The Bride of Christ- The people who God chooses to be saved in this life, through His gift of faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, before they die and before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are called His Elect. All people fall into one of two categories, Elect, those who become believers or non-Elect, those who remain unbelievers. However, the non-Elect unbelievers are not condemned to a so-called hell of eternal torture or annihilation. Ultimately, in God’s time and in His order extending beyond this Age, all people, without a single exception, are destined to be saved and reconciled to God through His gift of faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God is working out His Plan for All in Ages. Throughout the Ages from Adam up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, during this life, God’s purpose is to save only a few called and chosen people who are His Elect, also called the Firstfruits. God is not desperately trying to save the whole world during this life, and Satan is not winning hands down by taking all unbelievers, the non-Elect who are the overwhelming majority of humanity, to a so-called hell or annihilate them, when they die. These multitudes, billions upon billions of unsaved people, are not lost forever because God will save all of them after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as detailed in Chapters 11 and 12.
A key focus of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the story of God’s Elect. Abel was the first of God’s Elect mentioned in the Bible. Let us now consider the story of Abel and Cain and learn the very important truth of the doctrine of Election right from the dawn of man’s history.
The true religion of Abel and the false religion of Cain
2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
Abel and Cain were two brothers, sons of Adam and Eve. Why did God accept Abel’s offering of the firstborn of his flock of sheep, but reject Cain’s offering of the fruit of the ground?
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
In this verse, God testifies that by faith Abel was righteous. Abel had been given the gift of God’s saving faith and the covering of God’s Righteousness. This is why God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s offering. Abel’s offering of the firstborn of his flock of sheep represented Abel’s faith in the sacrificial offering on the cross of God’s only begotten Son, His Firstborn, who is Jesus Christ the Lamb of God. However, Cain’s offering represented his own self-righteous human faith, which was unacceptable to God. Abel was one of God’s Elect, but Cain was not.
Cain and Abel represent two religions, false religion and true religion. There are only two religions in this world: the religion of human self-righteous faith, and the religion of God-given God Righteous faith. All of man’s religions are false religions based on human faith with self-righteous works, which do not please God. However, true religion is based on God-given faith with God-righteous works, which do please God. It is important to understand that saving faith is not of ourselves, but it is a gift from God, and Jesus Christ Himself is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It is impossible to please God through human self-righteous faith and effort; no matter how sincere people might be. The Bible says that without faith (true God-given faith) it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
The only way to please God is to believe the Gospel, through the gift of God-given faith, that Jesus Christ, Yeshua Elohim, is indeed God’s only begotten Son and the Saviour of the whole world. The Bible says that the Gospel was preached to the men of faith (God’s Elect) in the Old Testament, such as Abraham and Moses (Galatians 3:8, Hebrews 11:26). Like Abraham and Moses, Abel had the gift of God-given faith to believe the Gospel.
The same is true for all of the people of faith in the Old Testament like Noah, Sarah, Lot, King David, the harlot Rahab, Samson and others mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11. None of God’s Elect was righteous by himself or herself. All of God’s Elect in the Old Testament sinned in a number of ways, as God’s Elect are also capable of doing today. However, all of God’s Elect are forgiven and sinless in God’s eyes because they are covered with God’s Righteousness by His gift of faith to believe the Gospel.
It is very important to understand that God’s Elect Believers are very few in number, called and chosen in this life through the gift of God-given faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are called and chosen from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Christ says that many are called (many will hear the true Gospel) but few are chosen (few will respond), and that there are only a few who will be saved by God-given faith during this life before they die (Matthew 22:14, Luke 13:23-24).
How few are the few? The Bible clearly reveals that God’s Elect Believers, the Firstfruits, who will rise in the First Resurrection when Jesus Christ returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom on earth, are only 144,000. We know that this will surprise and even shock some of our readers, but this is the truth of the Bible that we will now prove from Scripture.
