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The book of Revelation has always presented the interpreter with challenges. The book is steeped in vivid imagery and symbolism which people have interpreted differently depending on their preconce...
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 are 12,000 Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel. They are sealed so that they cannot be killed by the anti-Christ. 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). 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). The 144,000 are from 12 of the 13 tribes of Israel, not Gentiles. 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. Why Dan and Ephraim Not Sealed? The names of Dan and Ephraim are not mentioned here; Levi and Joseph take their places. To explain the omission of Dan, many use Dt. 29:18- 21, but which one of the tribes did not go into idolatry? The real reason for none of Dan being sealed here is that none are servants of God at that time (Rev. 7:3). Dan will be restored with the other tribes in the Millennium, so the idolatry of Dan is no reason for the tribe being left out here (Ezek. 48:30- 35 Rev. 21:12). This tribe 'Levi' is not ordinarily listed with the 12 tribes of Israel, being the ministers of the nation; but in this case Dan is left out because none of that tribe have yet turned to God in the revival saving the 144,000 Jews (Rev. 7:3). Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. The fact that 12,000 out of 12 of the 13 tribes of Israel are mentioned as being saved and as being servants of God during these first 3 1/2 years of Daniel's 70th week proves the following: 1) They are all Jews and not Gentiles. 2) The time of the fulfillment is equally proof that they are all alive at the same time, 3) Being saved in a short while after the rapture of the church in Rev. 4:1 (Rev. 7:1- 8 14:1- 5). 4) They are protected through the trumpet judgments (Rev. 7:2- 3 9:4), 5) 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).
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