of Manasseh today? Or Issachar or Zebulun? When you talk about Jews, you're typically talking about people who are from Levi, Judah, and Benjamin. And so those three tribes came back from the Babylonian captivity. But the other nine tribes, you've heard of the ten lost tribes and our Mormon friends say that those lost tribes sailed to the Americas and they became the American Indians. And I would respectfully disagree with that. I think the DNA studies say that the American Indians and native Americans are not the lost tribes of Israel. You read the Bible, long before Jesus was born it tells exactly what happened to the tribes. Some of them came back down and joined Judah. They intermarried with the tribe of Judah. You're not going to find people who are purebred people from Zebulun, Manasseh, Issachar, and so forth.

So what does it mean when it says that? Galatians 3:29: "If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." All the promises God made to the Jews in the Bible, New and Old Testament, you can claim through Christ, amen? That's a wonderful promise. Paul said it, this is New Testament. Paul said in Romans 2:28 and 29: "For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is it circumcision that is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and the circumcision is that of the heart." This was the message of Jesus and John the Baptist, they said to their Jewish brethren, "Do not think to say within yourself, 'God will save us; we are children of Abraham.' God is able to raise up from the stones children of Abraham." And Jesus said, "Many will come from the east and the west and sit down in the kingdom with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," meaning the Gentiles coming from the east and the west. And the natural children, some of them who don't believe, will be in outer darkness.

And so the New Testament is really clear that now the gospel goes to everybody, whosoever will. God is no respecter of persons. So the idea that to be one of the 144,000 you must have a DNA test is not taught in the Bible. God does not discriminate that way. If you are Abraham's seed, you are heirs according to the promise, okay? So why does it give this list and why is the list unique in Revelation chapter 7? I'm going to read something to you. You know, in Hebrew when they name someone, every name had a meaning. You read the story about when, you know, Jacob ended up with four wives. He only wanted Rachel. He ended up with Rachel and Leah and Bilhah and Zilpah, their handmaidens, and every time-- they all fighting over his attention. Every time they got pregnant, they had a child, the mothers would name the child and make a statement because the names all mean something in Hebrew. The name Judah means, "I will praise the Lord," and we're putting this up for the--you on the screen. Reuben means, "He has looked on me;" Gad, "Given good fortune;" Asher means, "Happy am I;" Naphtali means, "My wrestling;" Manasseh means, "Making me to forget." It says Simeon means, "God hears me;" Levi, "Attached to me," unlike Levis; Issachar, "Purchased me;" "Dwelling" is Zebulun; Joseph, "God will add to me;" Benjamin, "Son of his right hand."

Now what's fascinating is if you take these 12 names, line their meanings up the way they're given there in Revelation, this is what it says. Look at this paragraph. "I will praise the Lord for He has looked on me and granted good fortune. I am happy because my wrestling, God is making me to forget. God hears me and is attached or joined to me." It's like a marriage. "He has purchased me a dwelling" I've gone to prepare a place for you. "And He will add to me the Son of His right hand," meaning Christ. The whole story of salvation is told in the names, the way they're arranged there in Revelation. It's the story of redemption. Isn't that beautiful?

Isn't the Bible such an incredible book? Tells us the 144,000 have special robes. The Bible tells us they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, symbolizing they are covered with the righteousness of Christ. It tells us they sing a unique song. That doesn't mean that you can't read off their music because it's their song. It means they've gone through an experience. It's like when the children of Israel went through Egypt they sang this song of deliverance led by Miriam and, at the end of their 40 years, Moses wrote a song that talked about those who had survived their wanderings and how God would be first. Sometimes a song, you have to have the experience to know how to sing the song. It's like, sometimes, you'll hear a choir. You might hear a choir in Ireland singing a Negro spiritual and they may not know how to sing it the way it was written because they have not had the experience that gave birth to the song. Does that make sense? And so those who are the 144,000, they're singing a song nobody else can sing, why? Because it says there in Revelation, "These are those who--" they've come out of a great tribulation. They followed the Lamb in a close way, unlike anyone else. All right, it says they sang, as it were, a new song.

Something else it tells us, they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. By the way, if you want to follow the Lamb there, then, you must first follow the Lamb here, now. And you can't say, "Well, I can't wait to get to Heaven and start following the Lamb." You won't be in Heaven unless you start following Him now. A Christian is a follower of Christ and it says they are virgins and this has always thrown people. Does that mean all the 144,000 are women because the term here in Greek, it does seem to imply the feminine side. Keep in mind in Revelation it talks about Babylon has daughters that are harlots, unfaithful. The 144,000 saying they are virgins for they are not defiled, it's talking about they are part of the truth, they've not been defiled by the wine of Babylon. It's simply saying--not talking about sex at all. It's talking about they are a pure group because they believe the teachings of Jesus, they're undefiled by the false teachings.

