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144,000

From all the tribes of Israel


by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, May 15, 2022

Scripture quoted from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.

 

Revelation 7:1 [After the 6th seal is broken - Rev 6:12] “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so no wind could blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.

2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He shouted out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given permission to damage the earth and the sea:

3 ‘Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God!

4 Now I heard the number of those who were marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed from all the tribes of the people of Israel:

5 From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand, 6 from the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali, twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh, twelve thousand, 7 from the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand, 8 from the tribe of Zebulun, twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.” (NET)

 

Just the other day, I heard a popular televangelist say that 144,000 Jews will serve the LORD during the 7 years between the rapture of the church, and the Glorious Return of Christ for judgment. What?? The term “Jew” described people from the tribe of Judah. Revelation lists eleven other tribes, including the “tribe of Joseph” (rather than Ephraim).

      See our studies on The Rapture. Find links at the end of this study.

 


 

The tribes of Dan and Ephraim are missing, while the tribe of Manasseh is listed in addition to “the tribe of Joseph.” (Ephraim was the younger son of Joseph. Manasseh was the older son.) The list of tribes in Ezekiel Chapter 48, lists Joseph, but leaves out both Ephraim and Manasseh, as well as Dan. The tribe of Dan very early set up an idol for worship, and looked to a “priest” captured from an idol worshiping people. The story is in Judges Chapter 18.



SYMBOLIC vs. LITERAL

 

I do not believe that exactly 144,000 “virgin” males all descended from Jacob, will “stand” at the last day. The number is symbolic. Those who stand at the last day are the culmination of Christ’s work. They stand on Mount Zion, and have come to the New Jerusalem (Heb 12:22). They stand on the foundation of the 12 Apostles, and have entered through the gates named for the 12 Tribes of Israel. Twelve thousand, times twelve thousand. One hundred and forty-four thousand.

 

The 144,000 are obviously human beings because they “were purchased from among men” (Rev 14:5). Purchased - meaning “redeemed.” A “redemption price” was paid for them. They are called “the servants of our God” (Rev 7:3).



NOT DEFILED WITH WOMEN

 

Revelation 14:4-5 “These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.” (NAS)

 

The “women” with whom they have “not been defiled,” are the great Harlot, are her “daughters” (Rev 17:5). The Harlot with her “daughters” are the great system of religious and spiritual falsehood. Her “wine” is tainted with poison. The 144,000 have refused “her wine,” therefore “no lie” - no guile or deception, is found in their mouths. They speak the truth. They have a “pure” faith, founded upon the Word of God.

 

They “are without fault before the Throne of God, because their sins have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb. They “keep the commandments of God” - all Ten of them, including the Sabbath of the 7th Day.

 

Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon [Satan] was enraged with the woman [Israel], and went off to make war with the rest [remnant] of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (NAS)



 

NOTE: When the 7th Trumpet is sounded, Heaven will be opened, and the Ark of His Covenant will be seen. The Ten Commandments of that Covenant will be the standard at the judgment.



THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL

 

Revelation 12:17 “So the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep God's commandments and hold to the testimony about Jesus. (NET)

 

The “woman” who gave birth to Messiah, was Israel. The “rest of her children” are “the remnant of Israel. Israel today, is made up of Hebrews and non-Hebrews who believe in Yeshua as the Christ, and Son of God. Who also serve Him. Gentile believers are “grafted in” to Israel, through their faith in Yeshua Messiah. The unbelieving are “broken off” - from the Olive Tree (Jer 11:16 and Romans Chapt Eleven). They are “cut off” from Israel. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father, but by me.”



WHO IS ABLE TO STAND?

 

Revelation 6:12 “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”

 

Answer: The 144,000 will stand before God the Father, and before Yeshua Messiah at the great day of the Lamb’s wrath - poured out as 7 Trumpet judgments and as plagues of wrath from 7 Bowls.

 

When the 7th seal on the scroll is broken by the Lamb (Rev 5:1-7) it is time for the first Trumpet to sound. Before that Trumpet is sounded, the 144,000 are sealed.


    


 

Revelation 14:1-4 “And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.

