Jacob’s family – study case for last generation – 2nd part
Scripture reading: Zephaniah 3:12,13a – “I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth…”
(Biblical idea of remnant = the last part left, survived and preserved)
Last Sabbath we studied the setting of “the sealing process” topic as described in Revelation chapter 7. – Read 1st 5 verses
We have learned that:
- It happens before Jesus’ 2nd coming,
- It answers the question, “who is able to stand?” in Revelation 6:17
- It happens in context of impending devastation of earth and human life on it
- Angels are involved in holding in check forces of war, calamities, devastation and natural disasters that could wipe out life on earth
- Those who are being sealed are called “servants of God”, indicating that these are people who have made a profession of faith and had made some commitment to God and His service
- They are specified as being “of all the tribes of the children of
- The language of Revelation is symbolic but the book has universal application
- Book of Revelation constantly uses and hints at stories from the OT
- To understand its universal meaning we must go to these stories where lies the key to interpret what God is trying to say to us
- Book of Revelation then ceases to be a puzzle book, but rather it becomes a practical lesson book to teach us, warn and caution us and encourage us
- Thus in our case it led us to look at the story of Jacob (deceiver, sup planter, manipulating, scheming individual) and his rather turbulent and at times dysfunctional, compromising and unmanageable family + the process God used to change him into “Israel” (Prince with God – the Over comer)
- In the case of his children, what process God used to change them from violent, resentful, immoral, hateful, unmanagable individuals into a forgiving, loving, closely knit family
- This is the major emphasis of Revelation chapter 7 and also of chapter 14
I would encourage you to study story of Isaac’s and Jacob’s family in Genesis. In the study of their characters and experiences we often find ourselves and the keys to victory for our unbelief and our particular character weakness and defects.
The same “human material” with which God worked to start His OT Church – Israel, is the “material”, God has at His disposal in the last generation of His people – they will become the trophies of His grace, compassion and power to change the worst and most hopeless of us into His sons and daughters!
Romans 15:4 give us a hint: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
If God could change deceitful and deceiving Jacob, a man who tried to run his own life and had a hard time to trust and surrender himself fully to God, then there is a hope for you and me today. God is active in leading us to change you and me.
If He could change hateful, revengeful, violent and murderous Simeon and Levi, he can change rash, quick tempered and violent people today!
If He could change Rueben and Judah, people who had problem with their sexuality, he can change the same class of people today!
If He could change turbulent, deceptive, scheming, hateful, lying and jealous brothers of Joseph, He can change you and me!
And if He could purify spiritually aloof and somehow high-nosed and spoiled Joseph – can’t God change same kind of Christians today?
And if God could take fragmented family and household that constituted God’s “remnant of believers” in OT and make them one united, loyal to each other, self-sacrificing, compassionate, loving family, He can do the same with couples, families and churches today!
Revelation 14 is the answer to Revelation 7!
In Revelation 7 God answers spoken question: “Who shall be able to stand?” at Christ’s 2nd coming?
He introduces process of how He is going to do it. And for us to understand it, He points us to the OT story of Jacob’s problematic family.
While the Revelation 7 points us to the process how God did it in the OT and how He is ready and able to do it again for the last generation of Christians in our day,
Revelation 14:1-5, shows us the end product of God’s work of grace among God’s people of last generation just before Christ’s 2nd coming
Now let’s read Revelation 14:1,3-5: “Then I looked and behold a Lamb standing on
And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
These are the ones who were not defiled with women for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to God and to the Lamb.
And in their mouth was found no guile (DECEIT), for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
Just few main points:
1) They do stand, but not alone! No one can stand alone before Christ’s judgment seat! The 144 000 thousand stand with and in Christ!
2) They have Father’s name written on their foreheads. Revelation 7 announced that they were to be sealed by God’s seal on their foreheads. Revelation 14 tells us that the result of the sealing is having Heavenly Fathers name on their forehead.
3) In the Bible name represents character – their names have been changed! Just like Jacob’s to
4) They gained control over their tongues – “in their mouth was find no guile” (DECEIT). Why? Because their hearts and minds were made pure.
What struck me one day was this:
In Revelation 7:1-8 God is working with individual characters, naming 12 descendants of
It is as if He is saying to us: These different types of people each need a different approach, different treatment, special care and attention. Causes of their sin problems are different. They are of different emotional and mental make up. They have their special weaknesses and besetting sins. They genetically inherited different tendencies and biases to sin. But in My “workshop of discipline and grace”, I will make them into new and precious gems for eternity! They are a fragmented community now and that’s why I have to start with them on One to one basis. But wait for the end result!
So Revelation 14 presents the end result of sealing process: one harmonious unit of all 144 000 strong all standing with Christ, because they learned to trust Christ, submit to Christ and live in Christ.
They sing most beautiful, harmonious and powerful song of their experience – praising God, being in perfect unity and harmony. They are of the “top quality” group of believers redeemed from the worst of offences from the lives dominated by deceit, pretension, human passions, self-will and dishonesty.
Do you want to be part of that group? Do you? Then you’ll need to submit to Jesus Christ and allow Him to take you into His “workshop of discipline and grace”.