And now the order of the
tribes is given, excluding Ephraim and Dan, but including Levi, Joseph and Manasseh,
making the total of twelve tribes, out of which these many evangelists will
come, for the purpose of evangelizing the entire world.
The number is exact and
the number is exact for each of the tribes.
The order does not seem
to have any significance, because throughout the Old Testament there are
several different orders of their listing, for several different reasons.
In the Old Testament the lists
are as follows:
order of birth, (Gen 29:32-35:18),
order of Jacob’s blessing them (Gen 49:3-27),
order encampment (Num 2:3-31),
order of the census before the invasion of Canaan (Num 26:4-51),
order of blessing and cursing (Deut 27:12-13),
order of Moses’ blessing (Deut 33:6-25),
order of ‘the princes’ (Num 1:5-15),
order of inheritance (Josh 13:7-22:34),
order by the wives and concubines (1 Chron 2-8),
order of the gates of the city (Ezek 48:31-34).
And in this order, the
list is completely different from all of the above.
The order of Judah is
switched with Reuben because it was he forfeited his ‘firstborn’ birthright as
punishment for his sexual misconduct with his father’s concubine, 1 Chron 5:1.
Dan is excluded probably because
it is the tribe of cursing and idolatry. It is said that the evil one, the anti-christ’s evil other out of Israel, will come from this
tribe, Gen 49:17, Dan. 11:37, Jere. 8:16, Rev 12:9;
20:2. The tribe of Dan does still exist
and it will share in the millennial blessings, Eze.
Ephraim is omitted in
favor of his father Joseph because Ephraim defected from the ruling house of
Judah, Isa 7:17. Also Ephraim, like Dan,
was consumed with idolatry, Hos 4:17.
Manasseh is included
because he was the faithful son of Joseph.
Levi is mentioned, and
even though that tribe had no inheritance in Israel, it was the source of the
The number is not merely
an application of some perfect numbering system, like using four and three to
multiply out to twelve, and then using one-thousand multiplied by twelve to get
twelve-thousand and so forth. If that
were the case, then John would have approached it in that manner. He did not.
And now after so many
centuries have passed, with these specific details concerning the tribes of Israel,
none of these things could possibly occur by mere chance. Only God can retain a
genealogy so complete for each individual tribe, keep track of everyone within
those tribes, and raise up, after an almost total apostate state, a group of
believers, who will go out into the world and evangelize it, with a phenomenal
rate of success, as we will see in the next verse.
Most of Judaism is
anti-Jesus. They are still looking for their
savior. Their unbelief in Christ is so
hard core, that all of this is seemingly impossible. And yet when the Tribulation begins, the
instant after the Rapture occurs, then these 144,000 people, will begin
recognizing the changes and the events occurring in the world and they will
relate them correctly to the prophecies from the Bible. They will abandon their old faith and adopt
Christ as their savior, and they will go out to the world to evangelize it,
with great success.
The timing of their
belief is not given. Since the
destructive forces are delayed, but not delayed indefinitely, then we can
assume that these people will all believe in Christ relatively quickly and
early in the Tribulation.
And when we get to chapter
14, we will see that they will all be martyred, along with millions and perhaps
billions, of others.
The numbers of believers
is intentionally not stated, for if it were, then that might get people to try
projecting the date of the Rapture, which since the time of John, has been and
is always imminent.
So you see, if John stated
that there would be ten-billion martyred believers, then that might discourage
many folks, knowing that the population of the world would have to be far
greater and therefore events more distant into the future. If the number were stated as perhaps only a
million, then that might discourage folks in the Tribulation, by thinking that
they might not be included.
And yes, there is the
mention of a two-hundred million military, coming up soon, but that army is not
human, but demons locked up in the Abyss.
Disclosing that number, does not compromise the timing of these events.
End of study