(full video version in 3-parts at bottom of the page along with PDF)
As with all things, the Lord in His wisdom reveals things in layers, like an onion, but a sweet one! The more we grow in our relationship with Him, the more intimate we become, & the more He shares. You have already seen all of the new revelation that He has been pouring out over the last few years. We just have to have an open mind, & an open heart & be willing to let go of old teachings, that are not necessarily wrong, just 1 dimensional.
There has always been a fascination with the 144,000 and rightly so. It is only when we have eyes to see, & ears to hear that we can appreciate the complexity of the music the Lord writes...it is a symphony not a solo. That being said we have to learn to discern each instrument, to hear how they add nuance or tempo to a main tune. These are the layers in His Word.
Would it surprise you to learn that there are in fact 2 separate groups of 144,000? One group is the group of Jews, 12,000 from each of the Tribes of Israel identified in Revelation 7. The other is the gentile group spoken of in Revelation 14. So how do we know they are different groups? Let’s take a look….
Most people like to jump straight into Revelation 14 to discuss the 144,000 but first we have to look at Revelation 7 which is aptly titled 'God's People will be preserved'. Who are these people of God that will be preserved? Since versus 1-3 categorically states that the 4 Angels of the 'first four Trumpet Judgments' spoken of in Revelation 8, are being held back until the 144,000 are sealed, then the 144,000 are sealed before the start of the Tribulation, yes? But you say these are just being sealed before it starts.....yes, but why? Boy I love it when the Lord takes us on a breadcrumb hunt.
Ok, just for now we are going to take a little detour......to the Seal of God. What is the Seal of God & what is it for? Well let's borrow from BiblePlus.org & their biblical descriptions of the Seal of God -
The Seal of God
The names of the tribes of Israel were engraved on stones worn by the high priest
Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the LORD. (Exod. 28:11,12)
There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. (Exod. 28:21)
"Holy to the Lord" worn as a seal on the forehead
"Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. It will be on Aaron's forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron's forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the LORD. (Exod. 28:36-38)
They made the plate, the sacred diadem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, like an inscription on a
seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. Then they fastened a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban, as the LORD commanded Moses. (Exod. 39:30, 31)
The covenant was sealed by an oath
You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the LORD your God, a covenant the LORD is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Deut. 29:12, 13)
Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him. (Isa. 8:16, 17)
God's seal of approval
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval." Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:27-29)
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. (1Cor. 9:1, 2)
God's seal of ownership
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2Cor. 1:21, 22)
We are marked with the seal of God, the Holy Spirit until our redemption
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession --to the praise of his glory. (Eph. 1:13, 14)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph. 4:29 - 5:2)
Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." (2Tim. 2:19)
So we see that Revelation 7:3&4 states: 3Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4Then I heard the number of those who were sealed:
144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. And verses 5-8 tell us just which tribes they belong to.
This tells us that these are the sealed servants, from the 12 tribes who bring the truth of Messiah during the Tribulation. Since the 144,000 will be down on the earth during the Tribulation, then they will be here when the Holy Spirit has been removed. Why must the Holy Spirit be removed? Because the Lord cannot pour His wrath down on the righteous, the saved, the indwelt by His spirit. So in order to pour His wrath upon the earth, His Grace must be removed, the Holy Spirit, & His Law re-imposed as judgement is brought as punishment under the Law. So because the 144,000 have to be down here during the Tribulation, & His wrath is being poured down, then He must 'seal' them, with His seal of protection so that no harm may befall them due to His wrath. He is also sealing them with His ‘Seal of Authority’ that they act on His behalf. Revelation 7 verses 9 -16 clearly speaks of the great multitude coming out of the Tribulation who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, clearly identifying the acceptance of the Messiah in all nations, peoples & tongues. Strangely enough, there is no mention here of Jewish virgin males that people seem to throw down as the ultimate definer of this group. Strange isn’t it? But what about the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation 14? Surely these are the same group? Are they? Let’s take a look…
Since we know that the 144,000 are from the tribes of Israel, & are sealed by God, we must then look to see if this other group can fill the same requirements or are they something different? In Revelation 14:1 it states: And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. Is this also a Seal of God or something else? We need look no further than Isaiah 62 :
1For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
2And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.
3Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
Or Revelation 3:11& 12 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.
We now know that they are sealed with the name God puts there, so we need to find out if these 144,000 are of the tribes of Israel. Since God is the God of the Jews, & Christ rightly named King of the Jews, & the Lord is also our Lord God, then are we not also of the Jews? To answer that question we need look no further than Romans 11:11-24 which speaks of this…
The Ingrafting of the Gentiles
11I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14If by any
means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 15For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 16For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
So if we are indeed grafted into the Olive tree of the Jews, & each Jew is a part of one of the 12 tribes, & if God is the same yesterday, today, & tomorrow, wouldn't He then allocate each of us to the 12 tribes also? Yes, if we are part of the same tree, we become from the same root, Judaism (same bible, same law etc.) therefore, we must also be a part of the 12 tribes. The difference being that Christ fulfilled the Law, therefore we are not judged under it, but His Law still stands. So we are also belonging to the 12 tribes but gentiles under His covenant of Grace, & you can go to the Lord to seek after which you belong to. If we look at the priesthood of the old Testament this role was fulfilled by the Levites (Nehemiah12:22, 1 Chronicles 15:11, 24:6, 27:17, 2 Chronicles 29:34, 31:19 to name a few), therefore are we also Levites? Let's see
1Peter 2:4-12 The Living Stone
(Isaiah 28:14-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
4To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
11Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against
the soul; 12Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Since the Lord is doing a new thing in us, & we each have vastly different callings & gifting, we must consider that we may have been grafted into more than 1 tribe, maybe all 12?