Now, everything that we've been telling you about the 144,000, you know what the key is to understanding it? They represent modern-day apostles. See, in the Old Testament--I'm sorry, in the New Testament, rather, Jesus picked 12 apostles and he said, "I want you to be my advocates to take this message to the world." But they were not the only ones saved. They were a special group of leaders. Before the Holy Spirit is poured out in Acts chapter 2, Judas has killed himself. Peter said, "There's only 11 of us now, we need to replace Judas and get back the number 12." When they replaced Judas, the Holy Spirit falls out in the next verse. But there's not just 12 that receive the Holy Spirit. There's 120 in the Upper Room. And then 3,000 are converted as a result of what they do, which leads to the next question.

Are the 144,000 the only ones saved when Jesus comes? Well, if you do the math, that would be pretty sad because there are about 7 billion people in the world today-- there's more than 7 billion. And if only 144,000 are going to be saved, that means your chances are about 1 out of 50,000. It's still better than the lottery in Florida, did you know that? But it's not good. No, they're not the only ones saved. They are a special group of leaders. In the same way, let me make the 144,000 real easy for you. In the same way that Jesus had 12 apostles that followed Him wherever He went that had a special relationship with Him, that sang as--you know, the Bible says that Jesus, the only time He sang-- He sang with the 12. He sang other times but the only time recorded in the Bible when Jesus sang, He sang with the 12 apostles just before He went to the cross. They sang with the Lord a special song. And so all the things about the 144,000, by the way, this is written by an apostle, isn't it? He's talking about their relationship with Jesus during the First Coming. There's going to be an army of apostles getting the world ready for the Second Coming. Does that make sense? That's the 144,000. But now we've learned a little bit about them.

What's the special name in their foreheads? Talks about a name, a seal. Keep in mind it's not talking about a tattoo. You're going to find out all through the Bible and the Old Testament it talks about in the hand and in the forehead, that means in your actions and in your thoughts. Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 8, "You'll bind them," speaking of the law, bind the laws. In Deuteronomy 5, Moses repeats the Ten Commandments. Deuteronomy 6, he says, "You'll bind them as a sign on your hand. They'll be as frontlets between your eyes." What's that? Forehead. "That the Lord's law might be in your heart," another symbol. In the hand means in the actions. In the forehead means in the worship, in the thoughts.

I'll make something really clear. In the last days, if you've got the law of the Lord in your heart, in your actions, in your mind, you will not have the mark of the beast. If you don't have the law of God in your heart, in your hand, in your head, you will have the mark of the beast. It's just one way or the other. Now you notice in Ezekiel 9, we always think the mark is the bad thing? If you read Ezekiel 9 there's another vision there. By the way, Revelation is referring back to Ezekiel, that everybody in Jerusalem was to be destroyed except those that had this mark placed on them by the angel. Everybody in Ezekiel 9 who gets the mark is saved because they are sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in Israel because there was false worship that was happening among the people of Israel. And you read that chapter and you'll understand that.

So what is the seal of God? Right, we talked about the 144,000. We're going to spend the rest of our time talking about this very important subject. Can you pray for me as I proceed? because I really want you to get this, friends. It is very important. All right, first of all, seal of God is the Holy Spirit. You already sort of knew that. Those that have the mark of the beast, whose spirit do they have? The devil. Those that have the seal of God, whose spirit do they have? It says there in Ephesians 4:30: "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, wherewith you are sealed for the day of redemption." There's a seal of the Holy Spirit that happens inside. But there's something that is more tangible than that that can be seen in a life and you'll find that in this verse, Isaiah 8:16: "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." Can the law be sealed in the heart? So the law of God in a sense is the seal.

What's the new covenant? "I'll take My law and write it in their hearts." But we're going to go a step deeper to find out what is that seal in the law. Now, typically, a seal in Bible times, you know, when you would make a document official, they'd pour wax on the seal like you do with an envelope. They'd stamp it with the government seal and a seal always contained three characteristics. How many? It would have the name of the official, the title, and the territory. For example, I've got a copy here of Queen Elizabeth and in Canada it says, "Queen of Canada, Elizabeth." And that's the name. Queen is the office, Elizabeth, Canada. You know, she's also the queen of British Columbia. And so you would have three characteristics. When Pontius Pilate put a seal on the tomb of Jesus, what did it say? "Pontius Pilate," his name, "Governor," his office, "Judea," his territory. When King Darius put a seal-- Bible says he put a seal on the stone placed on the lion's den, what did it say? "Darius, King, Medo-Persia." You got those three things were always in a seal. Do you ever see the presidential seal? It's going to say the president's name, President, United States of America. And so you can have those three characteristics.