The 144,000 Firstfruits
In the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant of the Law, God required from the Israelites the offering of the first fruits of the ground and the first-born of their animals (Exodus 23:19, Nehemiah 10:35-36). It was a time of thanksgiving for God’s provision. The Law of the First Fruits was in fact pointing towards the time when God Himself would offer His only begotten Son, the firstborn over all creation, (John 3:16, Colossians, 1 John 2:2), to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world. So, the meaning of the Firstfruits becomes very profound when we understand that Jesus Christ Himself, is referred to as the Firstfruits.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
Christ is indeed the First of the Firstfruits, and afterwards those who are Christ’s at His coming, referring to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, the meaning of the Firstfruits is entirely spiritual. It refers to the group of people whom God will save, during this life, before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations. They will be the First Group of people that God will save and they are God’s Elect, the Bride of Christ, the 144,000 Firstfruits, who will be resurrected in the First Resurrection when Christ returns, as explained in detail in the next chapter, Chapter 10.
Let us now see that this group of people, the Firsfruits, will number only 144,000 in total.
Revelation 14:1, 4b
1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
4b These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
Please note that only 144,000 redeemed people, being the Firstfruits, will be with Jesus Christ when He returns to Mount Zion, at His Second Coming.
The important Bible truth we all need to accept is that God has purposed, from the foundation of the world, that only 144,000 human beings from Adam up until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be the Firstfruits, and only they will have the revelation of who the true Son of God is, and only they will believe the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and only they will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and only they will rise in the First Resurrection at the return of Jesus Christ, and only they are referred to as the Bride of Christ. The rest of humanity remains as unbelievers in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, nobody is lost forever because all are destined to be saved, but after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Since there is the harvest of the Firstfruits, it follows therefore that there has to be more fruits. Scripture is clear that the rest of humanity, who are the Great Harvest, will be saved either during the Millennial Age of the Kingdom of God or during the Great White Throne Judgement Age, through God’s refining and purifying judgement of them in the Lake of Fire, as we explain in detail in Chapters 11 and 12.
The Bible uses various names when referring to the 144,000 Firstfruits. These amongst others are: God’s Elect (Romans 8:33), the Saints (Psalm 89:7, Romans 15:25), the Church (Ephesians 5:25), Believers (Acts 5:14), the Bride of Christ (Revelation 21:9, 22:17), the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16), the Lamb’s Wife (Revelation 21:9), the Holy City (Revelation 21:2), Jerusalem Above or New Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26, Revelation 21:2), and a Remnant according to the Election of Grace (Romans 11:5).
So then, who is the great multitude spoken of in Revelation 7:9-10? Apostle John talks about a great multitude of saved people clothed with white robes, which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues. Who are these saved people in this great multitude? Since the Firstfruits are only the few 144,000, then this great multitude cannot be the Firstfruits. This great multitude of hundreds of millions of people from all nations consists of those who survive the Great Tribulation, and they are destined (elected) to be saved during the Millennial Kingdom of God, afterthe Second Coming of Jesus Christ. We explain this in detail in Chapter 11, The Millennial Age of the Kingdom of God.
The 144,000 Firstfruits from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations
Israel is God’s chosen nation. However, the majority of Israelites die as unbelievers. Paul says in Romans Chapters 9-11 that it was never God’s purpose to save all Israelites before they die, except for God’s Elect who are called the remnant according to the election of grace.
5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Please understand what these scriptures above say: God has blinded (temporarily) the nation of Israel except for God’s Elect who are a remnant according to the election of grace. In God’s Plan for the salvation of all, God has purposely blinded Israel, until He has first called and chosen not only His Jewish Elect but also a set number of His Gentile Elect, who together form the 144,000 Firstfruits.
The 144,000 Firstfruits, the Spiritual Jews
A very important Bible truth which must be understood is that the 144,000 Firstfruits, from both the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations, are Spiritual Jews or Spiritual Israel. They spiritually belong to the Commonwealth of Israel, counted as spiritual sons of Abraham, and they are the spiritual Israel of God, spiritually belonging to the twelve Tribes of Israel. Let us now refer to the relevant scriptures, proving this very important Bible truth.
The New Covenant is made with Israel, not with Gentiles
Throughout the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, Israel remains at the centre of God’s Plan for All. All covenants since Abraham, including the New Covenant, have been made with Israel.
