Focus on what scripture says when it comes to these parts of prophecy. You will always be on safe ground.
[Darris McNeely] One of our Beyond Today viewers writes in with a question, “Who are the 144,000 of Revelation chapter 7 and 14? And specifically, how are they identified?” A lot of people have speculated about this mysterious group of people that in one sense very little is described in the book of Revelation about this group and yet in another sense, we know quite a bit or enough to perhaps make some points of understanding that I think all of us can recognize and appreciate from God’s Word.
[Steve Myers] Yeah, it’s interesting—sometimes we skip over what the Bible actually says and it’s fun to get into all kinds of speculations, but I think it’s most interesting when you really stick to what the Word says. So when you begin to look at what the 144,000, who they are, how they’re described, we notice in chapter 7 it talks about those that are sealed. It says the number was sealed, this is in verse 4, 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel. And so the first thing we begin to see is that these were literal people. These were descendants of Israel. And then it goes ahead and lists those…(Revelation 7:4-8 Revelation 7:4-8 4 And 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.
5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
American King James Version×)
[Darris McNeely] The 12 tribes of Israel.
[Steve Myers] of the 12 tribes. And so they’re listed. 12,000 from each of those tribes, except for Dan. But when you add that all up, if you’re a mathematician, you’ve got 12 times the 12,000…
[Darris McNeely] Which is 144,000.
[Steve Myers] And so you’ve got the 144,000, that’s a mathematical square, a number of completion, and so we begin to see that it’s indicating something.
[Darris McNeely] Well, I think also one point to make about the twelve tribes of Israel is that at least at this point in time toward the end of the age, God knows who the tribes are, where they are, and He has that in His knowledge and they’re not lost. So…
[Steve Myers] They’re not lost.
[Darris McNeely] So it does speak physically about them, but in Revelation chapter 14, the 144,000 are mentioned once again and there we have more information that, in a sense, expands an understanding for us because it says in verse 1 that they have the Father’s name written on their foreheads, which implies a relationship with God. Also, in verse 4 it says that these are virgins; they are ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men being first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And so they have a spiritual relationship with the Father and with Jesus Christ, which tells us that they are first fruits and they have made a commitment to God. I think that’s the most important thing to understand (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×).
[Steve Myers] Right. In chapter…If you flip back to chapter 7 it says, “These are the ones to come out of the Great Tribulation,” that’s verse 14, “and wash their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” They’re converted individuals. They have a relationship with God. They’ve come out of the tribulation, and in fact, after that it says there are those of all the nations in verse 9, and peoples and tongues standing before the Throne (Revelation 7:9-17 Revelation 7:9-17 9 After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be to our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and from where came they?
14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
American King James Version×). So, those that are saved or in the Kingdom are not just 144,000 like some misunderstand. But there are multitudes of people that eventually will. But Revelation 7, Revelation 14 point out the fact that there are 144,000 of Israel that are converted during that time of the Tribulation.
[Darris McNeely] Look to the Scriptures and learn and draw from what it says as your basis before you make a lot of other assumptions regarding this or any other point of prophecy—especially from the book of Revelation.
[Steve Myers] That’s BT Daily . We’ll see you next time.