Do you find the seal of God in the law of God? You do. It's in the middle of God's law, in the longest of the Ten Commandments, and here's what it reads. And you read in Exodus chapter 20, verse 8: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you should labor and do your work, all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall not do any work: you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant. Nor your cattle, or the stranger who is within your gates." Now here, watch carefully. "For in 6 days the Lord," Jehovah, His name, "created," made, His office, He's the creator and sustainer, "the Heaven and the earth and the sea." There you have the name of God, the title of God, the territory of God. In the middle of the law of God is the seal.

And what we're going to be talking about now is the Sabbath commandment and why it is an important issue in the last days because it talks about resting in the Lord. It talks about having a relationship. It talks about having the Father's name-- is the Father's name in that commandment? Jehovah, "The Lord made the Heaven and earth and the sea. And all that is them, and He rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and He hallowed it." That means He made it holy. So here you've got those three characteristics. You've got His title, you've got His territory, you've got His name, all in the middle of the law.

Now, I want you to just see from the perspective of the Bible and Heaven why this would be so important. Is there a place in the world today if I was going to say, "I'm going to the Holy Land. I'm going on a Holy Land tour." Where am I going? Israel. Not too many people dispute that. And if I'm in Israel, I'm going to say, "I'm going to the Holy City," where am I going? Jerusalem. And then if I say, I'm in Jerusalem, I'm going to go visit the Holy Mount? Mount Moriah, sometimes called Mount Zion. It's where the temple was. And in ancient times if you went to the temple you'd go to the Holy Temple. And in the Holy Temple they had a place called the Holy Place.

But the Holy Place had an inner sanctum called the Holy of Holies. And there was only one thing in the Holy of Holies. What was it? An ark, golden box. We've all heard about the sacred golden box that's still missing today. What made the golden box such a national treasure? What did it have in there? Ten Commandments. And in the Ten Commandments do you find the word "holy"? How many times? One time. Where is it? It's in the Sabbath commandment because God wants to make us holy. And life is composed of time. God is love. You with me? You cannot love without time. Wives usually get that better than husbands. They say, "Oh, you never do anything with me." "I've been home all day." "But yeah, you've been on your computer." Now, this conversation never happened in our home. But I said, "I was here." That's not quality time. So we live all week long but do we have quality time because love is nourished in quality time. God, when He created the world, He created and sanctified a quality time to nurture our relationship with Him and if you love God--if you know God, you'll love Him. If you love Him, you'll obey Him. The devil is trying to destroy the quality time and the love relationship between people and God. And he is especially attacking the Sabbath.

Of what two precious things does God say the Sabbath is a sign? Talking about the seal. It says it's a seal, it's a sign. Look in Exodus 31:17. It says: "It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever." Someone's saying, "Oh, see, it's just between the children of Israel." Well, didn't we learn that if you are Christ, then you're Abraham's seed? "It's a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever for in 6 days the Lord made the Heaven and the earth and the sea." That means it's a sign that He is a creator. Was He only a creator for Jews, or is he also a creator for everybody? Read in Exodus, or Ezekiel, rather. Ezekiel 20, verse 12: "I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign." Is something unique about it. It's a symbol, like a seal. "That they might know that I am the Lord that does sanctify them."

Does God only sanctify Jews or does everybody need to be sanctified by the Lord? Is He only the creator of the Jews or is He the creator of everyone? It's a sign of His creative ability, His ability to recreate us and make us holy or to sanctify. When did God's people stop needing that? Do we still need rest? Did God make the Sabbath only for Israelites? Well, let's think about it. How far back does the Sabbath go? Jesus said, Mark 2:27. "He said unto them, the Sabbath was made for Jews." And--well, you can spell "Jews" several different ways. One way is M-A-N. Does that what it says? Does it say Jews? That word there is talking about anthropus, everybody, humanity. The Sabbath was made for man, mankind. Quick test. How many here are related to Adam and Eve? Sabbath was made for man. When was that? Way back in the beginning. Jesus said that. It's not made for Jews. We all need that rest. He even said the animals rest, right? Not just Jewish animals.

