Friday, June 2, 2023

144,000 and Great Crowd, Compared [] Sealed [] Serving as Priests

This comment below was left under the post: 
It read; 
"You imply that the 144000 and the great crowd are similar in the way that both groups have been anointed (does this therefore mean that they are given the same assignment? If not, how do their roles differ?). This makes sense as only 'priests' or anointed may "render... sacred service day and night in his temple" without defilement. Are you implying that only those who are anointed are saved and sealed to reign with Christ and worship God? If so, who do they reign over if they are all priests? If not, how may non-anointed ones serve or worship Him without defilement or be saved, or how can they become anointed? (please excuse my misunderstanding if these are simple questions as I have only begun studying the bible around 5-6 months ago)"

My response:
First you ask if all anointed receive the same assignment.
If you recall, all anointed who are joined to Christ their head, become one spirit with him because they become a part of his body 
(Eph.5:23; 4:14; 1:22-23; 1Cor.6:17; John17:21,23; 15:4-5,7-8; 1Cor.12:27).
---All anointed priests are required to produce fine fruit, which symbolizes the teaching of divine truth (Mal.2:7; 1John2:20,27). 
If you do not see that interpretation clearly (fruit=teaching), please consider this post: 
---Priests offer incense, which means to offer prayer in behalf of others 
(Luke1:9; Ps.141:2; Rev.5:8 <(note "elders"); James 5:14-15 <(note "elders"); 1Cor.6:1,2,3)
None other than priest, can offer incense or sacrifice. Yet even in this, there are specific rules. The prophet Samuel was a priest of God in the days when Saul was king of Israel. Even the king could not perform the duties of priest 
(1Sam.13:7-14; 2Chron.23:6-7). All are to observe God's law to honor the distinction God makes, between the consecrated and the common.
---All priests are to offer the sacrifice of praise to God, the "bulls" of the lips (Hosea 14:2ESV ; Heb.13:15). 

Next you ask;
"If not (all given the same assignment), how do their roles differ?

This question assumes that the role of priest cannot vary among individual priests, unless they are not given the same assignment.
As mentioned above, the general assignment of priest contains some common services. There are others in addition to the ones mentioned. 
If you remember back to the practice of anointing in Israel, it was used to manifest God's choosing of a priest or king. Although an anointed king was given the general assignment to rule God's nation; each king faced various circumstances, which he as an individual would need to be responsible for. In most cases, God would communicate to that king through a prophet, outlining particular responsibilities for that individual king.

Although there are the general assignments given to all New Covenant anointed priests, regardless of when they live; their individual roles, do differ. So may their circumstances.
How do we know this?
Well remember above that I mentioned the union of the Body members of Christ, with him as Head?
Your question, is addressed in 1Corinthians, chapter 12.
I'll quote some key verses...
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 14 And so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?"

These differences do reflect God's original Temple in Israel, which was designed as a physical pattern of the spiritual reality of heaven (2Chron.31:2; 1Chron.9:22-23,26,28-30; Heb.8:1-2,5).
Please give another look at verse 29 which reads;
"29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?"
All the apostles, prophets, and teachers in the body of Christ, are anointed into their assignment as priests. How do those assignments compare both in commonality and uniqueness?
Note that verse 28 (underlined above) shows us an order to Christ's Body. 
The apostles are primary, next are the prophets, then teachers, etc.
To show that these positions are not always fluid, those who are assigned lesser responsibility than a teacher, are given the advice of James 3:1. Yet each one's assignment includes all gifts under them. For example, the apostles can prophesy and teach. Prophets can teach. Teachers can heal, help, and guide. Yet those given less, can not will themselves to be an apostle or prophet, or even a teacher (Matt.25:14-15; 1Pet.4:10). This is further revealed at Num.3:3-4; Lev.10:1; 16:1-2.
God considers it an even greater abomination, if the priesthood is traversed by uncircumcised foreigners (Eze.44:6-7,8-9,13; 2Chron.13:9). It has been long prophesied that this exact abomination takes place in the time of the End (Matt.24:15; Dan.11:31,36; 2Thess.2:4; Rev.11:2)

That order of Christ's Body members, is also the order of God's Temple of living stones (1Pet.2:5).
The Body and Temple are the same identity, both being expressed through each symbol (body,temple)(John2:21).
We learn that at Eph.2:
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."
 Eph.2:6; Heb.12:22-23; 8:2,5

Just as the apostles are "first" and prophets are "second" (1Cor.12:28) and all the other Body parts of Christ come to follow them; At Eph.2:20, we learn the reason for that order. The "first" and "second" are the foundation.
So, to be direct...
all anointed priests are assigned to belong to the Body of Christ, and, are all living stones of God's habitation.
Yet their roles can certainly differ, even while they all offer sacred service day and night.
Even among the apostles ...their assignments differed from one another. Yet they were all apostles and foundation stones to the Holy City and the Christian faith (Rev.21:14).

You next ask;
"Are you implying that only those who are anointed are saved and sealed to reign with Christ and worship God?"

