Revelation Chapter 7:4
Revelation 7:4 – 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…
The number of servants sealed by angels is 144,000. In my study on prophetic numbers, I show that the biblical meaning of 144,000 is “government of divine order” or “appointed persons of divine order,” based on the roots of ten and twelve. Indeed, the Lord has chosen these servants from the tribes of Israel for a divine purpose.
Some like to spiritualize away this large number, but there is no reason to do so. I believe this number is as literal as the 7,000 prophets God preserved in Elijah’s day (1 Kings 19:18). In fact, John painstakingly lists each tribe in the next few verses, with the number of servants God calls from each. Since the tribes of Israel are still largely dispersed around the world, it is likely the Lord will call them from all nations and they will minister in all these nations, producing a great harvest of believers from around the world:
Revelation 7:9 – After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…
As shown in the passage below, these servants are “firstfruits” of the Tribulation harvest, which means they are the first ones redeemed to Heaven before the rest of the harvest of souls, as discussed in the “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” study:
Revelation 14:1-4 – 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.
The 144,000 servants will come from the tribes of Israel which are all accounted for within the Jewish people today. A remnant in the northern tribes of the Kingdom of Israel moved south to the Kingdom of Judah before the Assyrian exile (1 Chronicles 9:1-3, 2 Chronicles 11:14-16, 15:8-9, 30:25, 31:6). This remnant of the northern tribes is mentioned after the Assyrian exile (2 Chronicles 34:1-9), and also a remnant is mentioned with the exiles who returned to Judah after the Babylonian exile (Ezra 6:16-17). There are no “lost tribes” of Israel. We see further evidence that all the tribes are found within Judah in the New Testament:
Luke 2:36-37 – Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
Acts 26:7 – To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews.
Romans 11:1 – I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
James 1:1 – James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.
This is important to note because Paul uses “Jews” and “Israel” interchangeably with regard to God calling them His people again (Romans 9). It is not a surprise that the 144,000 servants are Jewish, as the Lord said He would always keep a remnant to Himself (Romans 9:27, 11:5). These Jewish servants will pick up where the Church leaves off after the rapture, being a light to the Gentiles and spreading the Gospel, which is what the Lord commissioned the Jews to do:
Isaiah 42:6 – “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles.”
Romans 3:1-2 – What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.
This “torch” of sharing the “oracles of God” has been continually passed through God’s chosen people since Abraham:
The 144,000 Jewish servants have a lot in common with the Apostle Paul:
|The Apostle Paul||144,000 Jewish Servants|
|A Jewish Servant of God (Romans 11:1).||Jewish Servants of God (Revelation 7:4-8).|
|Saved on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).||Saved after Damascus is destroyed, before the Tribulation begins (See below).|
|Sealed by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22).||Sealed and marked with the Father’s name (Revelation 7:3, 14:1).|
|Brought the Gospel to the Gentiles (Romans 15:16).||A multitude of all nations saved after being sealed (Revelation 7:9).|
|Preached the Gospel to the whole world (Colossians 1:23).||The Gospel is preached to the whole world again before Jesus returns (Matthew 24:14).|
|Not married (1 Corinthians 7:8)||Virgins (Revelation 14:4).|
|Preached in distressing times under the Roman emperor Nero (1 Corinthians 7:28).||Servants in the Tribulation during the rise of the antichrist (Revelation 7 & 14).|
|Will be resurrected and raptured with the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).||Will be taken to Heaven rapture-style to the throne in Heaven (Revelation 14:1-4).|
I believe the 144,000 Jewish Servants will likely have a supernatural confrontation with the Lord like Paul did, immediately after the rapture. There are scriptural parallels that suggest that the rapture of the Church occurs shortly before Israel destroys Damascus and defeats their neighbors, as shown in my study on the “Great Middle East War.” This destruction of Damascus will likely be the sign the Lord gives these Jewish servants that brings them to salvation and, in turn, share the truth with the many seeking it after the rapture and the “Great Middle East War”:
1 Corinthians 1:22 – For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom.
Zechariah 9:1 – The burden of the word of the LORD – against the land of Hadrach, and Damascus its resting place (for the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel are on the LORD)…
Isaiah 17:1, 7 – The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap….” In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.
Zephaniah 2:11 – The LORD will be awesome to them, for He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; people shall worship Him, each one from his place, indeed all the shores of the nations.
We find further description of the 144,000 servant’s ministry in the following passage:
Isaiah 61:1-6 – “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast.