Anyway, since we now know we are of the House of Israel, in spirit, & therefore belong to the 12 tribes, we can now fulfill the requirement in Revelation 7:1-8. So now let's go to Revelation 14: 1 where the Lamb is standing on Mt Zion with the 144K. So what is Mt Zion? Israel like most people think? Let's have a look.
Psalm 87:2-3 says, “The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God.” Occurring over 150 times in the Bible, the word “Zion” essentially means “fortification.” In the Bible, Zion is both the city of David and the city of God. As the Bible progresses, the word “Zion” transitions from referring primarily to a physical city to having a more spiritual meaning. The first mention of the word “Zion” in the Bible is 2 Samuel 5:7: “Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.” “Zion,” therefore, was originally the name of the ancient Jebusite fortress in the city of Jerusalem. “Zion” came to stand not only for the fortress but also for city in which the fortress stood. After David captured “the stronghold of Zion,” Zion was then called “the City of David” (1 Kings 8:1; 1 Chronicles 11:5; 2 Chronicles 5:2). When Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, “Zion” expanded in meaning to include the temple and the area surrounding it (Psalms 2:6; 48:2, 11-12; 132:13). “Zion” was eventually used as a name for the city of Jerusalem, the land of Judah, and the people of Israel as a whole (Isaiah 40:9; Jeremiah 31:12; Zechariah 9:13). The most important use of the word “Zion” is in a theological sense. “Zion” is used figuratively of Israel as the people of God (Isaiah 60:14). The spiritual meaning of “Zion” is continued in the New Testament, where it is given the Christian meaning of God's spiritual kingdom, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 14:1). Peter refers to Christ as the Cornerstone of Zion: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6).
So what we are actually seeing is Christ standing with His Bride, in His spiritual Kingdom. He is 'sealing' His 144,000 for their work ahead. How do we know this...verse 2 & the Lord’s voice comes down giving them their new instructions, their calling for these end times. In verse 3 they are singing a new song, which is theirs alone to sing, their response to His call. What has He called them to do? We’ll find out a little later, but let’s get back to who they are.
Now we get to the crux of things, verse 4 which is thrown down so often like a gauntlet…..
4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
Seems straightforward doesn't it? Not so fast there....lets go & see what Strong's has to say about it. Defiled 3435 in Strong's Greek..
3435 molýnō – properly, to soil, make mucky (dirty); (figuratively) defile; (passive) become spiritually besmirched (soiled).
3435 /molýnō (literally "besmear with mud") is used of sin smearing a person with its spiritual filth. For the antonym of this term, see 2511 /katharízō ("to purge what is foul or polluted").
[3435 /molýnō used of "moral soil (smut)" that defouls and besmirches the soul (so also in Aristotle and Plato).
So they were spiritually clean, & they were 'virgins'...again to Strongs 3933..
3933 parthénos – properly, a virgin; a woman who has never had sexual relations; a female (virgin), beyond puberty but not yet married; (figuratively) believers when they are pure (chaste), i.e. faithful to Christ their heavenly Bridegroom (2 Cor 11:2; Rev 14:4).
So now we have 'spiritual Jews' being sealed with 'spiritual seals' in the 'spiritual kingdom' of the Lord, Mt.Zion. Let us look at verse 4 in its entirety.
4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
We now see that they are 'ardent' followers of Christ, who follow Him wherever He goes. They were redeemed out of men....& here is the clincher....being FIRSTFRUITS unto God & to the Lamb. So what are the firstfruits, & who are they?
The law of the firstfruits was clearly set forth to the Israelites in the Old Testament; namely, that the first ripe of their harvest was to be dedicated to the Lord in a special way. Deut. 26:1-12 gives the instructions of how each family was to bring a basket of their firstfruits and give it to the priest as the Lord's representative. Also Lev. 23:10-14 gives the instructions for a special "firstfruits sheaf" of the barley harvest which was to be offered to the Lord at the time of the Passover festival in the spring of the year. They could not begin their harvest of the barley and other crops until the high priest had offered this firstfruits sheaf to the Lord in a special ceremony. As the Lord of the harvest, God had to receive His special portion before the rest of the harvest could be reaped. This is a TYPE of God's ways in His spiritual harvest of human beings. Jesus clearly states in Mat. 13:39 that His harvest comes at the close of this age. But before He can gather a great host into His "heavenly barn" (kingdom)—Mat. 13:30, He must receive to Himself a first-fruits. And this "firstfruits" must be gathered out of the end-time harvest, to be translated without experiencing death. So what is the Lord asking them to do? Go out & bring in the harvest of souls for the Lord. How do we know this? Well since we now recognize that Revelation 7 is the picture of what the Jewish 144,000 are called to do, we can also know that Revelation 14 is the complete picture of what the Gentile 144,000 are called to do. That being said, we need look no further than Revelation 14:14- 20 titled ‘The Harvest of the Earth’. These are God’s laborers to bring in His harvest of souls! How can they bring in the harvest if God doesn’t send them back out into the fields to harvest?
So let’s re-cap. In Rev. 14:1-5, are the 144,000 firstfruits standing with the Lamb in Mount Zion," having been redeemed from out from the earth." This can only mean that they are no longer on earth, but
translated into the heavenly realm through having their bodies glorified. So we can clearly see that the 144,000 are of the Firstfruits, not brought out of the Jews during the Tribulation. They are of the Bride of Christ, guileless & righteous before God. They are faultless before the throne of God….without spot or wrinkle.
I hope this sheds some light on His truth about the 144,000 but I would urge you to seek the Lord for confirmation of every word that is written here.