December 18

Revelation 7-9, Psalm 42

With Judaism representing only 0.2% of the world's population (Christianity 31.5%, Islam 23.2%) it should seem odd that their small numbers would warrant such persecution throughout the centuries. Despite the atrocities of the holocaust, there is a rise in antisemitism. There are groups of people and nations who deny that the holocaust in fact occurred despite the wealth of evidence, Despite all of the teaching done in Germany, to prevent this from ever occurring again, the number of anti-semitic incidents have risen in this nation by 16% in 2016. Growing up in Brooklyn, I witnessed it. Kids wearing a yarmulke would often have it taken off their head forcefully only to see the kid chase from person to person as they flung it around. Much of it was worse than this. The reality is the roots of Christianity is Judaism. Many in the Christian faith have tried to distance themselves from this in replacement theology, but you have to erase a whole lot of Scripture to state that whenever the Jewish people are referenced in the future it means the church.

We read in Revelation 7:2-4, "Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God...saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads". And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:". The next 4 verses describe the breakdown of who was to be sealed by specific tribe of Israel. So many groups have tried to identify themselves with this 144,000 group, most notably the Jehovah's Witnesses, but this is illogical. It isn't the church or anyone else it is the children of Israel who are sealed during this time. It's interesting when people are asked of a seal from Revelation, they focus on the 666, which is the mark of the beast described in Revelation 13. Satan is a counterfeiter, the true seal or mark is the one provided here by God. This group represents Jewish individuals in the Tribulation, who have come to accept Jesus as their Messiah. This is a huge group of evangelists who will be marked and protected by God during this time. Interestingly, we see a similar discussion of a mark in Ezekiel 9:3-4. The word for mark is from the "tau" which is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet. In the ancient Greek alphabet this letter looks like a cross. So this mark might be a cross on their foreheads. Many feel this group will represent a group of bold witnesses spreading the gospel message during this time as Jesus stated in Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." In Revelation 7:14, we read concerning another multitude coming to Christ during the Tribulation, "...So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

We must realize the largest revival will probably take place during the tribulation period. We, who are in Christ, will not be present but will have been raptured, and will be in heaven with Jesus at this time. We must continue to share the gospel message to the unsaved world. Many might ridicule us or seem to ignore us. But many will remember your words after the rapture and will come to a saving knowledge of Him during this time. We must not be selective in who we talk to. Everyone needs this message, including our Jewish friends if you truly love them. Christians should be the most welcoming group of people in the world, we should not exclude this free offer of salvation to anyone. Lastly, anti-semitism is terrible and should have no place in the hearts or minds of any Christian.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster