The Letters of Faith
Letter 19: Closing thoughts, and a Prophetic Word
“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples”
(Isaiyeh 8:16 ENB).
Thank you, dear friend, for your love, encouragement and prayerful support. Your sentiment is deeply appreciated!
Your latest letter was uplifting and enlightening, and I truly enjoy our time together. I am delighted to hear of the progress made by your discipleship group, and the other new groups that have now begun under their tutelage. Discipleship unto Yehoshua is an endeavor worthy of our complete energy, because fulfillment of that goal is quite a gift from heaven, and is magnificent as well. Additionally, it all has such deep eternal ramifications. And yet, as we both know, discipleship is a difficult path; “Christianity” itself is a difficult calling, which far too many unknowingly falter in upholding. You, however, my friend, are walking the walk, and I praise our Father in Heaven for you.
As a discipler, I could not have asked for a better student. And now the student is helping others find Yehoshua, while those students are now reaching out to teach others about discipleship unto Yehoshua. I am humbled by your faithfulness, and very pleased by your accomplishments. I know that Elohim is being glorified, and the name of YEHOWAH, through Yehoshua His Son, is being magnified by His faithful children.
The notebook is closed, my friend. The long lists of topical references sit unopened on my shelf. The lessons for this part of your spiritual growth are finished. As I sit here at my keyboard, I wonder how I should conclude these teachings. Seven years have been dedicated to the research, preparation and writing of these letters, and your study over those years has been equally intense. The time has been exciting and spiritually profitable for me, and your spiritual growth, through the application of these instructions and your dedicated study of the concordance materials, has also proven fruitful for you. I know that Yehoshua will be pleased as we press on, teaching discipleship unto yet even more brothers and sisters of faith; as we work together for the harvest of Elohim.
I look forward to the challenges we will face. I anticipate, with tremendous excitement the time we will have combating the forces of evil confronting us today – as a united army. I sincerely look forward to meeting with you soon, Father willing, as well as meeting with the disciples you are instructing. Never forget though, that as the day of Yehoshua’s return nears, there will be a tremendous increase in the number of souls traversing the battlefield of faith and discipleship. Instruct your students to be prepared. Remind them that all instruction must be rendered in love and humility.
As yet another winter approaches, I feel a stirring in my heart that something monumental is about to happen. I am unable to offer anything specific, because I have not been given any foretelling visions, but I am expectant of things in a way I have never before known in my life. I am not certain when any of these things will occur either, just that we are living in what is the most exciting and challenging time ever. Throughout the last two thousand years, the harvest has been ripe for each generation, but the final harvest has been prophesied for centuries, and I believe we are living in those long prophesied days.
While the Word of Elohim is very explicit in some areas, it yet remains tremendously vague in others. Nonetheless, our Father has always told His children everything they needed to know in order for them to abide faithfully. The end time prophetic messages certainly fall into an explicitly vague category. As I consider the message we have been given in the sixth Chapter of the Book of Revelation though, I wonder – which seal is about to be broken. History has surely reached this stage.
The events depicted to occur through the opening of the first five seals of the scroll handed to Yehoshua by our Heavenly Father, as shown in Revelation 6, do not really appear to be events that we can pinpoint, but speak instead of a mood or an attitude that we might recognize. They seem to represent events in general that will permeate society: revival, wars and rumors of war, famine and inflation, death and pestilence, and the martyrdom of the saints. All of these things have been evidenced throughout the history of the Ekklesia, but Revelation 6 tells us that they are going to be witnessed again in increased levels – especially during the end time period. Surely, a tremendous number of Disciples are being slaughtered for their faith today, and most assuredly, wars and rumors of wars, and famine and inflation are being evidenced throughout the world. Yet we are told that these are merely the birth pangs; merely the beginning of the end.
The sixth seal of Revelation 6 is different than the first five seals though, and maybe it is these things my heart expects to see. The breaking of the sixth seal, Revelation 6:12-17, is the beginning of some very noticeable events. And Revelation 7:1-8 is vital to our understanding of the cataclysm that will occur during the period of the great tribulation. While Revelation 6:12-17 speaks of a great earthquake, the sun becoming black, and the moon appearing like blood, Revelation 7:1-3 tells us that no harm is to come, “To the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our Elohim on their foreheads” (Revelation 7:3). Where Revelation 6:14 tells of every mountain and island being moved out of their place by a great earthquake, Revelation 7:1-3 tells us that something else must occur first.
