The 144,000 explained

Hi folks. This morning the preacher explained the 144,000 described in Revelation 7:4. It was the first time I had ever heard it explained with perfect clarity. I’m going to try to condense the message of the sermon here for the rest of you. I hope I can do it justice. Read slowly and read twice because this is good stuff.

Let’s start at Revelation 6. It’s important to understand that the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls are not different things. They are the same seven items described in different ways. Revelation 6:13 says “the stars of heaven fell unto the earth”. Lets compare that to Matthew 24:29 where it also says “the stars shall fall from heaven”. The two verses are talking about the same event. It’s important to keep in mind that Matthew 24 is talking about the end of the jewish age which happened in AD 70, Matthew 25 is talking about the end of the world which is yet to come.

Now lets move into Revelation 7. Revelation 7:1 talks about four angels “holding the four winds of the earth”. The four winds are God’s judgment. We can know this by letting scripture interpret scripture. Jeremiah 49:35 and 36 are talking about God’s judgment against Elam. In Jeremiah 49:36 God says “upon Elam I will bring the four winds”.
So God’s judgment is being held and 7:3 tells us that it is held back “until the servant’s of our God are sealed”. The term sealed means marked, chosen, separated. Again we can let scripture interpret scripture. Ezekiel 9:4 -7 is a prophesy about the very same event and makes it clear that the men being sealed are being chosen before a judgment and are being separated out so that they do not take part in it.
Next Revelation 7:4 tells us exactly who is being sealed/separated. It says 144,000 people and it specifically says from the children of Israel. Revelation 14:1 is also referring this same group of 144’000 and 14:3 says they were “redeemed from the earth”. Then 14:4 calls them the “firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb”. The term firstfruits has a specific meaning here. It refers to the first part of each harvest which was handed over to the Lord. See Leviticus 2:12 and again let scripture interpret scripture.
A quick recap. God’s judgment is withheld until 144,000 are chosen out and removed from the earth. We know these are all from the children of Israel.

We can read another reference to this group of servants in Revelation 20:4, “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God”. This is the same group of people. It says they “reigned with Christ a thousand years” then 20:5 says “the rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection”. The term “thousand years” is a figurative term. It’s basically a span of time that only God knows.

Now let’s put these events in their proper perspective. Let’s again let scripture interpret scripture. Matthew 27:51-53 are describing events that took place at Jesus’ crucifixion. 27:51 says “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom”. This is another symbolic and very specific term. In the jewish age, that is under law, there was a veil in the temple in front of the holy place. Only priests could go behind it and no one else could even look behind it. Jesus put an end to this. Now anyone could approach God through Christ. It’s a symbol of the end of the jewish age and the beginning of the Kingdom.

Then right after that Matthew 27:52 and 53 say “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many”. This was at the crucifixion, before any gentiles had been converted. All these saints which arose were Israelites. They appeared to many but didn’t stay around. Are the lights coming on yet? These saints which arose after Jesus’ resurrection were the 144,000 spoken about in Revelation 7:4. This was the first resurrection spoken about in Revelation 20:5. These were the firstfruits spoken about in Revelation 14:1-4. These men reign with Christ RIGHT NOW and they have been reigning with Him since the first resurrection described in Matthew 27:52 and 53, which took place about 33AD.

Let’s look back in Revelation again at 7:9. This is after the 144,000 were sealed. It says “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” THAT’S US. That is the Church. We are the rest who take part in the second resurrection. The first resurrection has already been, it was all Israelites. The second resurrection will be “of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues” as it says in Revelation 7:9.

I’ll give you a few verses to prove this time frame is correct. Again let scripture interpret scripture. Matthew 24:34 says “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled”. Some of them were indeed still alive when these things took place. If these are future events then Jesus’ would have to have been wrong when He said that and we know that’s not possible. Again in Matthew 16:28 Jesus says “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom”. Some of those were still alive when the events took place. Let scripture interpret scripture. Again the only way this could be a future event is if Jesus were wrong in that statement. Not happening.
So the 144,000 were sealed, they were removed from the earth at the first resurrection right after Jesus’ resurrection in AD 33 and finally the four winds/God’s judgment came in 70 AD.

Condensed from a sermon by Elder Nichols.

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22 Responses to The 144,000 explained

  1. Kory Crawford says:

    Thank you. I found this very simple to understand and very glad you took the time to share it.

  2. Josh Gibson says:

    This is so wildly incorrect I can’t believe it! There is no interpretation necessary for the 144,000. Who is teaching you this stuff?

