Obadiah, the first of the writing prophets, wrote eight hundred forty years before the Lord’s virgin birth. However, David, although not specifically called a prophet in the O.T., gave the first lucid account of the 144 Thousand over a thousand years before Christ in Psalm 110.
This Psalm contains some of the most significant Messianic revelation ever penned by David who wrote in the Psalms about the end times including the Day of the Lord. Although he does not use that specific term in his writings he does in fact give much insight into that period of time when God will pour out His wrath.
Psalm 110 provides a clear chronological sequence of God the Father’s activity as He brings into submission the enemies of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ which will occur during the Day of the Lord. However, in this Psalm David also provides the most descriptive passage in the Old Testament concerning the 144 Thousand:
“Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power [Day of the Lord], In the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning, Thou has the dew[multitude] of Thy youth [young men].” (Psalm 110:3)
Psalm 110 is regarded as “The Crown Jewel” of Messianic truth in the book of Psalms. This short but powerful revelation by King David provides the believer with marvelous insight concerning David’s Lord, the Messiah, the King of kings, our Great High Priest the Lord Jesus Christ.
While it is one of the most quoted Psalms in the New Testament, the important fact here is the One Who quoted its truth as He dealt with the contentious Pharisees concerning His identity as the Messiah, David’s Lord and the Son of Jehovah God.
The Lord Jesus referred to this Psalm a number of times during His earthly ministry (Matthew 22:44, 26:64; Mark 12:64, 14:62; 16:19; Luke 20:42, 22:69). It is also utilized over a dozen other times in the New Testament demonstrating its vital importance in the overall scheme of God’s unfolding revelation.
The focus in this brief look at Psalm 110 is prophetic, for the majority of the subject matter covered in Psalm 110 has yet to take place in the course of history. This Messianic Jewel of the Psalms, revealing past and present truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, also provides the believer with vital truth in understanding the end times and the 144 Thousand in concert with the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
The coronation of the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ is indicated in its opening verse: “The LORD said unto my Lord, sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool.” This clearly underlines Jehovah God’s certain intent to give the Lord Jesus Christ eventual physical dominion over the entire earth (Psalm 2:6-9). This first verse also pinpoints the specific timing of the Psalm as the Lord Jesus Christ has just ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11) and is invited by His Father to sit at His right hand.
He then sat down at the Father’s right hand and was exalted (Acts 2:33) and subsequently sent “the promise of the Father”, the Holy Spirit, to His people (Acts 2:1-4) which He had earlier promised (Luke 24:49; John 14:16, 17, 26, 15:26, 16:7, 13, 14; Acts 1:4).
The second verse begins the progressive unfolding of end time events which God the Father will bring to pass when He brings Christ’s enemies into submission: “The LORD shall send the rod [tribe] of Thy strength out of Zion, rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.” (Psalm 110:2)
The phrase “rod of Thy strength” some apply to the Holy Spirit for He was and is now the Person Who empowers and strengthens believers thereby glorifying and exalting the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Holy Instrument by which Jesus now rules as Lord.
Others apply it to the Church for it came “out of Zion”, which is the city of Jerusalem, and appears to “fit” the requirements of the passage. However, bringing the Lord Jesus Christ’s enemies into submission is not the Lord’s primary purpose for the Church.
The Church’s primary purpose is to be a “witness” unto Christ as indicated by the Lord in all five of His commissions: (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 15:16; Acts 1:8) which He gave to His disciples which now apply to His Body the Church.
Although it is through the Holy Spirit that God’s work and will are now accomplished by the Church, the focus of this Psalm is in that future day when Jehovah God brings into submission the enemies of His Son, not the present-day witnessing of the Church of Jesus Christ.
God will ultimately bring the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ into submission during His day, the eschatological Day of the Lord. This future end time event is clearly defined in Scripture as it is the most prophesied period in the Word of God.
The Hebrew word “matteh” translated “rod” in Psalm 110:2 is found in the Old Testament (251) times with (182) of those occurrences translated “tribe”, (52) occurrences translated “rod” and (15) times it is translated “staff”. Therefore, the vast majority of the time it is translated “tribe”.
The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament supplies the following information concerning this word: “Although the term properly means “staff” or “rod,” it is usually rendered (some 180 times) “tribe”. The reference is usually to one of the twelve tribes by name. At first, apparently, each tribal ruler led his group with a staff. This suggests that the ruler’s staff may have originally been a symbol of the tribe (cf. Num 17:2-10 [H 17-25] and eventually betokened leadership and authority (cf. Ps 110:2; Jer 48:17).” p.574 Vol.1
Also, the Hebrew word “shebet” a synonym of “matteh” is the word translated “rod” or “scepter” in all of the other Old Testament Messianic passages which speak of the Messiah’s rod/scepter (Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; Psalm 2:9, 45:6; Isaiah 11:4).
