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The 144,000--what a mysterious, unique group of people they are! For centuries, people in and out of God's church have wondered and argued about who they are. However, when we look at what the Bible says about them, their identity becomes clear. The Bible explains itself!
It seems people despise, resent and complain about government most of the time. Perhaps it is because most governments try to fool most of the people most of the time. But we also need to address another key reason.
In former days, cities possessed strong exterior walls to protect their people and wealth. Many cities had quite extensive defense mechanisms built in conjunction with these walls: glacis, moats, drawbridges, arrow slits, towers, gates, portcullis, etc. Stories of castles and fortifications and the battles that raged before them still enthrall us.
Who can understand the Bible? Just anyone? Christ spoke in parables to hide the spiritual meaning from all but His true disciples (Matthew 13:10-17). In these verses, he quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 to show that rebellious physical Israel and the rest of the world could not understand His Word, but His true disciples can know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22 begins by telling us it describes elements of the Kingdom of God and what it will be like. Who is involved? Who is the bride? The guests? Is the setting described here just at the return of Christ or does it refer to a wider period?
The letters to the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 have been the subject of much debate, both in secular commentaries and in God's church. Were they only churches along a Roman mail route with no present-day significance? Does the Bible provide any evidence that all seven might exist together in the end-time--right now--just as they did in Paul's day?
The first study on the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 concentrated on internal evidencethat all seven must exist at the end of the age. Though the principles contained in the book of Revelation have applied to all ages, it is written primarily to those living at the end time, and thus its message is primarily for the last days.
Having studied the letters to the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 in general, we will now begin examining each of them separately. Since God's church has recently split into hundreds of different pieces, it would be futile to seek to identify each as one of the seven.
Internal evidence in Revelation shows that a fulfillment of these messages to the churches--perhaps the major one--is an end-time message to all seven at once. Therefore, no matter the historical application, all seven messages are pertinent to the end-time church.