Do we need what God made for man? You know, the Bible also said, "It's not good that man is alone. I will make a woman for him." Do we still need women? So before you get rid of what God made for men, be very careful. He made the Sabbath for man and He says He made woman for man. We need it all, amen? Amen! Okay, Isaiah 56:6. The Bible's really clear it's for everybody. "Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord. To be His servants, every one," the stranger, the Gentile, "that keeps the Sabbath day from polluting it, and takes hold of My covenant; even them I'll bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer."

What does He promise to everybody that remembers this commandment? Joy. It's to be a blessing. He didn't curse the day. He blessed the day, right? There's some people worry about it and they'll, "Oh, Pastor, I don't want to worry about the--" Now, I've gotta be gentle because I get excited during this presentation, quite honestly. I remember when I first became a Christian and even with my Jewish background, it never really clicked for me right away. And when I learned this, I was a little bit upset that nobody had told me this before because it was so clear. It's right there in the commandments but finally it clicked and I thought, "How come people don't say more about this?" It is one of the ten--they're not ten suggestions. They're not ten recommendations of God. They're not called the ten good ideas. These are ten commandments. And if there's a law to obey--if you're going to break the law of the highway patrol of the law of God, which is more important? Now don't break either but, yeah, don't misunderstand.

But I mean, if there's a law that is really important, wouldn't it be the law of God? This is a commandment written by God in stone with His finger, spoken with His voice. It should be something the church should say, "Maybe it's still a good idea." Now, some are saying, "Well, God just gave the Sabbath to the Jews there at Mount Sinai in the Ten Commandments." That's a mistake. If you look in your Bible, you'll see in Exodus 16-- Ten Commandments come in Exodus 20, which is later. In Exodus 16, God tells him, "I will give you bread from Heaven 6 days a week but you're not going to see any coming on the Sabbath so gather twice as much on Friday." And when they went out looking for bread, they didn't trust the Lord, they still went out looking for it on Sabbath, God says, "How long will you break my commandments?"

The Sabbath was a commandment before they ever got to Mount Sinai. It goes all the way back to the beginning when God told Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. And do we need rest in this day of hyper stress? Boy, do we ever need the Sabbath. Stress, chronic stress, is linked to the six leading causes of death being heart disease, lung ailments, cancer, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, suicide, and more than 75% of all physician office visits are stress-- for stress-related ailments and complaints. Seventy-five percent. Not just the office visits. I understand it's over 75% of the prescriptions can be related to stress. Maybe we still need the Sabbath. Maybe God knew what he was talking about. And that's why we're sharing these things, to be a blessing, friends, not a burden, amen?

So when did God establish the Sabbath truth, the seal that we're studying? Way back in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, after God made everything in 6 days. How many days in the week? Do you know there's seven days in the week when we went to China and they're technically an atheistic country. Karen and I went to Russia right after the Iron Curtain fell. Seven days of the week. In Korea, Japan, everywhere we've been, Australia. Seven days a week. Why? It's really strange when you think about it. It's understandable why all the nations of the world, even before the spread of modern civilization, had 360 to 370 days in their calendar for a year because that's--they could see, they could observe, that's how long it took for the earth to go once around the sun. So it shouldn't surprise us that all the ancient civilizations had a year with about the same number of days. Shouldn't surprise us that they all had something like a month because it's the lunar cycle. That's where you get the word "month," moon. And we all know it takes 24 hours for the earth to revolve once on its axis. But where in the sun, moon, and stars do you get a 7-day week? Nowhere. The only place that the world can trace a seven day week is to, "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth." It all goes back to the Bible. Why do we have seven and not six? He finished everything in 6 days; why do we have seven? He said, "I'm not done yet. You're not going to enjoy anything I made in these six days unless you remember the seventh because you need to rest with me and to recharge your relationship, to go forth and do what I've created, to enjoy your paradise." It's part of God's perfect plan. He made a day to nurture our love relationships with Him. "Thus the Heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And God blessed the seventh day. And he sanctified it, because in it he had rested from all his work which he had created and made."

Notice there's several things that He did there. What day of the week is the Sabbath? And this is where some people are surprised. Is it the first day, third day? The Bible says--and notice, back in creation--I'm repeating that verse here in Genesis 2 and I want to accentuate something. "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made and He rested on the seventh day from all of his work which He had made," and it says that "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it." First time in the Bible God says something like this, a number, three times, what number is it? Seventh day, seventh day, seventh day. Now, you may think this is just caveman theology but, for me, I think it's very interesting that there in the beginning in Genesis God says, "Seven, seven, seven." You get to the last book in the Bible, it says, "You don't want the six, six, six." It's, like, one is the number of God. Six in the Bible is the number of man. King Nebuchadnezzar makes a golden image. Sixty cubits by six cubits. It's probably 6 wide, 6 deep, 60 high, 666. Tells everyone to bow down.

