Who are the 144,000 of Revelation?

Revelation 7 and 14 talk about 144,000 servants of God who are sealed for protection from God's wrath during the end time Day of the Lord. Who are they?


Our booklet The Book of Revelation Unveiled explains:

Who are these 144,000? How are they identified?

"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" (Revelation:7:4). This sealing has to do with receiving God's Holy Spirit so one may become spiritually converted. As Ephesians:1:13-14 says: "Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, [which] is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession" (NIV, compare Ephesians:4:30; 2 Timothy:2:19).

The 144,000 of Revelation 7 are mentioned again in Revelation 14, where it becomes clear that these spiritual "firstfruits" will have repented and been converted before the beginning of the Day of the Lord. They are described as being redeemed and without fault. They are represented as having a relationship both with God the Father and Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God.

"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 firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God" (Revelation:14:1-5).


shabbykat's picture

Does your church believe the 144,000 are from your chruch or that you know the number of those already gone to heaven?

Sincerely, Kat

United Church of God

United Church of God's picture

Dear Kat,

First of all, the United Church of God does not claim that only those among our fellowship are true Christians; we believe that there are true Christians in fellowships outside of United Church of God. Our members strive to repent of sin, keep the commandments of God, and put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior (Revelation:14:12).

Here is what we know about the 144,000:

They are sealed by God (Revelation:7:4 and 9:4). This sealing has to do with receiving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians:1:13-14). Once sealed, they are protected from the seven trumpet plagues described in Revelation 8 and 9.

They are the redeemed, and follow Jesus Christ wherever He goes (Revelation:14:4). The Bible does not say from which church organizations they will come, or whether some even belong to any group before they are converted. They are converted from the tribes of Israel during the tribulation, check out our BT daily on this subject at http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/news-and-prophecy/who-are-144000-r... .

Now as to your question as to whether they are in heaven, the answer is found in John:3:13, “No one has ascended to heaven.” Not even king David, a man after God’s heart (Acts:13:22) is in heaven (Acts:2:34).

Instead of going to heaven when we die, we go to the graves to await the resurrection. Jesus said in John:5:25, 28-29, “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... Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth -- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” So instead of the dead saints being alive and awake in heaven, they are asleep (Daniel:12:2 and 1 Corinthians:15:51). The dead saints will be raised back to life at the sound of the last trumpet (1 Corinthians:15:52).

If you would like more information as to what the Bible says on this subject, please request our free study guide: “Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach” (http://www.ucg.org/booklet/heaven-and-hell-what-does-bible-really-teach/ )?

Also, the prophecies in Revelation, which include a brief review of the 144,000 are expounded in our study guide “The Book of Revelation Unveiled”

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