This is the word the Bible utilizes to define the ruling or smiting of the nations by the Messiah, which will occur during the Day of the Lord. The “shebet” passages above refer to the future rule and the accompanying discipline of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, when He comes as “King of kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:15).
The phrase “rod of Thy strength” might be better translated “tribe of Thy strength” indicating the tribe of Judah from which the Lord Jesus Christ descended (Hebrews 7:14). To the tribe of Judah, “a lion’s whelp” (Genesis 49:9) a prolonged dominion is promised [ISBE p.1738 Vol.3] through the Messiah, so it is listed first in Revelation 7:5 as the leader of the twelve tribes making up the 144 Thousand.
Judah will likely lead the assault upon “the Assyrian” [Antichrist] (Micah 5:5) not unlike the days during Antiochus Epiphanes [type of Antichrist] invasion of Israel in the past (168 B.C.). Then Judas Maccabeus “The Hammer” of the tribe of Judah led his warriors to an incredible and most miraculous victory over Antiochus Epiphanes, the ruthless ruler of that day (I Maccabees).
The Lord Jesus Christ as “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5), appears to lead His forces into battle in that future day. This is indicated in Micah’s “last days” (Micah 4:1) passage recorded in his second message (Micah 3:1-5:15) of the book, which focuses upon the Coming King, the Lord Jesus Christ:
“And this Man [The Lord Jesus Christ/Messiah] shall be the Peace when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds and eight principal men.” (Micah 5:5)
That period of time follows the present age of grace which is “the day of Thy power” also known as the Day of the Lord, when Christ returns “in power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). During the Day of the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ will have “with Him” (Revelation 14:1, 17:14) a group of obedient followers (Revelation 14:4) known as these 144 Thousand “servants of our God”.
Psalm 110:3 describes them, providing some distinct qualities and duties of this group of God’s servants who “Shall be willing in the day of Thy [Lord Jesus Christ] power”. The word “people” (Psalm 110:3) appears in the Old Testament over 1800 times and is variously translated. On occasion, as recorded in I Samuel 11 where it is found six times, it has the emphasis of “troops” specifically in (v.11) when “Saul put the people [troops] in three companies”.
The following information is recorded in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament p.676 Vol.2. “There are also a number of passages where the word [people] means ‘troops’”. In keeping with the dominating militant theme of this Psalm the NIV provides this interpretation:
“Your troops shall be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth.”(Psalm 110:3)
The NASV translates this same verse:
“Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to Thee as the dew.”
The willing obedience of the 144 Thousand is recorded in Revelation 14:4 where they “follow the Lamb wherever He goes”, having already surrendered themselves to His Lordship long before when they decided to follow Jesus, giving themselves as literal bond-servants of the King of kings (Revelation 7:3).
Their personal holiness before God “In the beauties of holiness” (Psalm 110:3) also is confirmed in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ:
“These are they which were not defiled with women...And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Revelation 14:4, 5) Their physical purity and spiritual holiness affords them the ability to continually “follow the Lamb” giving them unbroken access to the throne of God where they fulfill their ministry priority as priests unto God.
The last phrase of Psalm 110:3 “Thou hast the dew of Thy youth” provides additional information concerning the 144 Thousand. The word “dew” can indicate their great number, and, as the dew provides refreshment and blessing to the earth, they too, will give these same benefits to those to whom they minister:
“And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarries not for man, nor waits for the sons of men.” (Micah 5:7)
As priests unto God they will be a blessing direct from God, not dependent on men. The word “youth” of Psalm 110:3 is only found in the Old Testament three times with the other two occurrences penned by David’s son Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10: “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from they heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.”
This word in Psalm 110:3 indicates a designated group of young men, who will be active during the end times, willing to follow the Lord which accurately describes the 144 Thousand. This approximates their age and agrees with the tenor of Revelation 14:4 where their virginity is recorded requiring a decision which must be made by these young men early in manhood. The age of twenty was specified in the book of Numbers when the first census was taken for those men who were able and old enough to go to war:
“Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names every male by their polls: From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel.” (Numbers 1:2, 3)
This indicates the age that will likely determine the lower limit for these young soldiers of Christ. They will in fact see spiritual and physical combat as war against the saints will occur during the end times which is clearly indicated in Scripture (Daniel 7:21; Revelation 12:17, 13:7, 17:14, 19:19).
