VIIIa.19. What About the 144,000 Jews That Are Only Named In Revelation, Chapters 7 and 14?

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Question: What about the 144,000 Jews that are only named in Revelation, Chapters 7 and 14?

Answer:

I.    First, I will list some of the specifics that are given which will give the reader a clear understanding of God's purpose and intent concerning the 144,000. It is worth noting that Jehovah's Witnesses claim that the 144,000 are the only ones going to Heaven. They say it can be men and women; but, only God knows who they will be. Now, let us lay aside man's ideologies and philosophy; and see what the Word of God has to say that refutes this false teaching.

1.  They are the servants of God.

"Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." Revelation 7:3

2. They are sealed, Gr. "sphragis," i.e., an emblem of permanent security and ownership. (v.3) secure from physical harm from the Antichrist. Note: during the last 3 and 1/2 years of the Tribulation, many Christians will be beheaded for refusing to take the mark of the Antichrist, "666."

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." - Revelation 20:4

The 144,00 will not be harmed by Satan because of  God's power of protection. (Read Ezekiel, Chapter Nine, for an example of God's protection.)

3. They are all Jews (Revelation 7:4)

4. There are 12,000 from each of the tribes listed. (v. 5-9)

5. One tribe is omitted and replaced with the Tribe of Manasseh, who was the elder son of Joseph. This tribe was Dan. Why was the tribe of Dan withheld from serving the Lord during the Tribulation?  God had led Israel from bondage to the promised land of Canaan. In Deuteronomy 29:16-21, God had warned the tribes not to get involved with the heathen people. Dan was the first tribe to go into apostasy in the land. When in Canaan, the tribe of Dan was pushed by the Philistines and moved north to Lachish, burned it, and set up their images and worshipped their deities. They renamed the city, Dan.

"And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first. (29) And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. (30) And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh."  - Judges 18:29-31

There is a prophecy of Jacob concerning each of his twelve sons, as recorded in Genesis 49. In Verse 17, it is predicted concerning Dan.

"Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward."  - Genesis 49:17

The interpretation of this verse by the many Jewish rabbis is that, Dan will provide the Antichrist, which will cause his people to fall backward. In other words, by being deceived by the Antichrist, who will be of Jewish flesh. In Daniel 11:37, speaking of this Antichrist to come, we are told,

"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all."  - Daniel 11:37

Therefore, God will not permit any from the tribe of Dan to serve, or represent Him, during the 7-Year Tribulation of God's judgment upon this world.

Note:  We have a similar situation, as applied to Christians spoken of in 1 Corinthians 9:27, as to their faithfulness.

"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." - 1 Corinthians 9:27

Here, the word "castaway" is the Greek "adokimos" and is defined as, "disapproved, and so rejected from present testimony, with loss of future reward." (Vines' Expository Dictionary of Greek New Testament Words). It is the same Greek word translated as "not well pleased" in 1 Corinthians 10:5. In other words, they would be disqualified for God's service because of an undisciplined life style.

God had promised a portion of land to each tribe with the exception of Levi. The priests for Israel were from the tribe of Levi. As ministers of the tabernacle and to the people, they had no specific land grant as did the other tribes (Numbers 18:23) They were given 48 cities in which to minister to the people. These included six refuge cities (Numbers, Chapter 35).

Even though Dan was withheld from preaching during the Tribulation, God never withheld his land grant that he had promised Dan that he would possess during the Millennium. This is verified in Ezekiel 48:1.

"Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for  Dan." - Ezekiel 48:1

The reason I have taken the time to point this out is that, it is a perfect illustration of the eternal security of the believer. Therefore, because of Christ's faithfulness to His promise of everlasting life to the saved; they can never lose their salvation because of their unfaithfulness to Him. A Christian may suffer loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ; but, never loss of Salvation (1 Corinthians 3:14,15) as verified in Verse 15.

"If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (14) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." - 1 Corinthians 3:14-15

II.  Now, Revelation 14 reveals additional information concerning the 144,000 Jewish evangelists during the 7-Year Tribulation Period of time. Christ told the Jews of this future judgment to come.

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (21) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." - Matthew 24:21-22

These 144,00 preachers and evangelists will be preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and warning the people not to accept the Antichrist.

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." -  Matthew 24:14

1. The 144,000 were not saved until after the Rapture; or, they would have gone at the Rapture. These were the first ones saved right after the Rapture, as they were the "firstfruits." (Revelation 14:4b)

"...These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb."

2. These were not married and were totally dedicated to following the Lord. (14:4a).

"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins..."

They were living in the worst time of persecution that has ever been; or ever again will be. "Defiled" is not in any way degrading a woman. It is used only in the sense of being a burden of responsibility, which could be a hindrance to them in this difficult and time-consuming job which the Lord had called them to do. Matthew describes the time they were living in.

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." -  Matthew 24:21

At this time of Paul's life, there was a great persecution against Christians. In 1 Corinthians 7:26-29, 32-35, he addresses the marriage situation which could also relate to the distraction that could result if the 144,000 virgin men were to marry. Verse 35 qualifies his previous instructions concerning marriage at that time of persecution.

