|Revelation 14 |
1 Then I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him one hundred and forty four thousand, having his Father's name written on their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpists playing their harps.
3 And they sang a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song except the one hundred forty four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are those who are not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are those who follow [in obedience] the Lamb wherever he goes [whatever he commands]. These were redeemed from among all humanity [all men and women], being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. [Every heterosexual man is defiled by women until the Lord cleanses their heart of all lusts and sexual immorality, thus to become as virgins again. According to the Word of the Lord within those virgins are: "male or female who have overcome their desire for sex. Sexual desires can be overcome." In heaven there is no marriage or giving in marriage, there is no male or female, all are sons of God, and all are like the angels of God.]
5 And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God.1
6 Then I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
8 And there followed another angel, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of her immoral passion."
9 And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If any man worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead, or on his hand,
10 The same will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [of love] into the cup of his indignation;2 and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever. Those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name have no rest day or night."
12 Here is the patient endurance of the saints. Here are those who keep the commands of God, and their faith in Jesus.3
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward. Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labors; and their works will follow them."
14 Then I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud sat one like the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in your sickle and reap; for the time has come for you to reap because the harvest of the earth is ripe."
16 And he who sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 Then another angel came out of the temple that is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire; and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for its grapes are fully ripe."
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even to the horse bridles, for a distance of about two hundred miles.4
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1 The 144,000 were redeemed from all the men and women of the earth as first fruits to God. The men were not defiled with women. The men and women were all as virgins who followed the lamb wherever he went. This verse speaks only of undefiled "men," but according to the Word of the Lord within, it is both "males or females who have overcome their desire for sex;" and the Word of the Lord within has further stated, "sexual desires can be overcome." This applies to both males and females, to both heterosexual and homosexual desires, providing there is a fervent commitment to become completely free of them — but, as Mat 19:11-12 states: "all men cannot receive this;" (because they cannot believe overcoming sexual desires is even possible). Think spiritually: virgins, not defiled by sex are those who have become like little children, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. They are chaste, having been made chaste virgins by the spirit; the lust having been removed, the defilement having been removed. They are the spotless bride of Christ. Most important: they put to death the deeds of the body to become the sons of God who were led by the Spirit of God, following in obedience, the Lamb wherever he goes [and whatever he commands] unto perfection, without blame before the throne of God. These are redeemed from the earth. They are of the tribes of Israel, because they became spiritual Jews, by the circumcision of the heart: But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom 2:29.
Jesus told us in Matthew and Luke that those in the kingdom "do not marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven and sons of God." So, there is no sex in the kingdom of heaven; and so, your sexual desires must be eliminated to enter the kingdom.
In early Quaker, kingdom-dwelling Stephen Crisp's several sermons, he spoke of the necessity to overcome sexual desires as extracted below:
The faith that falls short of sanctification, and redemption from sin, is such a faith as God never gave his people; it came some other way into the world, and it has captivated most of the sons and daughters of men, and they have expelled the true faith (as much as in them lies) that saving faith that purifies and cleanses men from sin, and gives them victory over the world, and have got another faith in the place of it; and they live in their sins, and in their lusts and sexual desires, and still remain in captivity.
Let me tell you, men of the greatest wisdom, courage and strength, of the most excellent natural talents that any man can have, are not able to grapple with their enemy the devil by their own power; there are seeds of sin, and lust, and sexual desires sown in all their hearts; so far this is right and sound doctrine, that no man can do anything in his own power and strength.
For so long as men or women stand in unity with their lusts and sexual desires, with the spirit of this world, and the way of it, they are not capable of receiving what should lead them into the way of holiness;
And when a man finds such divine assistance, his faith is strengthened and confirmed, and so he fights the good fight of faith, and at last gets the victory; victory over his sin, and his own lusts, and sexual desires, and victory over the assaults and temptations of the adversary; and at last he comes, through the grace of God, to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live righteously, soberly and godly in this present world.
Many, in our days, have put up their petitions and prayers to God, that he would reveal to them the state and condition of their souls. The Lord has answered them, and despite all the profession that they have past made of his name, and of their faith in his Son Jesus Christ, and of the work of redemption, yet he has often declared: you are still unredeemed, you are still in your sin, and lusts, and sexual desires prevail over you; you are still in bondage. This is God's answer to many; but there is something arises in their minds, that they are not willing to believe this; they think they are better than God has told them.
If a man is ever so wise, and rich, and great in the world; if he is a prince or an emperor, without being a partaker of the divine nature, he is a child of wrath. Now if these children of wrath meet with something that convinces them; if they are touched and become a sensible people, then crowns and diadems are nothing to them. Such a one will say, "if I am a child of wrath, a captive to sin and my own lusts and sexual desires, yet for all that I will go to a religious meeting, where I hope the word of God will be preached; I hope to meet with something there that will do me good; and I have a desire that I may be translated out of a natural state, from being a child of wrath, to be brought into the kingdom of God.
