Who are the 144,000?

There are many theories about the 144,000.  Some people say that they are Jews. This is partially true.  Of the 144,000,  12,000 are from Judah, but the others are from the remaining tribes of Israel.


Some people claim that the 144,000 are the church.  Is this true?  The Bible tells us that the 144,000 are virgins - 12,000 from each of the twelve sons of Israel, except for Dan who is excluded.  

There are only two places in the Bible that make reference to the 144,000.  The first mention is in the Book of Revelation, in chapter seven.

Virgin reading the Holy Bible.  One of the 144,000 who receive the Seal of God?
Virgin Reading the Bible

Revelation 7:1
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.

God tells his angels not to harm the Earth until he has sealed the 144,000 virgins.



Revelation 7:2
And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,


Revelation 7:3 

saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the slaves of our God on their foreheads."

This event, the Wrath of God,  will not happen until this group of people is sealed and rescued.  

Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the slaves of our God on their foreheads.

Revelation 7:4
And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

Revelation 7:5
From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,

Revelation 7:6
from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,

Revelation 7:7
from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,

Revelation 7:8
from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons.  As we can see, the 144,000 are taken from the 12 sons/tribes of Israel.  One of the tribes, the tribe of Dan, is not picked, and the tribe of Joseph gets a double portion (Joseph and one of his sons, Manasseh).  Israel was the name that God gave Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.

Why does Joseph get a double portion, and why is Dan not included?

Jacob blesses the two children of Joseph.
Jacob's blessing

Joseph was the firstborn of Rachel, the proper wife of Israel.  He was an exemplary son who took care of his father in his old age.

Genesis 48:21
Then Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers.

Genesis 48:22
"I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow." 

 

Reuben was the firstborn of Leah, the wife Jacob was tricked into marrying.  Not only that, but Reuben committed acts of immorality that made him unworthy -- he slept with his father's concubine Bilhah Genesis 35:22. 

Genesis 49:3
Reuben, you are my firstborn; 
My might and the beginning of my strength, 
Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.


Genesis 49:4
Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, 
Because you went up to your father's bed; 
Then you defiled it -- he went up to my couch.

Dan was the firstborn of Bilhah, Jacob's concubine Genesis 35:25.  Bilhah had no self respect; she went along with having an affair with the son of her husband.  Evidently, God cannot find 12,000 virgins from the tribe of Dan.

The 144,000 are direct lineal descendants of Israel.

Not only will this group be taken in the rapture, but also a large group from other ethnicities.

Revelation 7:9
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;

Revelation 7:10
and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.

The great multitude is celebrating because they have been RESCUED from the Earth and they owe their salvation to "God and the Lamb."

The 144,000 along with the large multitude from every nation on earth constitutes the group that is raptured  -- the group that is able to leave Earth and initiate a new life "where righteousness dwells."

2 Peter 3:13
But according to His promise we are looking for NEW heavens and a NEW earth, in which righteousness dwells.

The 144,000 will leave Earth and go into the heavens.

Revelation 7:13
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?"

Revelation 7:14
I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:15
"For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will "spread His tabernacle over them" [literally, tent over them].

The apostle John sees this multitude and the elder explains to him that this group of people has escaped the tribulation.  They do not need to be afraid anymore, or suffer anymore because they have been raptured.  God has RESCUED them from the grip of Satan.  Because the Devil is trying to destroy them, Yeshua/Jesus needs to rescue them as quickly as possible -- like a flash of lightning.

The group of people that is raptured/rescued are taken to Paradise, a place where there is no more suffering.

Revelation 7:16
"They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any scorching heat;

The lamb will guide the 144,000 to the springs of the water of life.

Revelation 7:17
for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes." 

Our Lord Yeshua comforts this multitude and "wipes every tear from their eyes."

Compare these words with the words of Isaiah:

Isaiah 65:17 
"For behold, I create NEW heavens and a NEW earth;
And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.

Isaiah 65:18 
"But be glad and rejoice forever in what I CREATE; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness.

Isaiah 65:19 
"I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying.

Isaiah 65:20 
"No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred, and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.

Both (the Book of Revelation and the Book of Isaiah) are talking about the same event -- a NEW place where people would live happily.  Isaiah is not talking about the Millennium, as we explain in Paradise.

There is another passage in the Book of Revelation that gives more information about the 144,000.

Revelation 14:1

Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads

Remember, this is the group that received the Seal of God upon their foreheads before the wrath of God started.

Revelation 14:2
And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.

Revelation 14:3
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.

The 144,000 were purchased "from the Earth."

Revelation 14:4
These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

Revelation 14:5
And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

The 144,000 have been selected as "first fruits."  These are probably very young as they are virgins.  They are like happy little birds that never knew cats. 

144,000 will be like innocent little birds.

They follow Yeshua wherever He goes.  They are not suffering persecution or witnessing immorality.  They are not living on Earth anymore.  The 144,000 are a group of saints who "follow the Lamb wherever He goes," including the return of Christ for the Battle of Armageddon.  

Contrast the happiness of the raptured with the group that is left behind. 

Revelation 14:6
And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having [an] everlasting gospel to declare to those who live upon the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;

The angel is preaching the gospel to the people who were left behind on Earth.  

Revelation 14:7
Saying in voice great "Fear God and give Him glory because the hour of His judgment has come and give worship to Him who has made the heavens and the Earth and the sea and the fountains of waters.

The angel warns the people on Earth of the consequences that result from living a life contrary to God's commandments because of lack of fear in God.  For this, YHVH is going to execute judgment upon the Earth.  

Revelation 14:9
And another angel, a third one, followed saying in a great voice: "If anyone worships the wild beast and its image and receives a mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, 

Revelation 14:10
He shall also drink the wine of the anger of God having been mixed undiluted into the cup of His wrath.  And he will be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb."

Revelation 14:11
And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever.  And day and night they have no rest those who worship the wild beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.

Revelation 14:12
Here is where it means endurance for the holy ones, those that observe the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

The angel reiterates that even though God's followers will endure hardship, it is better to follow YHVH even if it costs you your life than to obey the government of the beast.

Revelation 14:13
and I heard a voice out of heaven say "Write: Happy are the ones who die in union with the Lord from this time onward.  Yes, says the spirit, in order that they may be rested up out of the labors of them.  Therefore the works of them follow with them."

God makes it clear that it is preferable for the Left Behind to die rather than to obey the orders of the "leopard beast"-- the  government that will implant everybody on Earth and persecute anyone who dares to disobey government orders.

That is why we sound the alarm: Get ready for the rapture!  You do not want to be left behind!

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