    The Bible plainly spells out who the 144,000 are:

    Revelation 7:4-8 NASB

    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: from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

    Clearly and plainly, the 144,000 are made up of 12,000 Jews from each tribe of Israel.

  3. Josh Gibson says:

    Also, about these having been prior events. There is some debate on that. When Jesus said “THIS generation shall not pass away”, he is speaking in the context of signs of the end of the world. In other words, he’s saying “This generation that I am speaking to you about will not pass away…”

    Not “today’s generation surely will not pass”

    Another link, same site that explains better than myself:

    • BillyClyde says:

      Josh that explanation doesn’t work in light of Matthew 16:28 Jesus says “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom”. Let scripture interpret scripture.

      Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world. He said so himself. It’s one of those cases where Jesus was talking about spiritual matters but those listening assumed earthly matters.

      • Martin says:

        Hello Billy. What we read in the Scriptures should always be interpreted based on the context. You are quoting the last verse of chapter 16 and are leaving the context out. Sometimes the context is found in the previous or on the following chapter. The Bible was not written with the common divisions on chapters and verses that we have today and that sometimes causes wrong interpretations. Verse 1 in chapter 17 explains what Jesus meant. He meant that some of His disciples would be able to see the glory in which He would return to this planet. We know that story as the transfiguration. Read to see how the disciples reacted to seeing Him in His glory.

    • Will Good says:

      @Josh Gibson.. LOL… “In other words , he’s saying “This generation that I am speaking to you about will not pass away…” … No, not in other words was Christ saying “this generation that I am speaking to you about is a future generation”… He was speaking about the present generation at the time, their generation and He was speaking in reference to the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem that came in 70 AD.. Christ was not giving them signs by which they could know when the end of time was near.. This is what Christ told them regarding the end of time..

      “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”(Matt 24:36-39)

      Verse 35 is the dividing line between Christ talking about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and His return.. He speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD in the verses before Matt 24:35 and He speaks of His return and the end of time in the verses after Matt 24:35.. In verse 36 He says regarding His return and the end of time, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”..

      Christ couldn’t give them signs to watch for regarding His return, because He didn’t even know when the end would come, the Father is the only one who knows the day and time.. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32)

      He plainly says that the time of His return would be a surprise and it would catch man unaware in verses 37-39 “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” ..and verse 42 “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

      You end-time premillenniumists crack me up with your fictional false doctrines and beliefs..
      I especially love how you tell the author of this article “This is so wildly incorrect I can’t believe it! There is no interpretation necessary for the 144,000. Who is teaching you this stuff?” .. I hate to be the bearer of bad news Josh Gibson, but the author of this article is a lot closer to the truth and being correct than you are.. I’ve dealt with all kinds of people who buy into and teach what you teach and what you teach is false through and through.. It’s so false “wildly incorrect” doesn’t even begin to explain how wrong you and others like you are..

  4. Josh Gibson says:

    One last thing: You will probably have a Caiaphas moment (tearing your shirt and screaming “Blasphemy!!”) when you read that the 1st horseman of the apocalypse is the anti-christ, not Christ Himself, b here goes.

    Revelation 6:1-2
    I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

    Notice, the LAMB (Jesus) opens the seal. He does so because the previous verses mention He is the only one worthy to open them.

    The Seals are part of God’s judgement on the Earth. Why would Jesus come and conquer the Earth JUST before all the punishment? If Jesus conquered the Earth, His kingdom would be set up and he would rule with an iron rod (or sceptre), meaning he isn’t tolerating anymore injustice. How could this be possible if the scriptures pertaining to the seals, trumpets and bowls talk about people refusing to turn from their sin and worshipping the beast (anti-christ)?

    That is why there are so many judgements, God will give the people of that day the option to turn from their sin if they don’t have the mark of the beast.

    Christ DOES come in at Revelation 19:11-16…

    The Rider on a White Horse

    11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in[d] blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of Lords.

    This is AFTER all the judgements have been poured out on the inhabitants of the Earth.
    The description of this rider is that He has MANY crowns, a name that only He knows, and the armies of heaven with Him.

    That does not sound like the first horseman who only had one crown and was released to conquer with famine, pestilence and death following close behind.

  5. Josh Gibson says:

    Also want to say that REALLY the important thing is that you ARE a follower of Christ, and I am thankful to the Lord for that! The Bible says for us to be unified, so I need to clarify that my reason for posting all that is just to possibly shed some light where it might not have shone yet. You believe in past fulfillment of prophecy, I believe in future fulfillment. But we both agree that Christ is Lord! Amen. Love you brother, and God bless!

