SOUND THE ALARM
Okay, so I am going to round off the teaching on the rapture with a few thoughts for the next few posts!
THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL: The preaching of the gospel: And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. [Mark 16:15] But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] The New Testament is very clear in its doctrine as to who preaches the Good News after Jesus has ascended and who empowers them to do it. It is the Church from the day of Pentecost! So, look at these 3 verses then: And I will grant the power of prophecy to My two witnesses for 1,260 (42 months; three and one-half years), dressed in sackcloth. [Rev 11:3]
The Jewishness of this chapter, and especially the ministry of these two witnesses, must be seen within the larger context of God’s promises to restore Israel. In an important parallel passage, the apostle Paul anguishes over Israel’s need of the gospel:
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. . . . How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? . . . For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” (Rom. 10&11) These two witnesses are among the “beautiful feet” which preach the gospel of peace to Israel. Their ministry involves the entire earth, but takes place in Jerusalem and has all the markings of Old covenant Jewish prophets.
“Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel” (Rev 7:4), nothing in the passage leads to interpreting the 144,000 as anything but a literal number of Jews—12,000 taken from every tribe of the “sons of Israel.” The New Testament offers no clear cut text replacing Israel here with the church This passage is extremely JEWISH in context!. These Jews are “sealed,” which means they have the special protection of God from all of the divine judgments and from the Antichrist to perform their mission during the tribulation period (see Rev 6:17), in which people will wonder who can stand from the wrath to come). The tribulation period is a future seven-year period of time in which God will enact divine judgment against those who reject Him and will complete His plan of salvation for the nation of Israel. All of this is according to God’s revelation to the prophet Daniel (Dan 9:24-27). The 144,000 Jews are a sort of “first fruits” (Rev 14:4) of a redeemed Israel which has been previously prophesied (Zecheriah 12:10; Rom 11:15-27), and their mission seems to be to evangelize the post-rapture world and proclaim the gospel during the tribulation period. As a result of their ministry, millions—“a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Rev 7:9)—will come to faith in Christ.
And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world–to every nation, tribe, language, and people. [Rev 14:6] My point is this: If the gospel is to be preached by the Church only, then why are 2 Jewish prophets, 144000 sealed Jews and even an angel preaching the gospel? Surely IF the Church goes through the Tribulation period, it will still be the Church’s ministry to preach the Good News!? Here we see 2 Jewish prophets preaching the gospel! 144000 Jews preaching the Gospel! And God Himself, so earnest for people to receive His Christ/Messiah that He even sends an angel to preach the gospel before the reapers arrive so He can get more saved!
No, for me, at least I believe what we see here is the fulfillment of Romans 10/11! The True Olive branch [the Jews] who were cut off from the True Olive Tree [Messiah] when they [the Jews] cut off their Messiah at the Cross and were replaced by [the Gentile Church]; they are now grafted back into the True Olive tree because the time of the Gentile Church is over, and they [the Ecclesia] have been removed through the harpazo to heaven so that Israel can pay back the 7 years they owe God when they go through the Tribulation period [the time of Jacob’s trouble] and a large number of them receive their Messiah and preach to all the earth during that 7 year period.