4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.” (NAS)



THE CONTEXT

 

The context for Revelation 14:1-5 is the Beast’s 1260 day rule. The 144,000 will stand with Christ during this time of worldwide persecution. They will stand on Mount Zion in a spiritual sense. According to Hebrews 12:22-24, all believers “have come to Mount Zion” - “the heavenly Jerusalem,” to God the Father, and to Christ. They are “registered in heaven” in the Book of Life.


            What then separates the 144,000 from the total body of the redeemed? Answer: The timing.

The 144,000 will stand through the period of the Beasts rule. They are “the remnant” - the last believers living on the earth, just prior to the Glorious Return.


 

THE GREAT MULTITUDE

 

The 144,000 are called “the first fruits,” implying a larger harvest to follow. That harvest is described as a “great multitude” of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, clothed with white robes and waving palm branches of victory

      (Rev 7:9-17).

 

The “firstfruits” (#01061 bikkuwr) was an offering presented at the Temple, of the very first fruits or grains to ripen. There were multiple “harvests” in Ancient Israel, therefore there were several “firstfruits” offerings. The Feast of Firstfruits that followed Passover, celebrated the first harvest of each year - the barley harvest. Christ was the “Firstfruits” offering, who fulfilled that prophecy (1Cor 15:23). The 144,000 are “firstfruits” of the final great harvest of this age. Christ himself will call millions from the dust on the day of His glorious return (Dan 12:2-3).



 

NOTE: The “saints” who were resurrected by Christ just after He was himself raised, constituted the Spring “harvest.” Those saints ascended with Yeshua, who presented them to His Father. We are not told the names of those saints. It is probable that many from the Old Testament era were raised, and now serve as “the twenty four elders” before God’s throne.

 

King David divided the priesthood of his day, into twenty-four “courses” (1Chron Chapt 24). They came up by rotation to serve at the Temple. It is likely there are far more than just 24 resurrected saints now serving in the Father’s House.

 

The Great Multitude are said to have “come out of the great tribulation.” “The great tribulation” may refer to the final period of the Beast’s rule. It’s possible. But it’s difficult to see how a multitude “without number” could come out of that short time period.

 

“The great tribulation” may refer to the entire 6000 years of Satan’s domination. I’m sure the angels of God regard what has happened here as one long “tribulation.” Human beings down through the millennia, have endured hardship. All have been “tested.” Paul said, “the whole creation travails in pain, longing to be delivered” (Romans 8:2).

 

The “great multitude” is composed of those who “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Perhaps the “great tribulation” should be understood as the period from the Cross to the Glorious Return. Two thousand years could certainly produce a great multitude.

 

They are dressed in white robes. Such were the garb of the Tabernacle priests. We learn from Revelation 20:6, that all those from “the first resurrection” will become “priests of God and of Christ” to rule with Him over the nations who are raised at the 8th millennium (Rev 20:5).

 

NOTE: There was a resurrection of saints on the day that Christ himself was raised (Matthew 27:51-53). Some argue that resurrection was “the first resurrection.” I disagree. From John’s perspective - looking forward, the next great resurrection would take place at the Glorious Return. The Glorious Return “resurrection” is called the “first,” because it is contrasted with a second and final resurrection 1000 years later, at the 8th millennium - the resurrection of “the rest of the dead” (Revelation 20:5). See our study: “The 8th Day.”

 


THE TIMING

 

The 144,000 are sealed

                  after the 6th seal is broken,

                        and before the 7th seal is broken.

                              The Scroll has not unrolled.

                                    The first Trumpet has not sounded.


 

Revelation 7:1 “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. 2 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, 3 saying, ‘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 thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:”

 

When the 6th seal is broken, “another angel . . . having the seal of the living God” cries out to the four angels who are holding back the four winds. “Wait! Til we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” The 7th seal is not yet broken. The scroll has not yet unrolled. The first Trumpet has not yet been sounded.

 

NOTE: The four angels “harm the earth and sea” by letting go “the four winds” of destruction. Up to this point they have been exercising powerful restraint. The angels of God fight with the evil ones, who seek to control the rulers of nations. The angel who spoke with Daniel said, “the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days” (Dan 10:13). In verse 20, he mentions “the prince of Persia” and “the prince of Greece.” These were powerful angels of Satan, who sought to drive those human kings to annihilate the Jews. Satan is the destroyer, not the angels of God (Rev 9:11). See Revelation 9:4.

