Sunday, March 15, 2015
144,000 Series #5 – Part 50 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
As we begin the 5th part of our series explaining the symbolism of the 144,000, keep in mind that we are looking back on fulfilled prophecy. In the Revelation, Jesus revealed to John what was accomplished by His death and resurrection. A profound change had taken place in the lives of mankind in the way they worship their Creator – God the Father. What Jesus was unable to explain in depth to His apostles, while He walked the earth, he did so in great detail in the Revelation.
By defining the symbolism of the esoteric imagery, interpret the metaphorical language, and solve the riddles of Revelation, the message is unlocked, giving clear understanding. When we were last together I asked, “Why were the 12 gates made from pearls?” We had just learned how the New Jerusalem in Heaven…had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel…Rev. 21:12.
The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold…Rev. 21:21. As I was musing on the beauty of this description of the entrance to Heaven, I wondered why the gates weren’t made out of diamonds, or maybe rubies or emeralds – or some other gorgeous sparkling gem. Do you ever ask questions when you are studying the Word of God?
When I searched the Word for the answer to my question – why the gates were made out of pearl – I did not find the answer per se, but I did come up with an interesting speculation after I fully understood the symbolism of the pearl. Take a walk with me to see what I uncovered. Do you remember how a pearl is created in the earthly realm?
When a parasitic worm invades an oyster, the oyster emits a bluish-gray substance to surround the potentially destructive irritant, in order to defend itself against this invader. This substance gradually hardens in increasing layers, resulting in the translucent pearl. So what does this symbolize?
Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and the worms cover you…Is. 14:11. This text describes Hell, where Satan was condemned, and some human beings will live forever covered with maggots and worms. The image of a worm brings to mind something that is decayed – like maggots forming on spoiled garbage.
A sinner is referred to metaphorically as a worm – his sin caused decay and spiritual death – no longer intimate with his Creator. When the sinner – worm – receives Jesus Christ as his Savior, God surrounds him with His saving grace, blotting out the sin, making all things new and beautiful. A worm becomes a pearl of great price – the price of the blood of Jesus Christ…Matt. 13:45-46.
The beauty of this symbolism – the creation of a pearl out of a parasite – provides a possible reason why God would use this particular precious gem as the material for the gates to His eternal city. 144,000 heirs of the promise opened these gates of pearl for the first time, so that subsequent generations will be able to enter freely. Once a worm – now a precious pearl of great price – aptly describes the plight of a sinner on the earth.
Then he measured its wall; one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel…Rev. 21:17. This text reveals the measurement of 144 cubits for the walls of the New Jerusalem. The “measure of a man” seems esoteric at first glance, thus easy to brush aside as impossible to understand. But if we delve a bit deeper into scripture, we will begin to understand this symbolism, as well as the significance of the mysterious number – 144.
Then I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…Rev. 21:2. This text clearly describes the eternal city of God…as a bride adorned for her husband. Human beings – believers – are the building materials for the New Jerusalem – 144, 000 fristfruits of salvation opened the gates to this city – measured by 144 cubits.
How is the 144 cubits calculated? The government of God under the old covenant of the Old Testament is represented by the 12 tribes of Israel. The government of God under the new covenant of the New Testament is represented by 12 apostles. When we multiply the 12 tribes by the 12 apostles we calculate 144.
The reason we multiply the two figures is to obtain, not only the governing body of the spiritual kingdom of Heaven, but also it symbolizes the multiple believers that will make up the walls of the New Jerusalem.
Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads…Rev. 4:4. The 24 elders symbolize the leadership of God’s divine government in the New Jerusalem. By adding the 12 tribes of Israel to the 12 apostles of Jesus we calculate 24 heads of God’s government in the heavenly city.
The old covenant and the new covenant have now become one in Jesus Christ.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations. From what materials are the 12 foundations of the New Jerusalem comprised? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…