Let your supplication therefore be poured forth unto God, to endow you with power and wisdom to subdue all your spiritual enemies, and to conquer your sexual desires, and the inordinate desires and affections of your own hearts, that you may take up the cross of Christ and follow him as your great pattern, and in his name, and by the help and assistance of his Holy Spirit, you may know how to overcome all temptations.
Paul wrote in 1 Cor 7:5-7: Do not deprive each other of your body, except by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to fasting and prayer; and then resume relations so that Satan cannot tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I speak this as a concession, and not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were like I am myself. But every man has his proper gift from God, one in this manner, and another in a different manner. There is a gift from God to be freed from lust: there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it. Mat 19:12. To receive this gift from God, a person must hate their lust for bodies of others with a passion.
It is impossible to overcome one's sexual desires until one of the following happens: 1) a person, (married or unmarried), becomes painfully aware that their desires apply to attractive persons in general, and that awareness then leads to a strong desire to be rid of them; or 2) in sympathy for the weakness of a person's spouse who is committed to ridding his or her sexual desires for attractive persons in general, that he or she is a willing and enthusiastic supporter to their spouse's efforts, which support would include consent to withdrawal from relations according to Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 7:2,5-7.
Any decision to strive to live as brother and sister, has to be one of mutual consent. If either spouse desires to continue sexual relations, the other must comply, according to the tenet of love: love is not self-seeking; for marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled. Even if a seeker is married to a non-believer; or if a seeker is married to a believer that has no interest in overcoming their sexual desires; if that seeker truly desires to overcome his or her sexual desires, it is possible with the Lord's help, (for all things are possible with God). However, sexual relations with that uninterested spouse would not be withheld because that is firmly stated by Paul as requiring mutual consent; in that case the seeker's participation in sexual relations would be an act of submission or deferral to their spouse.
If you independently, (without mutual consent), withhold sexual relations with your spouse, you risk major alienation of your spouse. The devil would love to successfully order you to cease sexual relations independent of your spouse's desires in order to create a hostile relationship in your marriage, destroying your peace and confidence, possibly even your marriage. In my experience I never heard the Lord suggest I give up sexual relations; and I don't think you will either because I know from His messages to me that He wants us to become so sick of our weakness that we ourselves decide to do something about it. My motivation was simple — the lust for most any attractive woman that I knew was adultery, and had to be overcome in order to enter the kingdom. (In heaven there is no marriage or giving in marriage, there is no male or female, all are sons of God, and all are like the angels of God). There were several times of abstinence with return to relations after a time. The final time my wife and I had agreed the time had come to cease sexual relations; and when that had begun, the Lord then encouraged me to continue that abstinence, and the sexual desires melted away within several months.
Whatever the motivation, the overcoming of sexual desires is a gift from the Lord, given over time to those who desperately want to be rid of them.
Jude 1:14 speaks of Enoch's prophesy: "Behold the Lord has come in tens thousands of his saints;" in which tens thousands means at least 20,000 but is less than hundreds of thousands, (less than 200,000); this number (in tens thousands), from Jude is compatible with the 144,000 of this verse.
2 The same will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [of love] into the cup of his indignation; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. All the religions of the world today deny that man is a fallen, damned creature, who must be restored to the spiritual image of God with a complete change of heart; instead all the world's religions substitute some ritual, ceremony, or work that supposedly makes peace with God and allows man to continue to live in his selfish, beastly nature, still a slave to sin.
As man continues to live in sin, he fills up his cup with his sins; and when he dies still sinning, he must drink that cup (Hell) without the love of God helping him — God leaves him to suffer without his help and comfort, which is available to a man on the earth through God's conviction, man's repentance, and God then removing the sin from his heart by grace. In Hell man gets the desires of his heart in obsession; he replays every wrong action in his life over and over until he sickens of them, and until his desire is "burned out," one desire at a time. This is the torturous, painful experience of fire and brimstone. God is a consuming fire and he burns those desires away, when man becomes so desperate he would do anything, rather than continue that desire.
All who worship the beast with horns like a lamb, which is the head of all of today's so-called Christian sects, will also suffer the plagues of Babylon. This is the way Jeremiah describes it:
And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
Wail you shepherds and cry; and wallow in the ashes, you principal ones of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions have come, and you shall fall and be shattered like a crystal glass.
The shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal ones of the flock to escape.
A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a wailing of the principal ones of the flock, shall be heard. For the LORD has destroyed their pasture.
Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about. All of you that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows for she has sinned against the LORD.
Call together the archers against Babylon. All of you who bend the bow, camp against her all around; let none of them escape. Recompense her according to her work; according to all that she has done, do to her. For she has been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.