Jesus read this passage in a synagogue, showing that He had fulfilled the prophecy He was reading (Luke 4:16-21). However, Jesus only read part of this prophecy, the portion He fulfilled at His first coming. The rest of this prophecy will find fulfillment at the “day of vengeance of our God,” or the Tribulation. Most of the rest of this passage describes everything that will be restored leading up to and into the Millennium. Jesus will be doing all of those things, but look at the last sentence. There will also be a group of people that help Jesus do these things during the “day of vengeance” or the Tribulation. They are called “the servants of our God” and will also “preach good tidings to the poor,” which is the Gospel (Romans 10:15). That means this passage is describing the ministry of the 144,000 servants of God in the Tribulation.
Jesus will judge the survivors of the “Sheep and Goat” Judgment based on how they treat His “brethren” in the Tribulation.
Matthew 25:37-40 – “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'”
Recall from Revelation 6:11, “brethren” can refer to kin. The following passage which also speaks of the Lord’s judgment of the nations after the Tribulation confirms that the “brethren” in Matthew 25 are Jews:
Joel 3:1-2 – “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.
The 144,000 Jewish servants are among His “brethren.” It is interesting that Paul, who has a lot in common with the 144,000 Jewish servants, as shown earlier, went through the same types of suffering as will the “brethren” of the Tribulation:
2 Corinthians 11:22-30 – Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? – I speak as a fool – I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness – Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
Paul’s ministry “turned the world upside-down,” with a multitude turning to Christ (Acts 17). Imagine the success of the 144,000 servant’s ministry, if it is patterned after Paul’s ministry. Like Paul, these servants are probably well versed in Scripture and have the benefit as a group, being well versed in the languages in the nations they are dispersed in. With 144,000 “Apostle Pauls” preaching around the world, it is no wonder a multitude will be saved (Revelation 7:9) and the Gospel will be “preached to all the world” (Matthew 24:14) in the short span of the seven-year Tribulation.
“A hundred and forty and four thousand”: A missionary corps of redeemed Jews who are instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation (verses 9-17). They will be the firstfruits of a new redeemed Israel (Zech. 12:10). Finally, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the Old Testament (see notes on Rom. 11:25-27).
“All the tribes of the children of Israel”: By sovereign election, God will seal 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes, promising His protection while they accomplish their mission.
“You Shall Seek Me and Find Me When You Search For Me with All Your Heart”. This is a promise from God Almighty (Deut. 4:29). God has never been without a witness of His salvation on this earth. Since all believers from this present age will have been suddenly and miraculously removed by the event known as the Rapture, new witnesses must be raised up immediately.
Imagine what would happen if, suddenly, in the midst of some very trying times on earth, 144,000 Israelites instantly and miraculously became devout believers in Jesus as their promised Messiah and Savior. This will occur much the same as Saul of Tarsus (Paul), was miraculously brought to faith on the road to Damascus. I don’t know what will cause the conversion, other than the power of the Holy Spirit.
But in multiple miraculous incidences, 144,000 Jews will be brought to faith in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, and will become powerful evangelists. Picture 144,000 Hebrew Billy Grahams’ running around the world and bringing this miraculous saving truth to a troubled and confused populace. That’s just what’s going to happen.
God’s Special Protection for the 144,000. Since these servants will be marked men on earth, working directly counter to the interests of the global leader, they will be “marked” men in more than one sense of the word. They will be under constant attack by the Antichrist’s forces as well as the demonic powers unleashed upon the earth. At various times, they will suffer from hunger, exposure, ridicule, torture and imprisonment. But they all will be miraculously preserved to continue their witness throughout the tribulation period.
At the very end, the 144,000 witnesses will stand triumphantly on Mount Zion with Jesus. Jesus refers to them as “these brothers of mine”. (Matt. 25:31-46). The way a person treats these evangelists during the Tribulation will reflect whether he is a believer in their message or not. Keep in mind, it will be extremely perilous to aid and abet them. They will no doubt be on the Antichrist’s “most wanted list”. But the lesson is that God’s man or woman is indestructible until God is finished with him here on earth.
Just the fact that there is a specific number given tells you that these are not the believers. The believers cannot be numbered for multitude. The Christians are not from the tribes of Israel necessarily. Many of them have no Jewish blood whatsoever. In (Galatians chapter 3), we read that believers in Christ are Abraham’s descendants because of faith, not blood.
In (Gal. 3:8), the believers are called heathen, which people of physical Israel are never called. Abraham is not the father of believers because of blood line, but because they (the same as Abraham), are saved by faith.
Galatians 3:7-8, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.”
You see, the tribes we are about to see listed are all of the nation of Israel. The only way this makes any sense is that this 144,000 is the remnant of physical Israel that God has always had.
Verses 7:5-8: Some scholars argue that the 144,000 evangelists aren’t necessarily Jews? But a reading of (Rev. 7:4-8), tells us they are wrong. Those verses go on to identify the “tribes” that each of the 12,000 comes from.
image courtesy: Revelation 7-4 – a fresh word
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.