Then I look, and there was the Lamb, standing on mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.
ESV - 1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.
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✿ The "144,000" are literally the Elite Jews" (or the ManChild) are saved during the first 3 1/2 years of tribulations of Daniel's 70th week (Rev. 7: 1- 8) immediately after the rapture. The lamb is Jesus Christ. They will be resurrected or raptured or caught up as the manchild in the middle of the seven years great tribulations in Israel. In other words, they will be raptured or caught up in Heaven, 3 1/2 years before the second coming of Christ(Rev. 12: 5 14: 1- 5 Isa. 66: 7- 8 Dan. 12: 1). They will NOT see the death but they will be transformed into glorified bodies. ✿ In Summary: ❶ The 144,000 who were sealed in Rev 7:4-8 and the 144,000 in Rev 14:1 are the same group of people. They may go through tribulations but are sealed or protected from death ❷ They are 12,000 Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel. They are sealed so that they cannot be killed by the anti-Christ. ❸ Since the church has already been raptured, these Jews become the voice of God to the nations for the Tribulation, just like they were the voice to the nations in the Old Testament (i.e. light to the Gentiles Isaiah 42:6; 49:6). That means, they proclaim the end-time gospel to the-whole Israel nation ❹ Just as God reserved 7,000 men to Himself in Elijah's day, so He is going to reserve 144,000 Jews to Himself in the first 3 1/2 years of Daniel's 70th week. (Rev 7:1-8). ❺ The 144,000 are from 12 of the 13 tribes of Israel, not Gentiles. ❻ They are not a part of the church, for the church is raptured before this (Rev 4:1). Nor could they be Jews before the rapture or in any other period outside of the first half of the last 7 years of this age. ❼ They are all Jewish MEN and not Gentiles. They are all virgins that they are NOT defiled by women ❽ The time of the fulfillment is equally proof that they are all alive at the same time ❾ Being saved in a short while after the rapture of the church in Rev 4:1 (Rev. 7:1- 8 14:1- 5). ❿ They are protected through the trumpet judgments (Rev. 7:2- 3 9:4), 5) and they will be translated as the man-child of Rev 12:5, 6) After which they are seen in heaven-- in Rev 14:1-5, which shows that the 144,000 have been translated and reveals what they are doing in heaven. (Rev. 12:5 14:1-5).
The Lamb is Christ, yes... as in the one who was slain. The 144000 are factually ethnic Jews who will be set apart to evangelize the world during the 7 year tribulation. The proof that they are Israelites is shown by the Tribes of Israel they come from. There is nothing symbolic, allegoric, spiritualized about the passage about the 144000, taking this passage literally and plainly there are 12000 from each tribe of Israel. After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad, 12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh, 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar, 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed. (Revelation 7:1-8)
I cannot find where the Bible clearly states what the 144,000 do. They certainly aren't evangelists during the tribulation period. I have yet to hear anyone prove that they are evangelists scripturally. Biblical doctrine must be interpreted precept upon precept, line upon line, and here a little there a little. Our own intellect and supposition can never replace the Bible method of interpretation.
The way I understand it, there is no question that the Lamb represents Jesus Christ skain from the foundation of the earth. The difficult one is the 144K. If taken literally, we may run into a problem with the composition of the tribes. They dont quite resemble the 12 tribes as given in the old testament. Some comentators have have stated that the 144k is made up of ethnic Jews. To me this defies the whole thrust of the Bible. Paul clearly states that Jewish reference in the Bible refers to spiritual Jews not ethnic Jews. I stand to be corrected but I think present day christians have taken over the title of Jews or God's people in the Bible. I am afraid my understanding is also limited on the composition of the 144k, but there are a few things I can point out: 1. Their charateristics are described in Rev 14 v 1, 3 &4. 2. They have the Father's name written on their foreheads, this is the seal of God as described elsewhere in Rev. 3. They sing a song that no one outside their group could learn it. This must be the experience they went through. Unless you have gone through it you can only hear it from those who did. 4. They have not defiled themselves with women, a woman in Rev represents a church. It would appear then that the 144k have not defiled themselves in a false church or religion. 5. There was no guile found in their mouth, would seem to imply that they preach the pure Gospel. 6. They are without fault before the throne of God, that applies to all of us who claim the blood of Jesus and are cleansed and no longer have sin. we stand before God as if we never sinned before. Therefore the 144k have confessed all their sin and claimed the blood of Jesus. This is my view, the 144k is a symbolic number that represents the length and breadth of the people of God from all corners of the earth. There is no limit to this number to say that there is a maximum of 144k. As a last word, dont worry if you dont understand it, believe in Jesus and one day you and me will find John in heaven and ask him some of these hard questions! We are sure to find him there! Its a question of will you be there? The formula of getting there is simple and its in the bible. I am determined with the help of the Holy Spirit to sit down with John and Paul about some of these difficult issues.