The state of Christendom is described by the Word of the Lord within:
"Just like Judaism was taken over by the enemy, so has Christianity, which is corrupt, through and through. Like Daniel, you are captive of the Chaldeans. Your place of worship is filled with unclean birds. Babylon is great and mighty. Woe to those who try to bring good from evil. Oh Christendom, be not at ease in Babylon! There is no church in the world that Christ set up specifically; none of the churches reflect true Christianity. Christians today are not Christians. Christianity has no idea what I am or for what I stand. They cause my name to be blasphemed among the people. Church: forever sorry for what you have done, while at the same time turning right around and doing it again; it feeds itself. Great is the destruction of those places of worship. The Christian medium itself is conformable to death. They have taken the Bible and made it an unholy thing used to justify their immersion in sin. Do you agree with any who in their arrogance have stated that God excuses evil in believers? It's not fair, but they don't care. They are a clueless, fruitless people. All are filthy dreamers. He that doesn't listen is damned already. Their damnation does not slumber, nor do they remain sober, nor do they remain open minded in this present world. They have missed the mark. They have ignored my commands to turn from sin. They would have no laws. The new law became unrighteousness. How could they be mine if they journey in outward ways? Christians have lost the gift of life to govern themselves. These people no longer represent me; they have caused great indignation. They are unable to defeat sin because of scant belief; food is scant among them. For their survival, it is necessary to listen to the Spirit, but they are so busy praying, they cannot hear. The covenant of the Lord is a breakage of the people. And what does he offer us?—He offers himself. And what does he declare? I've warned them and given them the requirements and preached the exclusions; they should not expect anything else or conclusion.
They have passed their usefulness. I am going to clean my house."
The last two sentences were received in the late 3rd Quarter of 2010. The time is up for Babylon. The false church, all the so-called Christian sects, will be exposed to the whole world and humiliated; and that will occur very soon.
3 Patient endurance, keep the commands of God, keep the faith. Whatever you wish to believe these events describe, your advice is to: in the midst of this suffering and trouble, persist in suffering patiently, and keep observing the commands you have been given. Despite the troubles, do not return to the world, do not return to your old pleasures and evil behaviors.
Notice! The saints are called to patiently endure in observing all the commands they have received from the voice of the Lord within them.
4 The Lord has said that since he had destroyed the people of Jerusalem, which was called by His name, do we think we will go unpunished? Jer 25:29. Through Jeremiah, He has also told us that walking after the imaginations of our own heart is worse than falling down and worshipping stone or wooden idols. Jer 16:12. There is a day soon coming when the Lord will destroy all sinners from the earth, whether they think they are saved or not — all sinners will be destroyed. This agrees with Isaiah: This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. Isa 14:26. AND He shall destroy the sinners out of the land. Isa 13:9. Because everyone of you walks after the imagination of his evil heart, and therefore they do not listen to and obey me. Jer 16:12. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Jer 25:33. Isaiah further describes it:
Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad its inhabitants.
And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled, for the LORD has spoken this word.
The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away, the haughty people of the earth become feeble.
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. Isa 24:1-7.
He shall execute judgment on the nations. He shall fill all places with the dead bodies. He shall crush the rulers across the earth. Psa 110:6.
George Fox wrote extensively about how all these destructions were then taking place, but taking place in the earth within a man's heart, not the earth as we know it. So it is entirely possible that all these messages below, and many more detailed in the footnote to Isaiah 24:6, do not refer to the present earth, but refer to the earth inside every man's heart, which is to be renewed into a new earth and a new heaven as detailed in the footnote to Rev 21:1. It is also possible that the messages apply to both the earth we know as well as the earth in every man's heart. Based on the absolute reliability of Fox's and other early Quakers' testimonies of the seals, trumpets, and vials of Revelation being a personal experience, we should focus only on expecting personal troubles, trials, and tribulations so that we can enter the kingdom and be prepared for whatever physical events occur afterwards. The Lord has previously said: "I will warn people about the coming troubles, about which there is no comparison. I will give ample time before the destruction of sin." When you, (along with the rest of the world), hear the warnings clearly stated, you will know to complete any required preparations.
If you understand that the more selfish acts a person commits while on earth, the longer it takes that person to dig themselves out of Hell; (see Is There Hope for All), then you can see how death can be a merciful act, if performed by He who can see the future and know how much deeper a person would have dug themselves in, remaining alive. And, when considering how evil the world has become, how difficult it is for children to grow up in a world full of sexual immorality, drugs, and violence; you might agree, all the evil must come to an end. The world must be freed from its preoccupation with selfishness, greed, sexual immorality, violence, deceit, etc; otherwise children don't really have much of a chance to see and embrace virtue, goodness, truth, and God.
Before this happens, as Jeremiah said in Jer 25:31, "he will plead with all flesh." Related messages from the Word of the Lord within in 2008: "There has never been a time like this; all men will twist in the earth. Listen everyone! There is a time coming when the Voice of the Lord will be heard by everyone; take heed and obey. I will recompense my enemies. There is a time coming when all men of the earth will be tried. Behold, I bring a plague upon the whole earth. I will betray those who are happy in their sins. Whoever does wickedly and unjustly will be punished. Clearly there are some who will be greatly preferred. I will make men more precious than rubies. I will destroy all men without light. I will fill the whole earth with the bodies of dead men."
Those who love the Lord must seek him intensely until they are following the Voice of the Lord from within their hearts; then they will be protected and sent to a place where the madness in the cities will not prevail. But they must be brave for the time will be frightening; follow the Voice and the Lord, trust him to protect you, and you will survive to live in a wonderful earth ruled by the Lord through his saints. Take courage and trust.
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