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Prophetic Pictures for Today - The Book of Revelation
Week 26, 2017
This week we continue our study of the 144,000 that were sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel in Revelation 7:4-8. I personally believe that these are a prophetic parallel of the sealing of the twelve tribes of “spiritual Israel”—the church through the church age. How did I come to that conclusion?
You can see a general but accurate prophetic outline of church history in the twelve tribes of Israel, from the sequence of their birth, the prophecies given over them by Jacob and Moses, and their histories. So we would take Reuben as a type of the first-century church, and proceed forward. If these are a prophetic parallel of the sealing of the twelve tribes of “spiritual Israel,” then Benjamin, the last son to be born to Jacob, would represent the last members of the body of Christ to walk the earth in this age. There are some remarkable parallels from Benjamin’s life that are relevant to the body of Christ at the end of this age.
First, Benjamin is the only son of Jacob named by the father, not the mother. His mother, Rachel, tried to name him Ben-oni, which means “son of my sorrows” because his birth caused her death. However, Jacob changed his name to Benjamin, which means “the son of my right hand.” In Scripture, the right hand speaks of power and authority, the place where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.
That Benjamin was named by his father instead of his mother speaks of those who do not take positions or responsibilities because of what the church wants or expects them to be—rather, they receive their commission straight from the Father. This is the foundation of their unprecedented authority at the end of the age. When you know that you have been called and appointed by God, you do not care what anyone else thinks of you. The last members of the body of Christ will walk in will walk in great confidence and authority because they know they were named by the Father.
Benjamin was also one of only three people in Scripture born in Bethlehem, Jesus and King David being the other two. Bethlehem means “house of bread,” or “place of food.” How much more spiritual food has the church of this time been given over any other church period? Not only do we have some of the most extraordinary teachers of all time, we have more books and teaching series available through different media sources, including the internet and Social Media. There has never been a time like this for spiritual enrichment. The Lord likes to save His best wine for last, but this is certainly more than we could have expected.
When Joseph met with his brothers in Egypt, but had not yet revealed his identity to them, he made them go back home and return to Egypt with Benjamin. When they had returned with Benjamin, Joseph invited them all to eat at his home. Then something remarkable happened:
Now they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment.
He took portions to them from his own table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs (Genesis 43:33-34).
Such events are not recorded in canon Scripture for our entertainment. This is a prophecy of how Benjamin’s portion would be five times as much as any of the others. When we look at the spiritual food available to Christians today, it seems that it is at least that much more.
Of course, a serious question would be, are we a better church because of this? Are we better Christians? Some are. Some are relentlessly in pursuit of God, to know His ways, His voice, and to know the times and His purpose in them. Such are taking every advantage of the abundance of spiritual food available now.
Other such prophetic metaphors in Scripture point to a remarkable company of powerful messengers to be released on the world at the end of the age. Jude references them in verse 14, a quote from the Book of Enoch. We will see that the Book of Revelation has more to say about them as well, as we will see. If we are privileged to be here, we will also see the last-day church arise as the sons of His right hand—the sons of power.
Of course, to whom much is given much will be required. Let us not waste this unprecedented opportunity to serve the King and prepare the way for His kingdom to come.
next week 27