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
The New Covenant that God made with Israel is repeated in the New Testament in Hebrews 8: 8-12. When Jesus Christ was on this earth, He spoke to His fellow Jews, not to Gentiles, when He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).
Jesus Christ says that Salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and so Gentiles must become spiritual Jews in order to benefit from the New Covenant made with Israel. The way to become a spiritual Jew is to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, who Himself was born a Jew into the tribe of Judah in God’s chosen nation of Israel.
Gentile Believers spiritually belong to the Commonwealth of Israel
11 who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Yes, all Gentile believers spiritually belong to the commonwealth of Israel and they are counted as spiritual Jews as Romans 2:29 says, ‘He is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.’
Gentile Believers, through faith, are counted as spiritual sons of Abraham
6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
Notice that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and that only those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham, meaning the spiritual sons of Abraham. The faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed the gift of the same faith that God granted to Abraham ‘when he believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness‘. This same ‘Abrahamic faith’ is granted to God’s Elect, the Firstfruits, from both the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations, and they are the spiritual sons of Abraham. God appointed Abraham to be the Father of the Jewish nation, however, all unbelieving physical sons of Abraham, the cut off branches from the Holy Tree of Israel, are not yet the spiritual sons of Abraham.
The Spiritual Israel of God
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
Jewish Elect Believers together with Gentile Elect Believers are the spiritual Israel of God. They are the 144,000 Firstfruits, who will rise as the Bride of Christ in the First Resurrection to meet their Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, at His Second Coming when He returns to establish the Millennium Kingdom of God on earth.
The phrase, ‘the Israel of God’ in the scripture above, has been fiercely debated by ‘Christians’ who believe in the two opposing theologies known as Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism. It is not our intention to explain them in detail because there are many books and websites that give detailed explanations about them. However, we need to point out for the benefit of our readers, that both of these two systems of theology have a mixture of truth and error, and therefore, they are essentially both unbiblical theologies.
The Holy Olive Tree of Israel
In Romans Chapter 11 (Romans 11:16-24), Apostle Paul makes it clear that all unbelieving Jews are the temporarily broken off branches from their Holy Olive Tree of Israel, and in place of them, God is grafting in a set number of Gentile Elect referred to as branches from a Wild Olive Tree.
Romans 11:16-20, 24
16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
Let us clearly understand what Apostle Paul is actually saying in these verses.
Verse 24 speaks about two olive trees, a cultivated olive tree and a wild olive tree. The nation of Israel represents the cultivated olive tree, but the Gentile nations represent the wild olive tree.
Verse 16 says that the Root of the Olive Tree of Israel, referred to as the Firstfruit, is Holy. In 1 Corinthians 15:23, Paul says that Christ is the Firstfruits. So here, we need to understand that since the Root of the Olive Tree of Israel is Jesus Christ Himself who is Holy, therefore, the whole of the Olive Tree of Israel with all its branches, is also Holy.
Verse 17 says that ‘some’ of the natural branches of the Holy Olive Tree of Israel were broken off, and verse 20 tells us that it was because of unbelief that they were broken off. However, the correct meaning of verse 17, in accordance with the original Greek (ei tis), is that most (not some) of the natural branches of the Holy Olive Tree of Israel were broken off because of unbelief. This meaning is in line with Romans 5:7 when it says, ‘What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.’
Verse 17 confirms God’s amazing purpose for temporarily cutting off all of the unbelieving branches from the Holy Olive Tree of Israel. This is for the purpose of grafting branches from ‘the wild olive tree’ into the Holy Olive Tree of Israel. These grafted in Gentile believers, together with God’s Elect believers from the nation of Israel, are the Spiritual Israel, the 144,000 Firstfruits, and they all spiritually belong to the twelve Tribes of Israel.
It is very important to understand that the Holy Olive Tree of Israel with its Holy Root represents Jesus Christ and His 144,000 Firstfruits, God’s Elect believers. It represents Jesus Christ (the Bridegroom) with His Bride, who are the few that are called and chosen from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Only these few, the 144,000 Firstfruits, will be resurrected at the First Resurrection in their saved, immortal and glorified bodies to enter the Millennial Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ on His return to earth.