These young men will most likely remain in the land when “the woman” [Faithful Israel] of Revelation 12 flees into the wilderness for every young man in present-day Israel is required to serve in the armed forces of their country.
There will be two major assaults against Israel prior to Armageddon with the first beginning at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel which centers upon Judea and the city of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 38:8-16; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:15-21).
The second battle will take place in the “valley of Jehosophat” (Joel 3:1-8; Zechariah 14:1, 2) just before the Day of the Lord with these young men taking part as “the remnant of Jacob” when “the Assyrian [Antichrist] shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces” (Micah 5:5-8).
Bible commentator W. Graham Scroggie, D.D. speaks on Psalm 110:3 in his commentary on the Psalms, p.87: “The beauties of holiness…” the reference is to holy attire, holy garments, priestly vestments. The soldiers are priests. The consecrated are warriors. These two sides of Christian calling and character are vitally related. Because we are “Priests unto God” we are to “put on the whole armour of God” (Revelation.1: 6; Ephesians 6:11). “Thou hast the dew of thy youth” Maclaren translates as “From the womb of the dawn (comes) to Thee the dew of Thy youth (s)”; and he says, ‘the principal point of comparison of the army with the dew is probably its multitude.’
From: Spurgeon’s Treasury of David
Ver. 3. —The subjects of the Priest King are willing soldiers. In accordance with the warlike tone of the whole Psalm, our text describes the subjects as an army. That military metaphor comes out more closely when we attach the true meaning of the words, "in the day of thy power". The word rendered, and rightly rendered, "power”, has the same ambiguity which that word has in the English of the date of our translation, and for a century later, as you may find in Shakespeare and Milton, who both used it in the sense of "army". Singularly enough we do not employ "powers" in that meaning, but we do another word which means the same thing—and talk of "forces", meaning thereby "troops"..."The day of thy power" is not a mere synonym for "the time of thy might", but means specifically "the day of thine army", that is, "the day when thou dost muster thy forces and set them in array for the war". The King is going forth to conquest. But he goes not alone. Behind him come his faithful followers, all pressing on with willing hearts and high courage. —Alexander McLaren, 1871.
Ver. 3. —Thy people, etc. In homage, they shall be like a company of priests in sacred vestments, for they shall appear "in the beauties of holiness". In number, they shall be like the countless dewdrops "from the womb of the morning", sparkling in the rays of the rising sun, and reflecting his radiance. In glory they shall bear the likeness of Christ's resurrection in all its vernal freshness: "Thou hast the dew of thy youth". —Benjamin Wildon Cart.
Ver. 3. —In the beauties of holiness. In holy vestments as priests. They are at once warriors and priests; meet for the service of Him who was King and Priest. Neander (Mem. of Chr. Life, ch. 4) remarks on the connection between these two sides of the Christian character. God's soldiers can only maintain their war by priestly self-consecration. Conversely: God's priests can only preserve their purity by unintermitted conflict. —William Kay.
Ver. 3. —In the beauties of holiness. This expression is usually read as if it belonged either to the words immediately proceeding, or to those immediately following. In either case the connection is somewhat difficult and obscure. It seems better regarded as a distinct and separate clause, adding a fresh trait to the description of the army. And what that is we need not find any difficulty in ascertaining. "The beauties of holiness" is a frequent phrase for the sacerdotal garments, the holy festal attire of the priests of the Lord. So considered, how beautifully it comes in here. The conquering King whom the psalm hymns is a Priest forever; and an army of priests follows him. The soldiers are gathered in the day of the muster, with high courage and willing devotion, ready to fling away their lives; but they are clad not in mail, but in priestly robes; like those who wait before the altar rather than like those who plunge into the fight, like those who compassed Jericho with the ark for their standard and the trumpets for all their weapons. We can scarcely fail to remember the words, which echo these and interpret them. "The armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" —a strange armor against sword cut and spear thrust. —Alexander McLaren.
