After the first 5 seals are broken by Jesus Christ, the LAMB OF GOD and the ONLY ONE WORTHY to break the seals and open the scroll, Revelation 7 then moves to what is called an “interlude”.
Just before the interlude in Revelation 7, the breaking of the 6th seal reveals an earth-shaking event, one in which the sky will be rolled up like a scroll, all of the “mountains and islands” (world governments) moved out of their place, and the people all over the earth will hide in caves and the rocks of the mountains. When the 6th seal breaks, this event will be so earthshaking that it will cause many people to take shelter. The sky rolling up like a scroll SOUNDS like a nuclear mushroom cloud, so it is possible that the 6th seal is the detonation of a single nuke, indicating that a nuclear exchange is imminent. It is common knowledge that mountain bunkers are probably the safest places to escape radioactive fallout in the event of a nuclear war.
In Matthew 24, Jesus warned His Jewish brothers and sisters (people of Judah) to FLEE into the MOUNTAINS when they SEE the abomination of desolation standing in “the Holy Place”, where it “ought not to be. The abomination of desolation IS the antichrist. The antichrist will REVEAL himself when he fakes a resurrection, imitating Jesus’ TRUE resurrection. This fake resurrection will likely happen in Jerusalem, the city that bears God’s Name. While the entire earth is marveling after the beast, the Jewish people in JUDAH need to HEED Jesus’ warning and RUN for the mountains.
Revelation 13: 3: I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;
In Matthew 24, the verses that directly FOLLOW Jesus’ admonition about the abomination of desolation are verses about FALSE MESSIAHS and LYING SIGNS AND WONDERS. The antichrist is COMING (revealed) through a “LYING SIGN AND WONDER”. We believe that a fake RESURRECTION will be THE LYING SIGN AND WONDER that will REVEAL the antichrist. Revelation 13 makes it appear that the false prophet will have something to do with this LYING SIGN AND WONDER, this FAKE RESURRECTION that will REVEAL the antichrist to the world.
2 Thessalonians 2:9: Even him (antichrist), whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
Revelation 13:14: And he (false prophet) deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast (antichrist), telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.
Matthew 24:15: “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) (Jerusalem/Human body), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Matthew 24:21: For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I have told you in advance.
Matthew 24:29: “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Let’s focus on the stars falling from the sky in Matthew 24:29. We see this EXACT same imagery in Revelation 6 at the opening of the 6th seal. It seems that the opening of the 6th seal will occur very quickly AFTER the abomination of desolation stands in the HOLY PLACE. This is why Jesus warned the Jewish people to HIDE in the MOUNTAINS after they SEE the AOD. The rich kings of the earth will be HIDING IN THE MOUNTAINS…..so should the Jewish people! Underground bunkers are the safest place to be on the earth during a nuclear war. I personally would prefer to be RAPTURED and escape this entirely!
Revelation 6: 12: I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth (sun darkened) made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood (moon not give it’s light); 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth (stars fall from the sky), as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
Revelation 6:15: Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains
The 6th seal will be a pretty frightening event, but it is only the beginning. After the 6th Seal is broken, Revelation 7 tells us that God is holding back the MASSIVE destruction that will occur in the 7th seal. The opening of the 7th seal will begin the sounding of the 7 Trumpets. In the book of Revelation, there are increasingly painful judgments, moving from 7 Seals to 7 Trumpets, to 7 Bowls. Each judgment will get progressively WORSE. The breaking of the 7th seal IS the sounding of the seven TRUMPETs.
Before the 7th seal is broken, there is an interlude in Revelation 7...a break in the action. God is having the Angels, standing at the 4 corners of the earth, hold back the MASSIVE destruction from the 7 Trumpets UNTIL the 144,000 have been SEALED on their foreheads. In Revelation 7:2 (below), the earth, sea, and trees, symbolize all of God’s creation, including man. In the Bible, trees are often metaphors for PEOPLE.
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.
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, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
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:
God is not allowing the Trumpets to sound UNTIL the 144,000 bond servants of God are SEALED on their foreheads. The question is, who are these 144,000? Before we go into some additional details about this group, we need to tell you that there are major differing opinions about the IDENTITY of the “144,000”. Also important to note is that a group of 144,000 is ALSO DESCRIBED in Revelation 14. Are they the same group of 144,000 as seen in Revelation 7?
- Christian CULTS (not TRUE Christianity) have built DOCTRINE revolving around THEIR BELIEF that THEY ALONE are in this group (Jehovah’s Witnesses).
- Other Christians believe that this group only includes 144,000 Jewish male virgins (we’ll tell you why in a bit).