    (I also have to sheepishly admit that I had not read the article before I posted that first reply. You obviously know who the 144,000 are, again just a difference in belief of future and past fulfillment)

  6. BillyClyde says:

    Josh thanks commenting on the post.
    The idea that all prophecy is future crept into the church rather late in history. Martin Luther and the reformers didn’t believe that, neither did the pilgrims. It was only in the last 100 years or so that churches started preaching it. Remember a good rule of bible study, if a specific understanding of scripture makes two bible verses appear to contradict each other then that understanding is wrong.

    Now having said that, I must also point out that the idea that all the events in Revelation have already happened is nonsense. Neither preterism or futurism can be made to fit scripture without jumping through hoops. The protestant church traditionally held the historicist view. That is the view that the events described in Revelation are in the process of taking place, some have happened and some have not. It’s basic reformed theology, that is the theology held by Luther and the rest of the reformers. I believe it is the correct view because it fits scripture without creating any contradictions.

    We don’t have to agree on this. Perhaps if we both continue to study our views will come together in the future.

  7. Prince Vic says:

    This teaching is brilliant! But it’s wrong! Very wrong! Very very wrong! Why do I say that?
    It’s simple. Even if you will not agree that Matt24 is also taking to the saints, that verse15-29 is the 666 and verse 30 is the rapture; Jesus comes again to explain end time events to prove these points in Rev. But since you seem to understand Rev and not Matt, i will use Rev.

    You said Rev 7:9 is the our rapture right! And the trumps and bowls are the same right! Don’t forget that these 7 trumpets where sounded against the remnant of the earth as God’s wrath(not antichrist wrath-after rapture, God’s wrath-Isa 26:19-21). Now the question is: Why were the 144,000 still on the earth in Rev9:3-5 after the our rapture in Rev 7:9 if you say they where raptured 2000 yrs ago. We see in Rev 9 that God chose these people so if could protect them from the plagues he will sent on the earth until he comes again the 3rd time for Armageddon.

    You are very right when you say they are strictly Israelites but:
    1. They are not the saints of the crucifixion and,
    2. They will be on the earth after we are raptured.

    God bless you! Great work!

  8. Prince Vic says:

    Are you guys end time dudes? I don’t know if you know the meaning of the wilderness and wings of Rev 12:14,6? This is the end time key of protection from the dragon before the rapture takes place in REVELATION 14:14.

  9. BillyClyde says:

    Hello Vic. I siad Rev 7:9 is our ressurection not our rapture. Rapture is another matter. As for Rev 9, The saints of the first ressurection were long gone by the time Rev 9:3-5 took place. The saints in Rev 9 are from the church not Israel. That is if you subscribe to reformed theology. I enjoyed your comments even though we don’t agree on everything.

  10. BillyClyde says:

    Vic we’re not exactly end timer but the preacher does speak about it once in a while. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him speak on Rev 12:6,14. I personally think the woman is the Jerusalem Church. Don’t know that for sure though.

  11. Prince Vic says:

    Okay Billy. I understand. 🙂 Well i happen to be an end timer; BECAUSE of my love for it and the wisdom the SPIRIT gave me.

    The rapture and the resurrection happen the same day- the last day of the world. Proof:
    The last day of the world is the day of the resurrection Jn11:24, it’s also the day of the rapture(angelic separation-Mat24:30) Matt13:39. All the angels will be present Matt25:31, all the good and evil will resurrect leaving hell empty. John 5:28-29

    I can go on and on. But just know this: the saints will be fully present for the 666. This is the biggest life changing revelation of end time Prophecy. The earlier we understand Rev 12:6,14 the better.

    Let nobody dispute this(666 thing) when they don’t know the 2 wings, the wilderness or the points i gave above.

  12. Prince Vic says:

    The woman is the church, the stars on her head; the moon, the sun represent Israel Gen 37:9-10, the child is Jesus, the woman’s pain is the death of Jesus and Child’s catching up is the ascension of Jesus. John 15:20-22

    And if Jesus went to Heaven in Rev12(AA), and came in Rev 14:14(BB) and came the 3rd time in Rev 19:11(CC), WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN:
    1. AA-BB: The 666
    2. BB-CC: The anger of God

    You will be truly blest if you read ALL the bible passages i wrote! Rev1:3

  13. Prince Vic says:

    It was nice meeting you Billy.

  14. Evans Parker says:

    I would like information on how to contact you. I believe the first resurrection has passed and the 144,000 got up with Jesus as well.

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