Ver. 3. —Thou hast the dew of thy youth. These words are often misunderstood, and taken to be a description of the fresh, youthful energy attributed by the Psalm to the Priest King of this nation of soldier priests. The misunderstanding, I suppose, has led to the common phrase, "the dew of one's youth". The reference of the expression is to the army, not to its leader. "Youth" here is a collective noun, equivalent to "young men". The host of his soldier subjects is described as a band of young warriors, whom he leads, in their fresh strength and countless numbers and gleaming beauty like the dew of the morning... It is as a symbol of the refreshing which a weary world will receive from the conquests and presence of the King and his host, that they are likened to the glittering morning dew. Another prophetic Scripture gives us the same emblem when it speaks of Israel being "in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord". Such ought to be the effect of our presence. We are meant to gladden, to adorn, to refresh this parched, prosaic world, with freshness brought from the chambers of the sunrise. —Alexander McLaren.
Matthew Henry writes-p.660 ‘That they should be a willing people, a people of willingness, alluding to servants that choose their service and are not coerced to it…to soldiers that are volunteers and not pressed men…That they should be so in the day of His power, in the day of Thy muster (so some) when Thou art enlisting soldiers thou shalt find a multitude of volunteers…Or when Thou art drawing them out to battle they shall be willing to “follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes” (Revelation 14:4).
W. Graham Scroggie, William Kay, Alexander McLaren, and Matthew Henry all see the “people” here in Psalm 110:3 as soldiers of the Lord’s army with most of these commentators also giving them the duty of priests. Matthew Henry also indicates they are the 144 thousand as he refers to them following “the Lamb whithersoever He goes.” (Revelation 14:4)
This future army of the King of kings will be completely submissive to the will of God during the Day of the Lord. These young soldiers of Christ will be involved in the intense spiritual warfare at the end of the age as priests unto God. They will be arrayed in holiness doing the Lord's service "before the throne of God" (Revelation 14:1, 4).
These “priests unto God” are involved in this future holy warfare when the battle is at its most heightened level, when Satan “knows that he has but a short time” (Revelation 12:12).
Scroggie, in his commentary on the Psalms shows a supporting view: “Messiah’s soldiers are declared to be priests (Psalm 110:3) before His own priesthood is announced.” p.88.
In Psalm 110:4 David continues to address the Lord Jesus Christ telling Him of His eternal priesthood which is sworn by Jehovah God Himself:
“The LORD hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
The LORD told Jesus of His future actions in Psalm 110:2, 3 before He declared the Lord Jesus Christ’s present High Priestly office in Psalm 110:4. Remember, this Psalm (Psalm 110:2-4) is addressing the Lord Jesus right after He ascended to heaven.
Jehovah in Psalm 110:4 takes an oath and tells of Jesus’ present ministry to the Father and the saints as:
“He ever lives to make intercession for those who come unto God by Him.” (Hebrews 7:25.). The consecration of our Great High Priest King is accomplished in this the key verse of Psalm 110 being thoroughly explained in the book of Hebrews chapters 2-9. However, our focus here is on the 144 Thousand and in (v.5-7) they are directly addressed:
“The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.”(Psalm 110:5)
Here, the people [troops/priests/144 Thousand] (Psalm 110:3) are given the promise of the Lord’s presence “at thy right hand” when He pours out His devastating wrath upon the earth during that future time of judgment called the Day of the Lord described in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
This agrees with Revelation 6:16, 17:
“From the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who is able to stand?”
Although the Day of the Lord is described as the wrath of God (Isaiah 13:9; Zephaniah 1:15), in the first reference to wrath in the Revelation it is also designated “the wrath of the Lamb”.
The overriding tone of Psalm 110 is one of dominion, troops, warfare and human carnage which is brought on by the Lord’s judgment of earth through the outpouring of His eschatological Day of the Lord called the “day of His wrath” (Psalm 110:5). This couples accurately with the warfare and judgment thoroughly detailed in the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 8, 9, 15-19).
Notice, the word “Lord” [Adonai] (Psalm 110:5) continues to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, as in Psalm 110:1. This promise of the Lord’s presence with His people as indicated by His “right hand” is found in the Psalms twenty one times and refers to the power, authority and blessing of the Lord to His people in nineteen of these occurrences.
Here, the strengthening promise of the blessed presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is given when “this Man [Messiah] will be the Peace” (Micah 5:5) for those who will be “with Him” (Revelation 14:1, 17:14) during “the day of His wrath” (Psalm 110:5).
Psalm 110:6 vividly portrays the Divine Judge’s wrath as it is poured out upon earth: “He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies, He shall wound the heads [kings of the earth] over many countries.”
The Lord Jesus Christ will be the Executor of Divine judgment as taught in the following Scripture:
“For the Father judges no man but has committed all judgment unto the Son…And has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man…And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” (John 5:22, 27; Acts 10:42).
