Who Are The 144 000 In The Bible? Let’s Find Out

With the help of 7 points of this article, we come to know Who are the 144,000 in Revelation? or Who Are The 144 000 In The Bible? Let’s Find Out

Who Are The 144 000 In The Bible?|Who Are The 144,000 In Revelation?

Many interpreters understand the reference to be literal. After all, it lists 12 tribes of the sons of Israel, and he lists 12,000 from each tribe. I think too many people, it seems clear that we have a literal reference to a literal 144,000 and that they’re literally from Israel, and I respect that view. 

However, I don’t think that view is convincing. I would argue that the 144,000 is a symbolic number and that the reference to the 12 tribes of Israel is also symbolic, and that it represents the Church, or another way to put it is that it represents all believers.

Why do I think that? The first reason is the way chapter six ends. Chapter six ends with a statement of God’s wrath that is coming upon the world, and the author tells us, “And who is able to stand?” Who can stand when God’s wrath is poured out? That’s the question, and I think chapter seven answers that question. Those who can stand are those who are sealed or protected by God, and those who are sealed and protected by God are the 144,000. And I think it’s most natural to say that refers to all Christians.

Who Are The 144 000 In The Bible?
Who Are The 144 000 In The Bible? Let’s Find Out

Secondly, the 144,000 are not only described in Revelation chapter seven, but we also see them described in Revelation, chapter 14, and they’re the 144,000 that are described as the redeemed of the earth. So, that’s a description of the 144,000, and I think that’s a comprehensive description. That’s what it means to be a Christian. They’re not described as Israel but the redeemed.

Also Know About: Who Are The Watchers In The Bible?

So thirdly, we find a fascinating parallel between hearing and seeing in chapters seven and five. So, in chapter five, he hears, John, the writer, hears about the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, but when he looks and sees, he sees a lamb. So, that’s very interesting. Jesus is the lion, the son of David, who conquers, but he conquers, John is telling us, by his death. 

So, the lion and the lamb are the same referents, right? They both refer to Jesus. So, how does that relate to chapter seven? John hears about 144,000, but he sees verses one through eight of chapter seven, but in verses nine through 17, he sees a great multitude. So, do you see the parallel with chapter five? It’s the same sort of thing. He hears and sees the same entity told from two different perspectives. You have Jesus as a lion and a lamb.

The 144,000, another way to describe them, is the uncountable multitude, But that’s another argument than that the 144,000 refer to all Christians. The 144,000, or another way of saying it is they’re an uncountable multitude. This leads to my fourth argument. The number is symbolic. So, in Revelation, in apocalyptic literature, you have symbolic numbers, so you have the number 12, just as there were 12 tribes of Israel and there are 12 apostles, and then you have 12 times 12 times 1,000, 144,000. 

Sometimes people don’t recognize the symbolic nature of 12 times 12 because we may not do that multiplication in our minds, but I think the author, John, is clearly signaling that he’s writing symbolically. 

Fifth reason. In chapter two, verse nine, and in chapter three, verse nine, the Jews are called a Synagogue of Satan. Now John didn’t say that because he hates Jews. John was Jewish himself. I think he says that because the Jews were cooperating with the Romans, the Jews in these synagogues were cooperating with the Romans, and the Romans informed them that the Christians weren’t part of them and, therefore, the Christians should be persecuted. 

So, it’s just John’s way of saying the Jews, these Jewish unbelievers, Not all Jews, right? The Jewish unbelievers are opposed to the People of God. But at the same time, in chapter seven, the true Jews are the Church of Jesus Christ, which is what we see elsewhere in the New Testament. 

Who are the true children of Abraham? We can read Galatians 3 read Romans 4. The true children of Abraham are those who believe in Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile. We belong to one family now, Ephesians chapter two, verses 11 through 22. 

So, what I’m saying here, is what John is teaching with the 144,000. We often find in the New Testament that the Church is the fulfillment of the promises made to Israel. It’s not a rejection of Israel but a fulfillment of what Israel was meant to be. It’s Jew and Gentile together as one people of God. 

A sixth argument. When you look at the list of the 12 tribes there, that list doesn’t fit with any list we see in the Old Testament. There is nowhere in the Old Testament that the 12 tribes are listed this way. 

In fact, the Tribe of Dan is omitted from the list. So, what does it mean to say these 12 tribes are the 12 tribes of Israel when it doesn’t represent any kind of list of the tribes we see in the Old Testament. And I think it’s very significant that the Tribe of Judah is listed first, which I think is a symbolic way of saying the people of God fall under the authority of Jesus as the lion of the tribe of Judah, as we read in chapter five.

Seventh, and lastly, if we think of a future fulfillment of this, this isn’t a biblical argument, but if we think of a future fulfillment of this, it’s hard to think of how this future fulfillment would work because most Jews today, the vast majority of Jews, they don’t know which tribe they’re from anymore. The tribal system in Israel was tied to their geography. Alright, when the 12 tribes were separated into particular regions, that is a long-gone phenomenon. 

So, if there’s going to be a future, literal fulfillment, it’s a little bit hard to know what that would mean. I listed this argument last. It’s not a decisive argument, but it is a little bit hard to know how this prophecy could even be fulfilled today since most Jewish people don’t know what tribe they’re from today. 

So, I think that’s another argument to say this is not a literal fulfillment of literal Jews from 12 different tribes, but it’s a reference symbolically to the Church of Jesus Christ. So, what is the practical implication of this? Is it just some kind of prophecy teaching that doesn’t really matter to us today? I think it is practical. Remember the question at the end of chapter six. When God’s wrath comes on the final day, who can stand? Suppose it’s a reference just too literal Israelites in the Tribulation period. 

In that case, you know a literal 144,000, or then you have some strange interpretations out there of the 144,000, like what the Jehovah’s Witnesses say. Then it’s not about it. It’s not our story, is it? It’s their story. It’s an abstract story about something that may happen in the future. But what I’m arguing here is this story is our story. It’s the story of all Christians. 

John’s not just talking about something that happens to people a long time or a short time from now, but it’s not our story. I think he’s saying, this is our story. 

How do you escape the wrath of God? You’re sealed and protected by God. And as we go on and read in chapter seven, how does that happen? Well, John makes it clear in chapter seven. Doesn’t he? We’re sealed and protected by God because the lamb’s blood washes us. 

How is it that the uncountable multitude comes out of the Great Tribulation and stands before the throne of God forever because of the lamb’s blood? So, this is a very practical issue, isn’t it? And it’s an issue that should lead us to worship God. Praise God that by His grace, we belong to the People of God, and one day we will stand before His throne and worship Him. 

And what does chapter seven say? He’ll wipe every tear from our eyes. He’ll lead us to the streams of the water of life. That’s what awaits us.

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