The Lamb and the 144,000 Firstfruits
1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
We have already looked at a part of this scripture previously in this chapter. However, let us now consider this scripture in greater detail. This is an amazingly clear and exciting scripture. It speaks about a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand and the scripture confirms that they are the Firstfruits.
This is a clear picture of Jesus Christ ruling and reigning from Mount Zion with His resurrected saints, the Firstfruits, when He returns to establish the Millennial Kingdom of God on earth. Notice that the Firstfruits are exactly 144,000, and they are redeemed from among men. They are indeed the Firstfruits, the Spiritual Israel who are God’s Elect from the twelve Tribes of Israel together with a set number of Gentile Elect grafted into the Holy Olive Tree of Israel, as discussed previously in this chapter. These 144,000 are the total number of God’s Elect believers from throughout the Ages, beginning with Abel until the last Elect believer, called and chosen, before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
They have Father God’s name written on their foreheads, which is the name Elohim, Father God’s Family name. They have been adopted into the Family of God through the gift of God-given faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and certainly they will have the same Family name as their Father God, the name Elohim. They are virgins, the pure and holy Bride of Christ, and they are without fault because they have been made righteous by the gift of God’s saving faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “For I have betrothed you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. “For I have betrothed you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
Revelation 14:3 above says, ‘They sang as it were a new song before the throne’. This new song that they will sing is given in Revelation 5:9-10, which is:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
Only the 144,000 will be able to learn this new song, because, being the Firstfruits it only applies to them as they alone will be the Bride of Christ. The rest of humanity are still to be redeemed when the Bride of Christ sings this new song at the return of Jesus Christ to establish the Millennial Kingdom of God on earth.
The 144,000 Firstfruits spiritually belong to the twelve Tribes of Israel
In Revelation 7:3-8, the Bible speaks about 144,000 servants of God who shall be sealed in their foreheads before the start of the Great Tribulation. These servants of God are described as being from the twelve Tribes of Israel, with 12,000 from each Tribe.
3 “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousands of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.
Who are these 144,000 servants of God from each of the twelve Tribes of Israel? Are they the same 144,000, the Firstfruits, referred to in Revelation 14:1-5 as discussed previously, or, are they an additional number of Israelites who are also God’s redeemed people and hence, they are also included in the Firstfruits, making 288,000 Firstfruits in total?
One thing we can be sure about is that the Bible is the Word of God and it does not contradict itself. Revelation 14:1-5 is abundantly clear that the Firstfruits, ‘redeemed among men’, are 144,000 in total, and no more. So, we can be sure that both Revelation 7:4-8 and Revelation 14:1-5 are talking about the same 144,000 Firstfruits, the Spiritual Israel of God which includes all of the Gentile Elect believers grafted into the Holy Olive Tree of Israel.
It must be understood that the 144,000 above are not the literal Tribes of Israel, as the first reading of this passage might seem to suggest, but they are the Spiritual Israel which includes all of the Gentile Elect believers grafted into the Holy Olive Tree of Israel, as discussed previously in this section. The 144,000 sealed Israelites from the twelve tribes of Israel, as referred to in Revelation 7:1-8, are indeed the Spiritual Israel, the Firstfruits, from both the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations.
The Holy City,New Jerusalem, spiritually represents the 144,000 Firstfruits
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21: 9b-11
9 “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
These scriptures confirm that the Holy City, New Jerusalem, is in fact the spiritual name for the Bride of Christ, the Lamb’s Wife, who are God’s Elect Saints, the 144,000 Firstfruits, all of those who will rise in the First Resurrection.
The Holy City, New Jerusalem, is described in spiritual terms in Revelation 21:11-24. It is a huge city, a perfect cube with the dimension of approximately 1400 miles. It has foundations, walls, gates and pillars made of gold and other precious stones. However, these are not physical structures, but they all spiritually represent God’s redeemed people, the Bride of Christ, the Spiritual Israel, the Firstfruits. The scripture below tells us who the Holy City actually represents.
