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)
[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).
[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). 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.