Number nine, how has God demonstrated the importance of His holy Sabbath? It's not Pastor Doug's Sabbath. It's not the Jews' Sabbath. It's God's Sabbath. Notice, He said, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. The Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and He hallowed it." I was doing a meeting like this one time and one of the individuals coming--there were a lot of people there and this pastor was there. And he interrupted the meeting. Said, "Brother Doug," he said, "this is legalism. You're putting these people under bondage of works." I said, "Brother, I'm telling them to keep the Sabbath commandment. I'm telling them to rest. You're telling them not to. You're telling them to work. I'm saying rest." And he said, "We're no longer under the law." And so he and I kinda got into an exchange right there in the meeting. And I, you know, I had to deal with it. I said, "So do you think we should keep the Ten Commandments?" He said, "No." Some of his members were there. They kinda gasped and looked at him because they'd never heard him say that. Then he said, "Well, yes," but that, of course, would include the fourth commandment. And then he said, "Nine of them." And so I said, "So what you're telling me is the one commandment you think we're supposed to forget is the only commandment that begins with the word "Remember"? That didn't make sense to me. It says, "Remember the Sabbath."

Notice, it says, "He blessed the Sabbath day." There's some things he did to that day in a special way. He rested, he blessed, and he sanctified. He made it holy. And he specified a certain day. He didn't say, "Keep a Sabbath day." Did you notice that? Doesn't say, "God blessed a day," and you just pick where you want to paste that blessing, like a stamp. God says, "I've blessed the day. I'm going to meet with you." We don't pick our own day. It's a commandment. He doesn't say, "A seventh day." The seventh day. And it said--Jesus--one reason I talk about this, notice the words of Christ in Matthew 5:19. It said, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and teach others so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven."

What Christ is saying there is if you're breaking--you figure out what commandment you think is the least important. You're breaking that, you're telling other people to break it, then those in Heaven will speak of you as the lowest kind of individual because that's called sin, transgressing the law. But if you do and you teach and so I'm just doing what Jesus said. He said, "I want you to do it and I want you to teach it." He said, "They will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven." He didn't say everybody would believe, did he? But I'm still going to continue to do and to teach.

You know, friends, in the judgment day I have to deal with God. You can't get me to Heaven. He can. I need to make Him happy. It's better to obey God than man, that's what Peter said, right? And so I just need to tell you that in the judgment day, if God says, "Doug, why did you teach the Sabbath?" I'll say, "Lord, You told me to. Jesus did. It's in the law." That's pretty good reason to do something.

Question ten, which day did Jesus keep holy? A Christian is a follower of Christ, right? Are we still together? It says: "He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up and, as His custom was," went to His home town and is custom something you do once or twice or it's a way of life? "As His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read the Scriptures." Jesus regularly went to church-- synagogue, church, same word. Gathering, it means. "On the Sabbath day, read His Bible. It's probably still a good idea for us to do what Jesus did. Now, can you tell me where Jesus said not to do it anymore? No, there's nowhere in the Bible He says, "Stop doing it."

What about the apostles? Let's take Paul for example. He wrote nearly half of the New Testament. What was Paul's custom regarding the Sabbath day? It says, "Paul, as his custom was, he went into them and he reasoned with them on three Sabbath-- he went in--and three Sabbath days he reasoned with them out of the Scripture." Paul had a custom. He went in. Not just when he was talking to the Jews. He also did it with the Greeks. It says in Acts 18:4: "He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks," meaning Jews and the Gentiles. It was something that he did for everybody. So this, I believe, was a pattern you'll see all through the time of Christ, with Jesus, with the apostles. Did the apostles also meet with the Gentiles on the Sabbath day? Was it just because they were trying to reach Jews?

I want to stop. A Scripture popped into my mind. You know where Paul went when Paul went out to persecute Christians before he was converted? It says: "He entered into the synagogues looking for the Christians." Why? because they were meeting on the same Sabbath day as the Jews. Because it was one of the Ten Commandments. You know what I think is odd? I want to just make it really clear, there are going to be a lot of Christians in Heaven that maybe didn't understand this. Are you with me? There are going to be people in Heaven that maybe didn't know the truth about polygamy. Will there be people in Heaven that had too many wives? Huh? Yes? David, Abraham. If I take an extra wife, will I make it to Heaven? I won't make it through the day if I-- even with the name Batchelor, I wouldn't make it through the day. But I could say, "But dear, Jacob had four." Is she going to buy that? Because I know better, right?

