Seven Thousands, Old and New

The Days of Vengeance, by David Chilton, page 285.

For clearly symbolic, Biblical-theological reasons, St. John tells us that seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake. Ultimately, the Earth-and-Heavenquake brought by the New Covenant killed many more than seven thousand. But the number represents the exact reverse of the situation in Elijah’s day. In 1 Kings 19:18, God told Elijah that 7,000 in Israel remained faithful to the covenant. Even then, it was most likely a symbolic number, indicating completeness (seven) multiplied by many (one thousand). In other words, Elijah should not be discouraged, for he was not alone. God’s righteous elect were numerous, and the whole number was present and accounted for. On the other hand, however, they were in the minority. But now, in the New Covenant, the situation is reversed. The latter-day Elijahs, the faithful witnesses in the Church, are not to be dismayed when it seems as if God is destroying all Israel, and the faithful are few in number. For this time it is the apostates, the Baal-worshipers, who are the “seven thousand in Israel.” The tables have been turned. In the Old Testament, only “7000” faithful existed; in the New Testament, only “7000” are wicked. They are destroyed, and the rest – the overwhelming majority – are converted and saved: The rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven – Biblical language for conversion and belief (cf. Josh. 7:19; Isa. 26:9; 42:12; Jer. 13:16; Matt. 5:16; Luke 17:15-19; 18:43; 1 Pet. 2:12; Rev. 14:7; 15:4; 16:9; 19:7; 21:24). The tendency in the New Covenant age is judgment unto salvation.

In the old days, in the time of Elijah, only 7000 were loyal to God: everyone else bent the knee to Baal.

In the New Covenant, in the time of the Apostle John, only 7000 were disloyal to God: the rest bent the knee to God.

And that was two thousand years ago. Now, tens of millions, even hundreds of millions, fear Christ above the local Baals.

“Who you fear is who you worship.”

And this number will only increase as the two greatest idols of the age, the Church (as a power-and-control oriented organization, instead of the Body of Christ) and the State, dry up and blow away.

Indeed, the denominations are hardly a shadow of itself. And with the judgement on the House of God being close to complete (points to the shattered ruins), the wrath of God can now be directed outward, to the Chairmen and Presidents, the Prime Ministers and the (few surviving) Kings.

Our first priority is the kingdom of God and Christian nations, not churches, and until we stop idolising the Church, which John Owen so aptly described as the greatest idol that ever was in the world,* and obey the Lord Jesus’ command to disciple nations things will continue to go wrong, as they are so evidently doing now.


 * An Inquiry into the Original, Nature, Institution, Powers, Order, and Communion of Evangelical Churches in Works (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust [Goold Edition, 1850–53], 1965), Vol. XV, p. 224f.

Church Planting – Totally Cockeyed! by Stephen C. Perks

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