Not sure how you got this idea, and I wonder if you understand what it means to be "saved" or to be "sealed". You are connecting being "sealed to reigning with Christ" and then you hook on "and worship God".
I'll have to take that in pieces.

"Are you implying that only those who are anointed are saved?"    
       No. The role of priest is to assist others to be saved.

"Are you implying that only those who are anointed are...sealed?"
       I wonder if you know what it means to be sealed. 
It means to be spiritually marked as a slave of God. That mark is present when a person has God's Laws written on their heart and mind. God's Laws govern that one's faith, conscience, and actions. They then have the seal of God written on their forehead and hand (Deut.11:18; Rev.7:3; 14:1).

I don't know why you say "sealed to reign".
One can be sealed as a slave of God, without being a royal heir. There are those who were chosen to reign, who fail to get sealed. In fact, they even become sealed as obedient, idolater slaves of an Idol (Rev.13:16,7,10; Col.2:8; Luke 21:24; Dan.11:33).

And finally you ask; "Are you implying that only those who are anointed...worship God?"
       I'm not clear why you are asking this.
Don't you recall that the whole nation of Israel, along with foreigners, worshiped God?
Were all those worshipers, anointed kings or priests?
I assume you already know that all those who worship God, are not anointed.
Genuine anointed Kings and Priests since the time of Christ, are designated, chosen, and assigned, 
to serve God, each other, and those who desire life from Christ.

Next you ask;
"how may non-anointed ones serve or worship Him without defilement or be saved, or how can they become anointed?"

That question is two-part.

All may serve and worship God without defilement and be saved, by learning from Christ and God. God sent Christ into the world to save it. That salvation is through Christ's teaching (John6:63) because of the spirit of life and light, contained in the teaching. 
if a person has not been chosen and anointed by God to be a priest, they are not permitted to serve in that capacity. If they do enter into that service, they do defile it.

How do priests fit into the salvation of others?
I'll cite Mal.2:7 again. 
The teaching of life is symbolized as light, living water, a grapevine, or incorruptible wheat seed.
All three, originate with Jesus Christ 
(John1:4,9,14; 8:12; 4:10,14; John15:5; Luke 8:11; 1Pet.1:23; John3:34; 6:51,35).

All three, are given by spirit to God's anointed priests, to continue the ministry of Christ.
(2Cor.5:20; 4:6; 1Pet.2:9; Matt.5:14-16)(Rev.22:17)
(John15:16; Luke6:43-45; Matt.13:51-52; 7:20; Rev.22:1-3)
(1Cor.10:17; Luke 8:15; Matt.13:37-38) 
(John13:20; 1Cor.4:1; John21:17; Luke12:42)

Lastly you ask, "how may non-anointed...become anointed?"

Non-anointed become anointed, because God chooses them to be so. That assignment is not something that we can aspire to, or attain on our own. 
We recall that we previously looked at the apostles as being "first"... the foundation of God's spiritual Temple. Did they choose that position and earn it in some way?
Well, John 6:70 shows that they were chosen. (John15:16)
   If you read in the Bible, the accounts of their individual choosing, you will see that they did not anticipate when Jesus approached and chose them. It is the same when we are anointed, and Jesus circumcises our heart (Rom.2:28-29; Col.2:11NIV ). The event is unexpected and miraculous.

You brought up the distinction between the 144,000 and the Great Crowd; yet your questions did not really probe the distinction between their circumstances, nor how their responsibilities differ.

The 144000 reign with Christ DURING the symbolic thousand years (Rev.20:6). They exercise their authority to represent Christ, in the time during which, Jesus is subduing his enemies through the anointed (Mount Zion -Rev.14:1; Psalm 110:2) (Luke22:69; Ps.110:1-2; 1Cor.15:25).

When that symbolic 1,000 year period ends, Satan is released from the abyss. 
He goes off to wage war with the remaining anointed (Rev20:7-9; 17:14; 12:17). 
That enmity between Satan and his minions, against Christ and his faithful, is the period of time called the Great Tribulation which evolves into Armageddon. 
That is the era during which the Great Crowd exist (Rev.7:9,13,14,15). 

We read above in 1Cor.15:25 that Jesus rules until all enemies are subdued beneath his feet. Obviously, when Satan is released, gathers his forces, and attacks the anointed... all enemies are not yet subdued. 
1Cor.15:26 tells us that the very last enemy is "Death". That is the enemy that the Great Crowd must overcome, with Christ's help. That enemy emerges during the 4th watch. You can see God's watchman sound the warning as that enemy approaches, at Rev.6:7NKJV and Rev.6:8NKJV

The anointed kings under Christ are always charged with bringing Christ to those who want and accept him. 
The 144000 do that during Satan being restrained in the abyss. 
The Great Crowd must do that when Satan is loosed.

I hope that my reply has satisfied your need. There is a great amount of information in this entire blog site to fill in many missing pieces to this topic. Please use the search box, and feel free to follow up with additional questions if you need to.

Additional Pages for Study (coming soon)