So you want to know what the truth is, right? And yet, there's going to be good people that maybe didn't understand this and I want to make it clear. Pastor Doug has preached in--not just attended. I've preached in Methodist-- I used to teach 'em after the Sunday school. Preached in Baptist churches, many different-- Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Nazarene. I can't count all the different churches where, by the grace of God, they've invited me to teach. And I know there are good, loving Christian people that still don't know the Sabbath truth yet. So, we're all clear on that? I'm not saying that there's people out there and if they don't know what I know, they're not going to make it. I believe there are loving Christian people out there but the truth is still the truth and we need to teach it. And if I could talk to Jacob today, I'd say, "Don't marry any extra wives. That's not good." And so it says--I started with a question, "Did the apostles also meet with the Gentiles?" The answer, Acts 13:42. By the way, this is written by a Gentile by the name of Luke. Luke is one of the New Testament writers that was probably not a Jew. Says: "And when the Jews were gone out of the city, the Gentiles besought or asked that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath." Says: "The next Sabbath they-- almost the whole city came together." Did Jesus intend for His people to be keeping the Sabbath after He died for their sins, down through history, in the last days? You can look in that prophecy where Jesus, talking about the end of the world, in Matthew 24, and He's talking about this time of trouble and He said, "Pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath day." Why, if His people were not keeping the Sabbath anymore, then why would He say that? Except maybe He knew they would be keeping it.

If you look in Revelation 14. Remember, the 144,000 are in Revelation 14. If you look in verse 7, there the angel declares, "Worship Him who made the Heaven and the earth and the sea and the springs or the fountains of water." Do you know, that's an extract right from the fourth commandment about the Sabbath. "For in 6 days the Lord made the Heaven and the earth and the sea." And then he's--the angel's saying, "Worship Him." What do we do in a special way on the Sabbath? It is a special time of collective worship. It's a time to spend quality time with God. It says, "Worship him that made the Heaven and the sea and the fountains of waters."

Number 14, does the Bible teach that God's end-time people would also be keeping the seventh-day Sabbath holy? It says: "The dragon was wroth with the woman." This is in Revelation chapter 12:17. "And he goes to make war with the--" You wonder what the Battle of Armageddon is. It's a war the devil makes against God's people. It's not China and Russia. "And he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed," and here are the two outstanding characteristics, "which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." You can read also in Revelation 12:14, similar voice: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those that keep the commandments of God," and the faith of Jesus. So, you can see that all through Revelation-- now, everybody keeps some of the commandments some of the time. Most of you keep the commandments when you're sleeping. You go to prison, you're going to meet people that keep a lot of the commandments. God is looking for people that believe all of them and are, by the grace of God, going to do their best to not just be hearers but doers.

You know, the Bible says: "Whosoever therefore, shall break one commandment, he is guilty of all." So if you go to the judge and you say, "I realize that I killed that person but I keep all the other commandments." Is that defense going to work very well? You know, God says, "Look, you should do your best by the grace of God to keep all of them." And says, "Blessed are those who keep His commandments, that they might enter through--that they might eat from the tree of life and enter through the gates of the city." That again is Revelation 22:14.

Will all of the saved be keeping the Sabbath in Heaven? I think so. You can read here, it says in Isaiah 66, verse 22 and 23: "For as the new Heavens and the new earth that I will make will remain before Me," says the Lord, "so shall your name and your seed remain. And it will come to pass that from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come and worship before Me." Is all flesh Jews or does all flesh mean everybody? He's talking about, "As the new Heavens and the new earth." That's future, right? So if they kept it back in the Garden of Eden in the days of Adam, right, if we know Moses and the child of Israel kept it, and the people of God in the Old Testament kept it, and Jesus kept it and the apostles kept it, and we're going to keep it in Heaven, why wouldn't we keep it now? "

Now this is a Revelation program, prophecy program. Why are you talking about this, Pastor Doug?" Follow my logic. See if it doesn't make sense. Daniel chapter 3, the king makes a law: everybody's gotta worship the image or they die. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will not worship the image because one of the commandments is don't do it. Do not make images and bow down. Daniel chapter 6, King Darius makes a law: "I am to be your God for 30 days. Just 30 days." Daniel says, "I am not going to close my windows and stop praying to Jehovah because one of the commandments is, 'Thou shall not have other gods.'" So he goes to the lion's den but God saves him. God saved Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace. Revelation 13: "Whoever doesn't worship the beast and his image cannot buy or sell and will ultimately be killed." If we don't understand how important the law is, then how are we going to have the faith of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the last days? We're going to be like all the other compromising, wishy-washy people who say, "Lord, Lord," but they're not really doing what God says. So yes, it does matter, friends. And the devil's very clever.

