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Who are the 144,000 of Revelation?

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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 Revelation 7:4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
American King James Version×
). This sealing has to do with receiving God's Holy Spirit so one may become spiritually converted. As Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
American King James Version×
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 Ephesians 4:30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption.
American King James Version×
; 2 Timothy 2:19 2 Timothy 2:19Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
American King James Version×
).

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 Revelation 14:1-5 1 And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
American King James Version×
).

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    Comments

  • shabbykat
    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
    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 Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
    American King James Version×
    ). Here is what we know about the 144,000: They are sealed by God (Revelation 7:4 Revelation 7:4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
    American King James Version×
    and 9:4). This sealing has to do with receiving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
    American King James Version×
    ). 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 Revelation 14:4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
    American King James Version×
    ). 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 John 3:13And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
    American King James Version×
    , “No one has ascended to heaven.” Not even king David, a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22 Acts 13:22And when he had removed him, he raised up to them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
    American King James Version×
    ) is in heaven (Acts 2:34 Acts 2:34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,
    American King James Version×
    ). Instead of going to heaven when we die, we go to the graves to await the resurrection. Jesus said in John 5:25 John 5:25Truly, truly, I say to you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
    American King James Version×
    , 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 Daniel 12:2And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
    American King James Version×
    and 1 Corinthians 15:51 1 Corinthians 15:51Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
    American King James Version×
    ). The dead saints will be raised back to life at the sound of the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52 1 Corinthians 15:52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
    American King James Version×
    ). 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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