Who Are the 144,000 of Revelation?
– by Mary A. LaClair
It was bad weather on a Sunday afternoon and I called a widow friend to pass a little indoor time pleasantly. Although this lady claims to be a no-nap person, she was so grumpy I figured my call must have caught her in a cat nap she didn’t want to admit.
The next day she left an apology for her grumpiness on my answering machine. When I got back to her, she explained her bad attitude that day had been with God, not with me. Whew, God is better able to handle bad attitudes than I when we give them to Him, He handles enough of mine; He can handle hers! And He did! I know this lady has kept her faith through some tough times, some of which she talks about and some of which she doesn’t. She explained that she had been reading Revelation and had developed an attitude with God because it appears that she would not be included in the 144,000 mentioned there. And it certainly seems a final tribulation has begun she said!
I explained that as a lady myself, I too had a similar feeling when I read that the 144,000 were all males but that I asked God and He explained it to me.
I showed her, as God has shown me, where there are two groups mentioned; the 144,000 being one group, a Jewish countable group; while the other group, the multitude from every nation, was too large to count and had white robes washed in the Blood of Christ. THIS is the group, I told her, in which she and I (and I hope you, too, dear reader) are numbered. It is the great multitude group which speaks of salvation and of the Lamb. Salvation comes through Jesus, the Lamb of God. “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” THIS is the group which comes out of a great tribulation which seems to begin when the Power of the Blood becomes available. Because the Blood of Christ is a qualifier for the group too large to number but not for the 144,000 – the 144,000 number was necessarily filled before the Blood of Christ, BEFORE Calvary. To confirm, Rev 7:9 says AFTER the 144,000 came those who washed their robes in the Blood of Christ.
Redeemed before a great tribulation began, these 144,000 are explicitly sinless Jewish males; and since Jesus Christ is and always will be, the only perfect sinless man, these males then could not have reached manhood when they were redeemed from among men (from the earth). There were no childhood lies (yes, they count), they have a language all their own; and, they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Does that should like innocent little ones to you?
Because Revelation says these 144,000 were first fruits unto God and first fruits unto the Lamb, I figure there were two segments making up this group. Since God and the Lamb are the same, there is a significance to the use of the two words: one group from the Old Testament (were God is introduced) and one group from the New Testament (where the Lamb is introduced in the Flesh) thus we have the significance of “unto God and unto the Lamb”.
First fruits unto God would be, relative to history, just before Moses was given The Ten Commandments, the first fruits unto God being slain when Moses was a baby; the first fruits unto the Lamb would be, relative to history, just before Jesus completed His mission, when Jesus was a baby. These are the first fruits unto the Lamb.
A lot of Bible reading grand-mothers have known for years that these 144,000 are the Holy Innocents. God would not let Pharaoh and Herod slaughter innocent Jewish male babes only to forget them. He forgets not His own. They are especially honored in Heaven just as they are honored and mentioned specially in Revelation.
Some say there is a final tribulation contained within the great tribulation and is expected to last seven years. I believe we each have our own personal tribulation from which we should all eventually seek relief given by the Risen Christ, and ask Him to be with us in this life through His Holy Spirit.
I hope my friend will begin to ask God about things which she does not understand instead of assuming and getting grumpy. In Isaiah 1:18 God instructs us: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.”Without quoting it here, Revelation 7:1-17, the whole chapter, introduces the number and the source of these Jewish males.
Revelation chapter 14 identifies them in more detail:
“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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” NKJV (emphasis mine)
(notice it says they WERE redeemed, not will be – WERE- and remember Revelation was written in the first century, possibly 50 or 60 AD).
6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people
(Emphasis mine) Rev. 14:1-6 NKJV
The 144,000 are already dwelling in Heaven with the Lamb before the gospel is proclaimed to those who dwell on earth. The 144,000 are already there.
Conclusion: The timetable in Revelation may be further ahead than a lot of people think. Don’t think that there is plenty of time to repent while waiting for 144,000 perfect Jewish men to come upon the world scene. They have already come and gone.
Friend, have you come to Calvary to wash your robes in the Blood and Water which flowed from the Savior’s side? Will you be included in the group from every nation, too great to number, which are saved from within the great tribulation? Do not delay to come to the Savior today. Investigate Jesus, the Christ.
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P.S. John the Revelator was warned in this vision not to change add or subtract anything from the Book of Revelation. The warnings are dire. Rev 14:4 in KJV and NKJV specifically say “They were not defiled”. YET, there are some translations which have added to Rev.14:4 by saying ‘they kept themselves’ . These are two different things. Consider the fact that the male babes ‘were kept’; they were not ‘men’ who will be able to say they ‘kept themselves.’ The interlinear translation guide, using the original Greek, shows the original words to be “were kept”. It is the original, therefore, which supports the ‘were kept’ but does not support the ‘they kept themselves’ concept. The difference is in Who does the keeping. This writer feels that the warnings are dire for those who would blur this differentiation through error in translation.
Yet, there are some Bible scholars and College Professors who hold the thought that there will be 144,000 “perfect” “men” to come upon the world stage. I say to my readers; “Don’t hold your breath” and “Don’t put your money on it.”
God “reveals things to the simple and confuses those who think themselves wise in their own eyes” In which category would we like to put ourselves?
Ps 119:130 The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple. NKJV
“Inquiring minds want to know!”
Once one has read the Bible, it is good then to STUDY it. It will last a lifetime !
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