Back in the days of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego he said, "I'm going to see if I can make a law, get them to break the second commandment." And then in the days of Daniel with Darius, he said, "I'm going to try and get him to break the first commandment." And here we are at the end of time, he's going to say, "I'm going to get 'em break the fourth commandment, but I'll be very clever. I'll say, 'Yeah, go to church,' just don't go the seventh day." See, God, he keeps trying to--it's like with Daniel, he tries to say, "You don't have to worship other gods forever, just for 30 days. Just shut your windows and don't let your light shine for 30 days." See, the devil, he's very clever. But a commandment's a commandment.

Can we be certain that modern-day, what we call Saturday is the same Sabbath day that Jesus kept? People say, "Well, Pastor Doug, calendar's changing. How do we know which day it was?" Read in your Bible, it's pretty clear. Look in Luke, for instance, chapter 23. Go to verse 54. And you're at the end of Luke. It says: "The day when Christ was crucified was the preparation," what we commonly call Friday. They call it Good Friday. "And the Sabbath drew on and they returned and prepared spices and ointments and they rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." Now, Luke is a Gentile. Why would he say they rested the Sabbath according to the commandment if Jesus taught the disciples the Sabbath doesn't matter? How can anyone think that the disciples didn't think the Sabbath was important because it was so important to them that even after Jesus was dead and no longer speaking, they look at each other and they say, "Look, the sun is going down. We're not going to be able to finish embalming his body before the Sabbath so let's just do our best, kind of wrap him up. We'll put him in the tomb. We will come back Sunday morning and finish. We're going to go home and keep the commandment." So where did the disciples ever get the notion that it didn't matter to Jesus? It was so important to them and so important to Jesus, they would not even finish their labor of love because the Sabbath was approaching. And then on the first day of the week, they came back to finish, praise God. The angels had rolled away the stone, Christ rose, and that was the first day which is, what? Easter Sunday.

So there you've got it, friends. You've got Friday, the preparation day, Sabbath is the day-- Do you realize Jesus died just before the Sabbath and He rested from His work of saving man. He rose Sunday morning to continue His work as our high priest. Jesus even kept the Sabbath in death. It's interesting that Adam went to sleep on the sixth day of the week and his wife was born. Jesus went to sleep on the sixth day of the week and the bride came out of his side that was opened up. The side of Adam was open too, right? Interesting.

Look in any encyclopedia, a normal calendar, look in the dictionary. It will say, "Seventh day, Saturday. First day, Sunday." Some countries change it to a work week but that's not--doesn't change the day. It's pretty clear. If you speak other languages, you know in-- of the languages of the world, let me see here, out of 105 languages in the world, the word for the seventh day is Sabado, Saturday, Sabbath day. If you're Russian, Subbota. Hebrew, Shavat. Even in these ancient languages, it's still called the Sabbath is the word they use for the seventh day even though they don't keep it. It's amazing. You can go to a lot of South American countries and they all call the seventh day, Portuguese, Spanish, Sabado, the Sabbath day because it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. "Oh, Pastor, we're not sure, you know." You might convince me that a Jewish family got lost on a deserted island and they lost track of the days of the week or they were caught in a bad storm and they couldn't tell day from night and they forgot what day was the seventh day. But to say that 16 million Jews around the world all forget their Sabbath day so we don't know anymore, I don't think you're going to convince me of that. And then there are people who will say, "Well, there's been changes in the calendar. We really don't know. That's a myth, if you think about it. No change to the calendar ever affects the weekly cycle. It fools people because the week is printed on the calendar. Whatever you do with a calendar doesn't change the week.

So when do we celebrate the Sabbath? When does it start, when does the Sabbath end? It's not 2 in the morning, like Daylight Savings Time. In the Bible, the days began and ended at sundown. You can read that in Leviticus. It tells us there that "from even unto even, you will celebrate your Sabbath." Isn't that a pretty picture? And then again, you read in the New Testament. I'll give you one from each. They came to Jesus after sundown to be healed. He never told 'em, "I won't heal you on the Sabbath," but they wait until it says, "At even, when the sun did set." So it's at sundown when the Sabbath begins and the Sabbath ends.

So what day is the Lord's Day that's mentioned in Revelation 1:10? It's a Revelation study we're doing. The vision that God gave John, it says, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day." How many of you have heard somebody refer to Sunday as the Lord's Day? I hear it all the time on the radio. I always want to ask a pastor, "Where is the verse on that?" It just sounds good. It's been repeated a million times. People probably have sung songs about it, but it doesn't say that in the Bible. It does tell us what day is the Lord's Day in the Bible. You can read, for instance, in--and by the way, that's Revelation 1, verse 10, "John says, I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard a voice behind me." John was a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos. They may have been making him work in some of the mines but he refused to work on the Sabbath and the whole vision of Revelation may have come to him on the Sabbath day because the Bible says, "The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God."

