LCG: 144,000 and the Rapture

A shofar made from the horn of a Greater kudu

An animal horn trumpet.


In his commentary today, LCG’s Wyatt Ciesielkahas the following:

But what about the rapture, the 144,000, the Great Multitude, etc.?  What is real?  Who should we strive to be?

Nowhere does Scripture teach a “secret rapture.”  Christ will not secretly return to spirit away His servants into heaven before the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.  This completely contradicts numerous Scriptures, including Matthew 24:26-31.  Notice 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 – both the dead and those alive will be raised incorruptible at the last trumpet! The “last trumpet” is after the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord – not before.

Scripture does reveal a group of 144,000.  Who are they?  Revelation 7:3-4 describes the 144,000 sealed from the physical tribes of Israel.  But, when are they sealed?  First, these physical Israelites endure the Great Tribulation and Satan’s wrath!  They are not counted worthy of God’s protection during the Great Tribulation (v.  14)!  But then, after the Great Tribulation, they are mercifully “sealed” during the Day of the Lord.

Scripture also reveals a “Great Multitude” (Revelation 7:9).  Unlike the 144,000, this “Great Multitude” comes from every nation, every language and every tribe.  But notice that, similar to the 144,000, many of these people also come out of the Great Tribulation.  They complete the martyrdom described in Revelation 6:11.  Just like the 144,000, they did not escape Satan’s wrath.

Must one enter into the Kingdom of God through the Great Tribulation?  Is there another way?

Revelation 3:7-13 describes God’s faithful Church at the end of this age.  These Christians earnestly strive to “imitate Jesus” in how they live and worship (1 Corinthians 11:1).  They are not perfect, but they strive to “walk as He walked” (1 John 2:6).  They practice love, and all the fruits of the Spirit.  And there is something else unique about these Christians.  They are zealous.  They are doing something.

They understand the “key of David” which includes understanding proper godly church government and also what is prophesied for modern Israel (compare Revelation 3:7-8 to Isaiah 22:21-22).  They are not distracted with the cares of this world.  They are not distracted by church politics.  They are focused.

These Christians are zealously doing the work of preaching the gospel (compare the “open door” in Revelation 3:8 with 2 Corinthians 2:12).  Just like Jesus, their “food” is to proclaim the gospel message of the coming Kingdom of God (John 4:34)!  They imitate Christ in this (1 Corinthians 11:1).

These zealous Philadelphian Christians receive God’s protection before the Great Tribulation!  They are also counted worthy to marry Christ and become trusted pillars in His Kingdom (Revelation 3:12).

The end of this age is indeed fast approaching.  Christ will return (John 14:3).  At His return, who and where will we be?

Many misunderstand end time prophecy. In LCG, we try to show people what the Bible teaches.

For more details on several of the subjects in the commentary, please check out the following articles:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Who really is left behind?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
The 18 Restored Truths: Do You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? Some have said healing, others other subjects, but probably the first change had to do with eliminating being part of the Philadelphia era. This article documents what those changes were and compares the Tkach list of restored truths to Herbert W. Armstrong’s list of restored truths. It contains many quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
Do You Believe God Used Herbert W. Armstrong to Raise Up the Philadelphia Era of the Church of God? Nearly everyone while in WCG used to believe this, most do not seem to anymore.
Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
What is a True Philadelphian? Many claim to be part of the Philadelphia era of the Church, but is claiming enough? This article has biblical and historical evidence about who really are the Philadelphians.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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