Revelation 7:1 caught my attention about twenty years ago, and what I believe Elohim is telling us is that we CAN know, with certainty, when the great tribulation has begun… Noah was given a seven day period in which to load the ark, and we have been commanded to draw a parallel between Noah and the return of our Messiah. (See Matthew 24:37-38). Therefore, Revelation 7 is clearly telling us that the 144,000 are to be sealed at the beginning of the Great Tribulation period – and that they will (in accordance with Noah) have seven years in which to lead the labor of bringing in the harvest…
I have often wondered why I never heard anyone teach on this event before, but I realize that all things happen in Elohim’s time. In Revelation 7, John wrote, “I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living Elohim; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Hurt not the earth, or the sea, or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our Elohim 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” (Revelation 7:2-4 ENB).
In a literal translation of this passage, we read that no harm will befall the earth or the trees or the sea until the 144,000 bondservants of Elohim are sealed. (This positively places the events of Revelation 6:12-17 after the sealing of Revelation 7). Has there ever been a day in recorded history though, when the wind did not blow for even a second? Those who teach a wholly symbolic translation of The Book of Revelation, focus on the 144,000, interpreting that number as simply the “vast number” of Elohim’s children who are redeemed from the earth. They ignore the remainder of the passage though, in which a very specific number is drawn from the very specific tribes of Israel. I have found, however, that whenever Elohim wants to express a “vast number”, He does so with Words like, “And the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11). No, I believe that the 144,000 of Revelation 7 are very specific representatives of Yehoshua, chosen from the tribes of Israel, who will represent Master Yehoshua to the world during the days immediately preceding His return.
Additionally, I see the seventh chapter of Revelation revealing both the beginning and end of the tribulation period. The beginning is marked with a time of no wind – as the sealing of Elohim’s chosen 144,000 occurs, and the end comes with the Lamb of Elohim in the center of the throne, and the body, “the ones who come out of the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14), standing before Him.
A period of no wind… How do you suppose this event will be rationalized? Do you think the absence of the jet stream, for even an instant, will cause concern? I wonder how it will be explained! Or will they even attempt an explanation? Yet look what happens while the wind stops blowing: 144,000, “sealed of all the tribes of the children of Israel” (Revelation 7:4 ENB). Having already expressed my belief that the body of Yehoshua, the Ekklesia, is the spiritual Israel of end time prophecy, I will also express my belief that the 144,000, quite literally, are not Jews, as the religious institutions believe. They are members of the Ekklesia.
Revelation 14:1-5 tells us that these 144,000 will have, “His Father’s name written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1 ENB), and that they, “were not defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste” (Revelation 14:4 ENB). While the day of no wind may possibly be explained away scientifically, to the relief of humanity, the world and the Ekklesia will suddenly see 144,000 people sealed with the name of YEHOWAH on their foreheads. And their message will be unmistakable and undeniable.
The historical teaching on Revelation 14:4 is that the 144,000 are virgin men; men not defiled with women. I think the spiritual implication behind the passage has a greater significance though, because if the spiritual truth of chastity is to be meaningful to us, we need to look at that greater significance.
In the Greek language, articles, like the word “the”, as well as punctuation marks, are primarily non-existent. It is not only possible, therefore, but also quite likely, that Revelation 14:4 speaks of the 144,000 not being defiled by “the woman”, instead of the generic “women”. The word interpreted as ‘women’ is the same word used for ‘woman’, and the certainty of the current translation is unclear – even in the ENB. While I did not ‘manipulate’ His Word to suite my hunches, if the passage is speaking of the 144,000 not being defiled by “the woman, for they have kept themselves chaste”, we can view the passage in an entirely new light. Why? If the passage is meant to say, “The woman”, then the reference is extremely pointed, and directs us to the false church, Babylon of Revelation 17.