His Day of the Lord judgment includes the death of over one third of the world population (Revelation 9:15, 16:3) and the final event of the Day of the Lord, the battle of Armageddon, will execute deadly judgment upon the “kings of the earth” (Revelation 19:19-21) and their armies.
The closing verse of Psalm 110 pictures the Lord Jesus Christ’s actions and attitude of complete victory after the Day of the Lord’s wrath is ended:
“He shall drink from the brook in the way, therefore shall He lift up the head.” (Psalm 110:7)
The Lord is physically refreshed and assumes the well-deserved attitude, appearance and expression of His triumphant victory after His work of judgment is over following the climactic battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21).
This brief but weighty Psalm comes to a quiet close after covering the time from the Lord’s ascension to the Father’s right hand, moving over the present Church age in order to focus completely on the great and dreadful Day of the Lord when God the Father will surely make the Lord Jesus Christ’s enemies His footstool.
While the emphasis in Psalm 110 is clearly upon the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ and His eternal position of King/Great High Priest, much information is given concerning “Thy people…thy youth”, those who will be His loyal subjects during those coming days at the time of the end:
The next prophet in chronological sequence is Obadiah. His short but pointed revelation focuses upon the judgment of Edom in the past and the future Day of the Lord (Obadiah 8-10, 15-21). In this last passage there are a number of Israelites mentioned that could refer to the 144 Thousand sons of Israel:
“But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance [them that escape NASV], and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” (Obadiah 17)
“And the captivity [exiles] of this host of the children [sons] of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity [exiles] of Jerusalem which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. And saviors[deliverers] shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. (Obadiah20, 21)
The time frame is clearly indicated as the Day of the Lord in (v.15) when God will bring His unprecedented wrath upon an unbelieving world which includes the people called the Edomites who are in focus throughout Obadiah’s prophecy.
However, the two references to Mount Zion in (v.17) and (v.21) show the possibility of the 144 Thousand as those referred to for they definitely appear on Mount Zion during the Day of the Lord at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel with the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ when “the kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (Obadiah 21; Revelation 11:15):
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Zion, and with Him an hundred and forty four thousand having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” (Revelation 14:1)
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
Although Obadiah’s passage uses the singular “kingdom” not the plural “kingdoms” as in the Revelation 11:15 verse, the timing appears to be the same as Obadiah is referring to a future time which has not yet taken place. His singular might be referring to the kingdom of Israel which is included in Revelation 11:15.
The next prophet in chronological order is Joel whose entire prophecy focuses on the Day of the Lord. He mentions “the day of the LORD” five times in his book (Joel 1:15, 2:1, 2:11, 2:31, 3:14). Although the first three appear to refer to a time of destruction during Joel’s day, principles and conditions may also be applied to that future day, the eschatological Day of the Lord which is the most prophesied event in Scripture.
The last two references in his prophecy are clearly shown to occur in that future day as the context includes the great and magnificent signs which will happen before the Day of the Lord judgment:
“And I will show wonders in the heaven and in the earth, blood, fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” (Joel 2:30, 31)
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.” (Joel 3:14, 15)
A number of New Testament passages also record these future signs in the heavens which occur just before the end times Day of the Lord:
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” (Matthew 24:29)
“But in those days after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light. And the stars shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.” (Mark 13:24, 25)
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of the heaven shall be shaken.”(Luke 21:25, 26)
“And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the kings of the earth and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17)
The prophets Isaiah and Zephaniah also tie in these signs and their effects with the Lord’s coming wrath:
“Behold , the day of the Lord comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.” (Isaiah 13:9, 10)
“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hastes greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the might man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.” (Zephaniah 1:14, 15)
The above passages underline the importance of these signs in the heavens as they will indicate the end time Day of the Lord is impending for they will occur just before that time of universal cataclysmic judgment begins. However, the born-again believer will not experience the wrath of God for His promises are clear:
“Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved/delivered [rapture] from [the] wrath through Him…“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come…For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation/deliverance [rapture] by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:9; I Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9)
Therefore, the prophet Joel with his certain emphasis upon the Day of the Lord is writing about that future day when the 144 Thousand Sons of Israel will be ministering. Joel 2: 32 may well be pointing to this group of young warrior priests and their ministry to those who will be saved in that day:
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance [those who escape], as the LORD has said, and in [even among] the remnant [survivors] whom the LORD shall call.”
Isaiah also records the LORD’s future gathering together of His people in that day which will include the 144 Thousand Sons of Israel:
“And it shall come to pass in that day that the LORD shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:11, 12)
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