Most people are confused and think that small number will encompass the whole of God’s chosen people to eternally reside with Him in Heaven. I can most assuredly say all those who have this misconception should understand this belief is simply not the case. Think about it, if only one hundred forty-four thousand believers will be chosen to live harmoniously with Christ in Heaven there would not have been any reason for Him to be sacrificed on the Cross for the redemption of all of our sins. According to Scripture the one hundred forty-four thousand saints were sealed from the beginning and will return to earth with Jesus Christ to preach during the tribulation period as indicated in the Book of Revelations 14:1-4: “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. 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. 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. 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 first-fruits to God and to the Lamb.” It was God Himself who breathed and inspired the written Word by anointing forty authors to carry forth His prophecy from the very beginning of time (Genesis) to the final days on earth (Revelations) and it is through these Holy Words that assures us how we can be saved and achieve the ultimate goal of living with Him in everlasting paradise. Christ spoke to His disciples when He walked the earth preaching how God already prepared many mansions for all of His faithful children (John 14:2). Even though these present days are pretty much unrecognizable from generations past; God’s Word never changes and that’s why it’s imperative that we all prayerfully abide in His Word (John 15:7) and profess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, with a faithful heart believing God raised Him from the dead to be saved. (Romans 10:9-10) Deuteronomy 33:6–25 gives an account of how twelve thousand were chosen from each of the twelve tribes of Israel who were sealed by God. This number of twelve thousand multiplied by twelve tribes equates to the one hundred forty-four thousand. Another account of the one hundred forty-four thousand is found in Revelation 7:3-4. They are believers who will appear on earth commissioned by God to preach the gospel and they will sing a song that is only known to them (Revelation 14:3). They will return to earth during a time of judgment and calamity (the great tribulation) after the rapture of God’s earthly saints (true believers) and will focus on those who are lost. The following Scriptures gives an in depth account naming all of the twelve tribes. (Revelation 7:1-10): “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand.
The 144,000 probably is symbolic number rather than literal. The context is symbolic (Rev 7:1-3) mentioning the four corners of the world, the four winds of the earth, sea, earth, trees, and the seal of God. The extended context, namely Revelation 6 is also largely symbolic, for instance, the apocalyptic riders and the martyrs under the altar. The parallel text in Revelation 14:1-5 must be symbolical also - it tells that the 144,000 have not defiled themselves with women - they are virgins and follow the Lamb. It is unlikely that the 144,000 are unmarried men only. The term woman is a symbol for church in Revelation as is the term Lamb for Christ. Therefore, symbolic language is to be expected for Revelation 7:4-8. Another clue that there must be a spiritual meaning to the 144,000 is the way in which the tribes are listed in Revelation 7:5-8. This is the only time in Scripture that the names of the tribes appear in this order: Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob, is listed as second while Judah, fourth in birth order, is listed as first. Joseph and Levi are included, while Ephraim and Dan are left out. Most of the twelve tribes no longer exist today - 10 of the 12 tribes were carried away by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. (2 Kings 17:6). Only some of the 10 tribes returned to Samaria after intermarrying with the Assyrians - their descendants were the Samaritans. Therefore, it is hardly possible to find 144,000 literal Israelites according to their tribes as listed in Revelation 7 forming God's end time people. However, the NT knows descendants of Abraham that are not literal descendants (Rom 4:11-12) as well as a spiritual Israel (Rom 2:28-29; Gal 6:16). Scripture portrays the 144,000 as God's special end time church. According to Revelation 7 they are able "to stand" when Jesus returns. They are called "first fruits" which indicates that a larger harvest will be gathered and that they are not the only ones to be saved. Since they have followed the Lamb wherever it went and since they have not joined false worship they will be with Jesus on Mt. Zion and before the throne of God in his heavenly sanctuary.
What I have understood is that the lost tribes of Israel were lost during the war between Judah and Israel because Israel didn't want to follow the Torah but wanted to live like the gentiles. Ultimately the civil war took place and Judah prevailed. The northern tribes called Israel were assimilated into the gentile nations and became gentiles because their offspring were gentiles and they were not interested in following the teaching and instructions of God. This is why they waged war with Judah. These northern tribes are known as the lost tribes. The Messiah brings the lost tribes back. So the exact tribes as listed in Revelation are either those that were of those tribes before they became gentiles and were lost, or some other meaning like the ideas about the topic that are popular today. What is certain is that the northern tribes had no interest in preserving what we call Judaism which is why they waged war. Since those tribes existed long ago in ancient times, it is not likely that those tribes suddenly decided to preserve the teaching of God after losing a civil war that they fought because they didn't want to follow God. So it is unlikely that these tribes who are brought back by Messiah, hence the Lamb leading them, are people of today because the genes of those tribes have long been lost and mixed for over 2000 years.
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