If Revelation 14:4 is speaking of 144,000 who have not been defiled by “the woman”, the significance and understanding of the verse is altered tremendously, because the chastity required is spiritual, not physical. And, Revelation 14:5, which says, “And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of Elohim” (ENB), speaks to the prophetic nature of their calling, and to the fact that they are redeemed and sanctified through Yehoshua – blameless thru the Blood of the Lamb. This interpretation would also support the 144,000 being from the Ekklesia.
Additionally, and this will really cause howls, if the correct interpretation of Revelation 14:4 is “the woman”, then there is no longer a gender restriction; the 144,000 need not all be men. We have already discussed the gifts, and we have covered extensively the fact that women are gifted as prophets and evangelists, right along with men. Furthermore, these gifts represent precisely what the 144,000 will be; evangelists and prophets. The reference in Revelation 14:4, that these, “were specifically redeemed from among mankind; the first-fruits unto Elohim and to the Lamb” (ENB), is similar to the reference of Genesis 1:27, where Elohim said, “And Elohim created man in His own image, in the image of Elohim He created him; male and female He created them,” which further eliminates pompous gender restrictions.
Nevertheless, the day of no wind approaches, and the disciples of Yehoshua will be called upon to glorify Elohim. While we do not know when He will return for us, He has told us to be prepared. He has told us to be expectant and excited. Above all, He has told us to be fruitful. The fields are white with harvest, and my sincere prayer for every Disciple is that our eyes will be opened to the realities before us. Just as Elisha’s eyes were opened to see the angels protecting him and Eliyeh, I wholeheartedly pray that we too will see the spiritual truth and significance of the people in our lives, and the events occurring around us in these days.
Even though a great portion of society will refuse the cure offered through and in Yehoshua, our focus must be on the harvest of His crop. Judgmentalism must be shunned. This is so, because a vast portion of the world’s society WILL accept Yehoshua as Master and Messiah. After all, we are discussing the time of the great harvest – and our hearts must be prepared to receive them.
I anticipate television getting even more sexually explicit and violent as humanity becomes more calloused. And, as programs that are meant to shock and titillate will abound, we will be required to use much greater discernment in our viewing of these things, turning off everything that stands against the Truth that we know and love. We must voice our disapproval to the sponsors of every offensive program with increased fervor and zeal, and protest against the stereotype of ‘christians’ portrayed on television and in the movies; especially as those portrayals grow increasingly unflattering. How faithful are we in these matters today, my friend? How discerning are we being by allowing this defamation – while we can still protest effectively against it? How faithful have we been as Disciples in this arena?
This time with you has blessed me in ways I will not realize until Yehoshua points them out to me. But the prayers we have devoted to each other are evident. I have known your faithful support, and I am humbled by your friendship and love. Abide in the Word of Elohim, dear friend, and read again our letters if they can be useful. I will write again, Father willing, because there is more to discipleship; there is always more to learn. You certainly have the basic tools, however, and in the application of what you know, Elohim will truly be glorified.
Remember also, that you are a P*R*A*I*S*E*R, and in your remembrances, praise, worship and glorify Elohim. Anything contrary to that is counterfeit and intent on destroying your obedience. The “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” has produced countless counterfeit spirits and ministries, but every Disciple of Yehoshua has been set free from the curse of that knowledge. Remain pure in the innocence of the Lamb.
Perhaps the Master will provide time and opportunity for us to discuss other important issues, as well as other end time prophetic messages. This phase of your discipleship training is over though, dear friend, and my heart is both overjoyed with your progress, and saddened by this passage. The sadness is simply my pride, and it will pass. The joy, on the other hand, is eternal, and it shall remain with us forever. Praise be unto Elohim!
For now though, I leave you with my sincerest prayer for your continued obedience in faith, and I pray for your spiritual prosperity, joy and peace. May the Master grant you the desires of your heart, and may your desire always be for His glory.
I remain faithfully your brother in Yehoshua our Messiah and Master,
Letter 19 Topical Concordance:
New Covenant: Revelation (all).
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All Scripture quotations are taken from The Exalted Name Bible™
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Lawrence T. Vosen, PhD. Used with permission.