- Some Christians believe that this group of 144,000 is a SPIRITUAL number that includes ALL Believers.
- Finally, because this group is mentioned in both Revelation 7 and Revelation 14, some people think that there may be 2 groups of 144,000, one group of 144,000 Jews (literal number), and the other group of 144,000 (spiritual number) Christians.
We want to emphasize that although we are going to investigate the IDENTITY of the 144,000 in this blog post, the Christian is NOT to focus on “endless genealogy”. God LOVES all of His Children EQUALLY, so there is no need to DESIRE to be a part of some “exclusive Christian group”. This leads to pride (sin), and “cultic” behavior. If we fix our eyes on JESUS, then we will end up EXACTLY where HE wants us to be..and there is no better place than that!
1 Timothy 1:3: As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
With that stated, let’s take a look at a couple of key words in the verses about the 144,000 in Revelation 7. The first thing we notice is that there is a SEAL being applied to the FOREHEADS of the bond servants of God, and that the Angels are holding back the TRUMPET DESTRUCTION UNTIL the sealing is finished. What is this Seal? It seems pretty important.
Do you notice the similarity and contrast between the SEAL of God and the MARK of the beast? Isn’t it interesting that the beast (antichrist) is causing all those who LIVE in his kingdom (New World Order) to take a MARK (of the beast) either on the FOREHEAD or RIGHT HAND, and GOD is SEALING His Servants also on the FOREHEAD. Both the seal and the mark involve the forehead; HOWEVER, only the MARK involves the “right hand”. Hmmm... We believe that the mark of the beast is both spiritual and literal, meaning that spiritually it represents WHO a person WORSHIPS, and PHYSICALLY, it will ALLOW for people to BUY OR SELL (conduct COMMERCE) in the antichrist kingdom (Rev.13:17). The forehead represents a person’s MIND, or their THOUGHTS, and the hand represents a person’s ACTIONS or WORKS. Those who worship the beast will take his MARK into their foreheads, as this is who they worship. God’s SEAL is also put on the FOREHEADS of HIS BOND SERVANTS, those who WORSHIP YHWH. God commands us to LOVE HIM with all of our heart, MIND, soul, and strength. But in contrast to THE MARK, God doesn’t put His SEAL on the hand, because worship of God is about FAITH (BELIEF IN JESUS) not WORKS.
Luke 10:27: So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
What IS the Seal of God? Because the “mark of the beast” has to do with whom we give our allegiance and worship, it seems logical that the SEAL of God must also have something to do with WORSHIP and ALLEGIANCE. God SET HIS SEAL on Jesus Christ, our Messiah. The verses below indicate that those who BELIEVE the Gospel of TRUTH, who are IN CHRIST, are ALSO SEALED with the Holy Spirit of Promise which is given to us as a PLEDGE of our INHERITANCE. The Holy Spirit of God IS the Seal of God. All those who BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ, who WORSHIP the Lord Jesus Christ, HAVE the SEAL OF GOD. It is good to know that God’s children are sealed, secure, and sustained amid the wickedness of this transitory world.
John 6:27: Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
2 Timothy 2:19: Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
Ephesians 1:13: In Him (Jesus), you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
God is holding back the destruction from the Trumpets until HIS BOND SERVANTS are SEALED on their FOREHEADS. A bond servant is a slave or servant who has been “set free”, but still desires to serve the Master out of their freedom, not out of slavery. If you’ve ever read about a slave being set free, but is so loyal to their “owner”, that they DESIRE to remain and serve even after being FREED…These are the BOND SERVANTS of GOD. The Disciple Paul OFTEN called himself a BONDSERVANT of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 1:1: Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
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:
5 from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, 6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, 7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.
In Revelation 7, John states very clearly that he HEARS the number that are being sealed…144,000. John is being TOLD that there are exactly 144,000…12,000 from EACH of the 12 Tribes of Israel. 12X12,000 = 144,000. This seems very specific so I tend to think that this is a LITERAL number. Some believe it is spiritual because the number 12 means God’s perfect government, but this is so highly specific, I tend to think it’s literal.
Interestingly, when we compare the ORIGINAL 12 Tribes of Israel to the 12 Tribes LISTED in Revelation 7, we discover that the Tribe of Joseph is counted twice, once as “Joseph”, and once as ONE of Joseph’s sons Manasseh. Joseph’s second son, Ephraim, is excluded from this list. That is SIGNIFICANT because in Hosea 8:8, Ezekiel 37, John 10:16, and Romans 9:24-26, Ephraim becomes synonymous with Gentile Believers. The other Tribe that is noticeably missing from the LIST in Revelation 7 is the tribe of Dan. This is understandable because Historically, the tribe of Dan was very rebellious. Some people even think that the antichrist will come from the tribe of Dan.