      See our study: “The Wrath of God - a Different View.”



THE SEALED

 

Revelation 14:1 “And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.”

 

NOTE: The King James Version omits the name of Christ from the seal. Revelation 3:12 includes both names. “And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name(Rev 3:12). It is interesting that two names are written, not three -

      1. that of the Father, and 2. that of Christ the Son.

 

Revelation 9:4 “They [the “locusts” released from the bottomless pit by the “star fallen from heaven”] were told not to damage the grass of the earth, or any green plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their forehead.” (NET)


 

The seal may be visible to angels, or the evil ones may simply find the sealed of God heavily guarded by the angels under Christ’s command.



THE SEAL OF GOD

 

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” (NAS)


Ephesians 1:13 “Having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

 

Ephesians 4:30 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (NAS)


            The SEAL of GOD is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is given to us through Christ.

 

The word “sealed,” when used in reference to NT believers, is in the Greek aorist tense (a tense foreign to the English). The aorist tense indicates that the sealing process has begun. That process, if not derailed, will end in a completed or perfected sealing. When the word appears in the perfect tense, it means the sealing is complete.

 

In every New Testament verse containing the word “sealed,” that word is in the aorist tense UNTIL Revelation 7:4. “I saw the number of those who were sealed.” Here the word “sealed” is in the perfect tense. The 144,000 are perfectly “sealed.” In them, the process is complete.

Until that day, we are “sealing to be sealed” (aorist tense). We will be “sealed” (perfect tense) as we continue “in Him” by faith.



The SEAL of Revelation 7:2

is a special, most powerful Spirit anointing

FOR the final days


that begin with the first Trumpet.










THE MESSENGER - with THE SEAL

 

Revelation 7:2 “Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, who had the seal of the living God.” (NET)I contend this messenger is Christ.


 

1. The SEAL of GOD is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is given to us through Christ. John the Baptist prophesied concerning Christ, “He will baptize you with the holy Spirit, and fire(Matt 3:11, Luke 3:16, Mark 1:8, John 1:33).

 

2. Some may object to Christ being called an “angel.” The word “angel” simply means “messenger.” Who is the Father’s chief messenger? Answer: His Son. He is “the Angel of the LORD” - “the Messenger of the Covenant,” who led Israel through the wilderness and spoke from the fiery pillar. Compare 1Thessalonians 4:16, with John 6:40,44, and 54.


      1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with         the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall         rise first:”


    John 6:40 and 44 and 54 [Christ speaking] I will raise him up at the last day

 

John 5:25 “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.”

 

Conclusion: Christ IS the Archangel who raises the dead, and He is the Messenger from the East, who commands the destroying angels to wait until He has sealed the remnant.

               


A SPECIAL PEOPLE - FOR A TERRIBLE TIME

 

The 144,000 will be a special people, called for a time of great persecution and great deception. The Beast will seek to silence them by every means. They will stand for Christ, against the Beast, his Harlot, and his False Prophet. To strengthen them for this time, they will receive a special anointing of the Spirit. As God the Father “sealed” His Son at the start of His ministry (John 6:27), so Christ will seal the 144,000 prior to the sounding of Revelation’s First Trumpet.

 

I believe the 144,000 will include all believers who live during the period of the Beast’s rule. I believe this because the demons are commanded NOT to harm anyone with the Seal of God. The 144,000 are all sealed. I do not believe that Jesus would leave any servant believer without His protection during the Trumpet judgments. We have a TYPE - the story of His protection of Israel from the last seven plagues against Pharaoh and the Egyptians.

 

NOTE: Such protection does not mean that all believers will be exempted from suffering or prison, or even death. It means that believers cannot be controlled or tormented by demons.





 

No one is looking forward to that time. We are looking beyond that time, to the Kingdom of God. We have the assurance of our LORD, that He will be with us to strengthen and preserve us, and we have the example of others who stood firm, even unto death.

 


We pray this study will prove a blessing.

Prophecy Viewpoint



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Prelude to the Trumpets” “Trumpets and Bowls


A Secret Rapture? - Part One


The 8th Day - Introduction





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