12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Please note that the Holy City represents the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Again, we see that God’s Elect Believers from the Gentile nations are not mentioned. This is because all of God’s Elect Believers from the Gentile nations are part of the Spiritual Israel of God as the grafted in branches, and they are included in the twelve tribes of Israel, as we have seen in the twelve Tribes of Israel referred to in Revelation 7:4-8.
So, it is clear that the Holy City, New Jerusalem, is another name for the Bride of Christ. She is indeed the Holy Olive Tree of Israel, the Firstfruits, the few 144,000, called and chosen from throughout the ages before the Second Coming of Christ, from both the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations. They will rise in the First Resurrection to rule and reign with Christ, when He returns to earth to establish His Millennial Kingdom.
Only God’s Elect, the 144,000 Firstfruits, are drawn to Christ by Father God in this life
Jesus says that no one can come to Him except those whom the Father draws to Him, and all that the Father gives to Jesus will come to Him.
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
Only God’s Elect, His Sheep, the 144,000 Firstfruits from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations, can hear Christ’s voice and are capable of following Him during this life before His Second Coming.
26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
Please refer to the previous chapter, Chapter 8, to understand that Father God Himself must first reveal the truth of the Son of God to us, before we come to know the Father through the Son, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
God’s Elect, the 144,000 Firstfruits, are chosen and predestined for salvation from before the foundation of the world
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible is clear that God’s Elect are chosen and predestined for salvation from before the foundation of the world. We believe that the majority of God’s Elect from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations, the 144,000, are yet to be called and chosen before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, through the preaching of the true Gospel, as prophesied by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:14, ‘And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.’
God has a special purpose and a special salvation for His Elect, the 144,000 Firstfruits
1 Timothy 4:9-11
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.
God is indeed the Saviour of all men as the scripture above declares, but He gives a special salvation to those who believe in this life before Christ’s Second Coming. These who believe are God’s Elect Believers, the 144,000 Firstfruits, from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations. They are the Spiritual Israel, the Bride of Christ, who will have the privilege of rising in the First Resurrection for a special purpose. Let us now understand this special purpose for God’s Elect Believers.
The glorious purpose of the 144,000 Firstfruits – the Bride of Christ
The relationship between Christ and His Church (God’s Elect Believers) is a marriage relationship described in the Bible as a great mystery.
31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Why is the relationship between Christ and the Church described as a great mystery? What is so mysterious or secret about it? Here is an amazing and glorious revelation about God’s true Church, the Spiritual Israel, the Holy Olive Tree of Israel, the Bride of Christ, who is God’s Elect Believers from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations.
Jesus Christ will marry His Bride in His Millennial Kingdom, which Jesus will establish when He returns to earth.
7 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
So, what is the purpose of the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride? Christ and His Bride are the Firstfruits. Jesus Christ is the First of the Firstfruits because He was the first to be resurrected from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22-23). All true believers, God’s Elect, are the Firstfruits with Jesus Christ because they will rise in the First Resurrection.
Since there are Firstfruits, there has to be more fruits. The glorious purpose of God’s Elect Believers, the Firstfruits, His Bride, is that after Jesus Christ marries her, there will be the Great Harvest of more fruits to follow, birthed from this marriage (Matthew 9:35-38).
After His Second Coming, the union of Jesus Christ with His Bride will bear multiple billions of spiritual children born into the Kingdom of God. These spiritual children are none other than the Great Harvest of the rest of humanity who will rise in the Second Resurrection at the end of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, and through God’s Righteous judgement, all of them will ultimately enter the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth.
We cover the subject of salvation for the rest of humanity in detail in Chapter 12, The Great White Throne Judgement Age – Part 1.
How can you be sure that you are God’s Elect, one of the 144,000 Firstfruits?
Ultimately, only God knows who His Elect few are. However, you can have the personal assurance that you are indeed one of God’s Elect if you have the revelation of who the true Christ of the Bible is, the only Begotten Son of God, and His finished work on the cross for the universal salvation of all, without a single exception, as explained in detail in Chapters 3 and 8.
Next – Chapter 10, The Second Coming of Jesus Christ