What is the Lord's Day? The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Jews. Or does the Bible commandment say of the Lord? And you can read in Isaiah 58. There he tells us, "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day." Which day is it? He calls this, the Sabbath, My holy day. And again, Mark chapter 2, verse 28: "Jesus said, Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath." All through the Bible, God identifies His day, if there's a day of the week that's His day, it's the one He set aside, He sanctified it, He blessed it, and He kept it. And He wants us to do that. What blessing is promised by the Sabbath commandment? Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." Letter of the law, remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Spirit of the law, come unto Me and I will give you rest. And as people gather together to worship God every Sabbath day, there is a rest that comes. It reminds us that He's the God who created us and you know what the salvation is all about? I will create a new heart within you. The Bible says, "We will be-- old things are passed away, all things are made new. We are a new creation in Christ." He made a day holy. If He can make a day holy, can He make us holy? And so every Sabbath, remembering, He is God. He is my creator. We are resting in Jesus. We're resting in the promises of his salvation.

It is a beautiful thing. It's like that song where it says, "He walks with me and He talks with me in the Garden of Eden." He probably met in a special way with Adam and Eve there in the Garden and communed with them. If God thought it was so important that He spoke it from a mountain, He gives it to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, do we still need a day of rest today? Do we still need a day of worship? Did God tell us, "I have set aside and blessed a particular day?" Should we say, "God, it's not convenient to do it the day You've picked. I'm going to pick my own day?" Well, that depends. Who's your God, you or Him? Do we do what God says? He says, "I have made an appointment with you on the seventh day. If you love Me, prove it. Keep My commandments."

Now, before I go any farther, I know some people are hearing this and your minds are spinning. You know, there's a lot of things you could teach in a Revelation seminar. It's interesting trivia. People want to know, "Well, you know, Pastor Doug, so when does this age began and what does this symbol in Revelation mean and what does that symbol mean? All that's very interesting, very interesting, but you know what's different about this presentation? When people learn the Sabbath truth, they go, "Whoa! That would actually affect my time. That would affect my life. That would affect my schedule."

You know, my father, when I was growing up, he was a multi-millionaire. It's a lot of money. He was always busy. I wanted time with my father. And he'd say, "Douglas, you know, I'm busy, I got a lot I gotta do. Here's $5, go to the movie." It was easier for him to give me a tip than to give me his time. And you know, sometimes, yeah, Lord, yeah, praise the Lord, praise the Lord. But when you start giving God your time, that means He's really your God. And that's why this subject is such a serious subject because it really has to do with is He our God? Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." And He wants to bless you, friends, amen?

Now, this is a commandment of God. He says, "Remember, the seventh day," not remember a seventh day. This is the seal of God because there in the middle of God's law you've got the name of God, you've got the word "holy," you've got the context of worship. You've got time. The Ten Commandments are divided in two parts. First commandments deal with our love relationship with God. Second group, commandment chapter--number five on through ten, deal with our love for our fellow man. In the middle of God's law, the longest commandment, in the center of his law, the only commandment that begins with the word "Remember," is very unique. Because it tells us that He not only has our minds, He's got our time. And this is what it means. He's our God, we worship Him. And He is going to be first in our lives.

Now, I know you've heard some new things. I hope that you'll study this out honestly. If you have questions on this subject, we would encourage you to write them in, friends. Just go to the "Prophecy Encounter" website and just send us questions on this. I will do--I'm not afraid of any questions because the truth should stand up to investigation, amen? I will be happy to-- I've done it many times. I'll stand to--next to another minister who disagrees and, using the Bible, let's see who's got the commandment. Matter of fact, before I close I'll just ask you, show me one commandment in the Bible where we're told to keep the first day as the Sabbath. This is a live program. Just not there. Is there a commandment to keep the seventh day? It's repeated many times in the Bible.

By the way, you want more information on this? Great website called You can look that up. But in the meantime, before we close, can I pray for you? Can I pray for you who are watching? Let's bow our heads. Loving Lord, we've covered a lot of material tonight about the 144,000 and the seal of God. Lord, bring it all alive with Your Holy Spirit. Speak to our hearts, help us know how to apply these things and settle into the truth. We thank You and pray in Jesus' name, amen. God bless you. Tomorrow night we'll be here. "The Woman of Light," a very important study.

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