Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Revelations 7 (Part II)

 By Odon Bulamba (Friday 13th May 2005)


And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel:

This is the number of people that were sealed.
The 12 tribes of Israel are all Jacob’s descendants.
His brother also had 12 tribes but here we’re only talking about Jacob’s descendants.


First born of the 12, first son of Jacob. Reuben means “See, a son”, Genesis 29:22 & 32. His mother, Leah, was crossing a hard situation but by giving birth to Reuben, she believed her husband would love her, she believed she’d be loved more by producing a new life to her husband. Similarly, we (the church) believe God’s love to us will increase when we bring more souls to God, when we give birth to newborn.

What blessing did Reuben get from Jacob? Genesis 49: 3
Although Reuben was the first-born, powerful and full of dignity, his birthright was taken away from him because of what he did because he slept in his father’s bed.

What can the church learn from that man?
Let’s take the picture of God and the church: God is the father and the church is the mother. The church will say something and God will take another decision similar to what happened to Reuben.
What does that mean to you?
- We must make disciples
- As Christians, let’s be humble, because He can take the first and make it the last.
- People can be saved but we must help them grow otherwise they might follow a wrong way.

Reuben is the first picture of the church. Many Christians today think when they bring new souls to God, God’s love will increase for them, and our misery will disappear. But on the other hand, are we ready to follow them up, to help them and show them the right way? Matthew speaks about those who are good to teach the gospel, make converts but then they act in a way so that these souls will go back to hell.

Matthew 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”

So when they’ve won people to God, they start teaching them wrong things to make them worse. Today, God tells us this type of people is in the church.
How do we mislead people? At first, we tell them about God and the love of God but after a short time, we start teaching them things that are not correct, we mislead them.

Only twelve thousand people will be selected or saved, from that tribe.
Remember that although Reuben was the first-born his behaviour made him lose his birthright. Same for us: be careful, our behaviour must reflect the glory of God so that we can keep our position towards God and among human beings.


It means, “he hears”. Many people today think the world, our wives, our husbands, our friends, our families put us down and we hope God will do something about it. We hope we’ll see a Simeon.

Simeon’s blessing is in Genesis 49:5.
Think about his blessing, would you bless your own son or daughter like that? Never. It’s a curse and not a blessing. Can God allow his children to be cursed? If yes, when can a Christian be cursed by God? Whenever we use our flesh instead of the glory of God, it’s a violation of His rules, we go against His will and God puts us aside. We then bear a curse.

Simeon didn’t work alone but with his brother Levi. Many people today use violence in churches and try to influence others to work with them. They use their strength; they act, not for God’s glory but to stop the work of God in people’s daily lives.

For example, many Christians in America didn’t vote for Bush and as a consequence they were excommunicated. This is an act of violence. This is done to destroy the church. These people are like Simeon, they were supposed to glorify God and instead they take the opportunity to mix politics with religion, mix their job or policies with the Word of God.

Simeon invited Levi to work with him, to act and to destroy. They forgot the curse of God is above them.

I saw on the NZ TV the other day a pastor who was boasting about his wealth. This has come to the point that his followers in his church are not called Christians anymore but a new name made of his name, Tamaki. He actually mixes his Christian life with money or something else, like success, pride …

This is a problem for our Lord. Whenever we are called let’s try to balance things and carry on the right road.

From that tribe, from the people acting that way, God will only choose 12 000 people.


It means attached, joined. Son of Jacob by Leah, Genesis 29:34.

What blessing did he have? (Genesis 49:5-7)
It was linked to Simeon. They are cursed together. Something we think that will attach us to God deceives us. I might think I’ll be attached to God through my prayer but through my prayer I curse people because when I pray I talk negatively about others, or I ask God to punish others. I am just destroying the church, the environment and everybody. Where I am going? How many times does my prayer glorify God’s name?


It means praise. He was the fourth of the six sons of Jacob and Leah, Genesis 29:35.

What blessing for Judah? (Genesis 49:8-12)
He was weaker than his brothers. God said through him He’ll do something. If you give glory to God and try to manifest it, God will raise you up and make you like a young lion. In the Bible, a lion is a sign of victory, of power. That’s why God manifests Himself through glory. When you adore Him and glorify Him He will easily show His power. There are many examples in the Bible. When some sing, they close their eyes, glorify God and feel the power of God in them. They might start shouting, or talking to magnify God. The others around wish they would keep quiet, are annoyed and cast out what makes their brothers sing and speak so loudly in the name of Jesus. They take authority against the glory of God. When some sing, others just look around and observe those who dance or jump and minimise the glory of God.

But Christians must bring the glory of God always higher so that we can receive God’s power and He can continue to care for us.


It means give justice, he has vindicated. All of us, we want justice from God, we want God to do justice for us, we want God to support us. We don’t want God to apply justice on us when we are wrong though, but only when we are right. When we are attacked we want justice but when we attack others, do we still call out on God’s justice or keep quiet?

What blessing is for Dan? (Genesis 49:16-18)
Dan will bring justice. In Revelation 6 we saw four men coming on horses. So if we practice justice, we’ll cause Satan’s instrument to fall. The instruments Satan uses against us are related to horses. If we have justice in our heart, within our lives, we’ll bite these horses they’ll get poisoned and our purpose is not to kill the horse but to make Satan fall off.

So whenever I want to practice justice in my life, justice in my faith, God will be on my side. Although Satan attacks me with all his strength, with all his army, it’s not easy for a donkey or a horse to kill a serpent. A donkey can kick a human being but never a serpent. When we practice justice, Satan looks at us and acknowledges his chance of losing. This is why the Bible encourages us to resist him every time he comes and he will run away. Whenever we practice justice he has to surrender. So the church needs justice, you and I need justice so that we can be winners over sin and winners over temptation and over this world. If we don’t have justice, Satan won’t fear us, he will keep tempting us. When you have justice you can’t steal and Satan has to surrender.


It means fighting, wrestling. Who do you fight against? Some fight against their boss at work, their colleagues, others against their wife, husband, friends but the Bible talks about a big fight that is not fought with our flesh. It’s a spiritual flight, no blood in it (Ephesians 6:12) it’s against Satan. After fighting against Satan we will be equipped to sort out problems. It’s not easy to get angry or be resentful for years against your sister if you know justice and you how to fight that temptation of anger. If you know anger is a sin, as soon as you see it coming you decide not to sin, ask for forgiveness and just carry on with your daily life. It’s easier to fight against a human being than against temptation or Satan. So Naphtali means he fought against his sister.

First, define who you must fight against. Shall I fight my bad character, my behaviour, my weaknesses, yes I do? Do I fight other people’s weaknesses? No, I don’t, Jesus asked to look at ourselves first. Just support your brothers and sisters, advice them but it’s not up to you to fight against them. Don’t decide to stop a relationship with someone because you are pure and they are sinners.


So for each one of these tribes, there were only 12 000 people chosen and this was by God’s mercy. Some people say these 144,000 people represent the church today. It might be true. The new Israel is also our church, it’s us. The people of Israel will be there, Moses and Elijah (Revelation 18) are coming soon. They will preach again and at that time, they will announce Jesus and ask people to turn to Him. After a short time, they will be killed and only 144,000 people will admit and accept Jesus as their Lord. These people will be saved.

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