"And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely (i.e., Gr. honourable), and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction." 1 Corinthians 7:35

The great prophet Jeremiah was forbidden to marry because of the great persecution at that time. (Jeremiah 16:1-4).

"The word of the Lord came also unto me, saying, (1) Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place. (2) For thus saith the Lord concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land; (3) They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth." - Jeremiah 16:1-4

3.  Part of the result of the ministry of the 144,000 for seven years is described in Revelation 7:9,14 as concerning the Gentile converts.

"After this I beheld, and, lo, 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;" -  Revelation 7:9

"And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. 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." - Revelation 7:14

Since these Gentile believers came out of great tribulation, it indicates that they survived the last 42 months of not taking the mark of the Antichrist, "666." Revelation, Chapter 7, describes the persecution the Antichrist demands of those who do not worship him. His first means to persuade a person to take his mark is given in Revelation 13:17.

"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." -  Revelation 13:17

If this doesn't scare you into worshipping the Antichrist (Beast), then you are to be executed by decapitation.

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." -  Revelation 20:4

III. There are several things to notice concerning these Gentile believers who survived the Great Tribulation.

1.  First: They will neither be able to buy or sell unless they take the mark, "666," as their allegiance to worship the Antichrist as their God. Failure to do so means decapitation if caught. So, for 3 and 1/2 years they will be on the run, hiding with no access to a doctor, hospital, grocery store, and etc. They will live off the land, like wilderness people, harvesting what wild game is available; with, no home to go to for shelter from rain storms, or heat of the sun.

2.  Second: They will not receive a resurrected body; but enter the Millennium in their earthly bodies. They will be with God, who is on His throne in the new Millennial Temple in Jerusalem, as described in Revelation 7:15.

" Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." - Revelation 7:15

Christ, in talking to Peter, referred to His Kingdom Throne during the Millennium in Matthew 19:27,28.

"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? (27) And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." - Matthew 19:27-28

Dr. Luke also made mention of this in Luke 22:29,30.

"And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; (29) That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." -  Luke 22:29-30

3.  Third: Those that suffered greatly to stay alive for 3 and 1/2 years, were promised for their faithfulness to the Lord, that they would never suffer again. This was God's assurance in Revelation 7:16,17.

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (16) "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." -  Revelation 7:16-17

IV. The 144,000 at the conclusion of the ministry. What next?

1. Revelation 14:1

"And I looked, and, lo, 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." - Revelation 14:1

a.  "A lamb." This is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. When John the Baptist observed Jesus coming to him, he stated

 "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." - John 1:29

b.  "He stood on mount Sion." This is none other than the city of Jerusalem. In Psalms 2:6, God states...

"Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." - Psalm 2:6

c.  Here John is shown the 144,000 with Christ at the beginning of the Millennium in Jerusalem, which sits atop Mount Zion. God had sealed the 144,000 preachers so that no harm or death would they experience. In other words, all 144,000 were alive and well at the end of their ministry, just as God had promised in Revelation 7:3,4.

"Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (3) 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." - Revelation 7:3-4

The Christian who is promised everlasting life, also has the seal of God that no one can break God's promise; or take away their eternal inheritance in Heaven.  Ephesians 4:30 states the Christian is sealed (i.e., ownership) until the day of redemption (i.e., the Rapture).

We, today, have the same assurance as the 144,000 will experience. as stated in John 10:20...

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10:28

d.  Therefore, the 144,000 missionaries will go into the Millennium in their physical bodies, along with all the saved who are alive when Christ returns for His Kingdom Reign. The throne mentioned in Revelation 14:1 is here on earth. It is where the Judgment of the Nations takes place at the end of the Tribulation Period.

2. Revelation 14:2,3

"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: (2) 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." - Revelation 14:2-3

Here we see the heavenly hosts singing and playing their harps in exultation of the victory over Satan, the Beast (i.e., the Antichrist), and the False Prophet. The 144,000 Jewish preachers had won hundreds of thousands of Jews and Gentiles to the Lord. At Christ's return, the Beast and False Prophet are cast alive into the Lake of Fire.

"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." - Revelation 19:20

Satan is not cast into the Lake of Fire at this time; but, is chained in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. He will be cast into Hell after the Kingdom Reign of Christ. (Revelation 20:1,2,10)

The 144,000 missionaries witnessed the demise of their enemies, along with the heavenly hosts. In Revelation 14:3, these singers were singing a NEW SONG of victory; as there had never been a conflict, or persecution, like this before; nor, will there ever be again. (Matthew 24:21). This song was dedicated to them and their faithfulness to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, winning myriads of precious souls to Christ. (Revelation 14:5).

We are grateful to the Lord for pre-writing History in advance, as He stated he would in Isaiah 42:9...

"Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them." -  Isaiah 42:9

The eternal History of every human being is foretold. It is eternity in Heaven; or, the everlasting flames of Hell. The choice is yours.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. " - John 3:36

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