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Volume 10 - Page 132 of 162 Index | Zoom | |
Dr. Bullinger in his Apocalypse refers back to Lev. 23: 39-43. In that chapter we
have the whole of Israel's history epitomized in the feasts. Commencing with the birth of
the nation at the passover we follow its course through Pentecost, Harvest, Trumpets,
Atonement, and lastly the feast of the Tabernacles. This is also connected with the
ingathering of the fruit, and it is at this point that the palm branches are mentioned. Israel
were to dwell in booths or tabernacles for the seven days of the feast. When the true feast
of Tabernacles is celebrated it is written, "and He that sitteth on the throne shall
TABERNACLE among them" (Rev. 7: 17). The reason for the feast of Tabernacles is
given in Lev. 23: 43:--
"That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths,
when I brought them OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT.'
The feast of Tabernacles is connected with the "year of release" (Deut. 15: 1;
31: 10). By comparing Rev. 7:, 14:, and Lev. 23: together, we arrive at the
following. The 144,000 sealed ones are the "FIRST FRUITS UNTO GOD". The great
multitude constitute the HARVEST that follows. When we come to study 14:, we shall
have further details given us as to the character of the 144,000, and why some tribes are
omitted from the number. The church in Philadelphia had the promise, "Because thou
didst keep the word of My patience, I also will keep thee out of the hour of temptation".
The promise says nothing about keeping out of the "great tribulation".--it speaks of an
hour of temptation, and a temptation which comes upon all the world to try those that
dwell on the earth. This will include the worship of the image, the reception of his name
or number, and will involve these earth-dwellers in unclean ceremonies. From all this the
overcomers will be kept, and so we read their undefiled character in 14: 4.
The first-fruit is followed by a glorious harvest. If the 144,000 are sustained during
the temptation, the great multitude are enabled to endure the great tribulation. The great
multitude come out of "the tribulation, the great one". This we learn from the question
that is put by one of the elders, the answer being, "these are they which came out of great
tribulation". This great tribulation is the subject of more than one prophecy.
Matt. 24: 15-22 links it with Daniel's abomination of desolation which is distinctly
connected with a fearful outbreak against Israel. Dan. 12: 1 says:--
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the
children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there
was a nation even unto that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered,
every one that shall be found written in the book."
It will be remembered that only those whose names were "written in the book"
withstood the pressure which was brought to bear upon them to make them worship the
beast and receive his mark. Jer. 30: 7 says:--
"Alas! for the 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."