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. 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.
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. 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. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.
As we see above, the 144,000 are also mentioned in Chapter 14, but there are some VERY interesting differences between the 144,000 described in Revelation 7 and Revelation 14. The first noticeable difference is that this time John SEES the 144,000, rather than HEARING the number. This seems significant. Second, this group of 144,000 is seen standing on Mount Zion WITH THE LAMB of God (JESUS CHRIST). Zion means fortification, and carries with it the idea of being RAISED UP as a monument. In the Old Testament, Zion figuratively describes Israel as the people of God. In the NEW TESTAMENT, ZION refers to God’s SPIRITUAL KINGDOM.
Hebrews 12:22: But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
Continuing on, in Revelation 7 there is no mention of the Lamb of God, like there is in Revelation 14. Revelation 7 goes to great lengths to EXACTLY NUMBER the group of people and provides SPECIFIC DETAILS about their GENEALOGY. Noticeably missing is the Tribe of Ephraim, who is SYNONYMOUS with the Gentile Believer. We would have to assume that the group of 144,000 SEALED individuals in Revelation 7 are NOT Gentile Christians. Also, we must remember WHY this group was being SEALED in Revelation 7. The Trumpets were about to blast, and God was putting HIS SEAL on HIS PEOPLE SO THAT they would be PROTECTED from the IMPENDING JUDGMENTS. Also, because this happens in the middle of the Tribulation, we believe that the GENTILE BELIEVERS will have already been RAPTURED and REMOVED from the earth. Revelation 12 clearly states that the manchild (body of Christ) is CAUGHT UP to God’s Throne, and the child of the woman (Jewish people who WILL BECOME BELIEVERS) are taken to the wilderness and protected for 1260 days.
Revelation 12:5: And she (Israel/Jews) gave birth to a son (Jesus/body of Christ – Christian), a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child (Christian) was caught up (Rapture/harpazo) to God and to His throne.
Revelation 2:26: He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father;
Revelation 12:6: Then the woman (Israel/Jews..144,000?) fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
In Revelation 14, the GENEOLOGY of this group of 144,000 is NOT mentioned, and therefore does not seem significant. What IS mentioned is that they have the Name of JESUS and the FATHER written on their foreheads (SEAL OF GOD). They are SEEN with JESUS (THE LAMB OF GOD) on Mt. Zion (New Jerusalem). John then states that this group “SINGS A NEW SONG”, one that ONLY the 144,000 could sing. Hmm…that certainly wasn’t spoken of in Revelation 7. Also, this group has been PURCHASED from the earth. Revelation 14 does NOT speak of Genealogy, but DOES speak of OWNERSHIP. Jesus PURCHASED His people with HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD. We belong to JESUS! This group of 144,000 follow the Lamb wherever He goes, they are FIRST FRUITS to GOD and the to the LAMB, and they are found BLAMELESS. The group of 144,000 spoken of in Revelation 14, SOUNDS like Christians, NOT JewS.
Revelation 14:4: These are the ones who have NOT BEEN DEFILED WITH WOMEN, for they have kept themselves chaste (VIRGIN).
But are they all MALE VIRGINS as some think? No! The group of 144,000 SEEN in Revelation 14 is a SPIRITUAL GROUP! Mt. Zion is the NEW JERUSALEM, the number 144,000 is NOT a literal number, as it was in Revelation 7. When Revelation 14 states that this group is NOT defiled with women, John is again using a METAPHOR. The “ women” that this group of 144,000 are NOT defiled with is the Babylonian religion (WHORE OF BABYLON) that has weaved its way into pretty much ALL of man’s religions. In the Bible, a “woman” is often used as a metaphor for religion. This group of 144,000 are found BLAMELESS because they are COVERED in the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST. We do not HEAR that the first group of 144,000 SEALED in Revelation 7 are found blameless (at least not yet). The group of 144,000 spoken of in Revelation 14 are called FIRSTFRUITS to the LAMB AND TO GOD. They are a SPIRITUAL number of CHRISTIAN GENTILE BELIEVERS. Could there be Jewish Believers in this group also? Yes..MESSIANIC JEWISH BELIEVERS could definitely be a part of the 144,000 seen in Revelation 14!
Revelation 14: 4: ….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. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; THEY ARE BLAMELESS.
Romans 8:23: And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
So what we’re seeing is TWO GROUPS of 144,000 (Revelation 7/Revelation 14). Perhaps these are the TWO WAVE LOAVES spoken of in Leviticus 23:17? The first group is being sealed as a means of protecting them THROUGH the Tribulation period. They will be taken to the wilderness and HAND FED the TRUTH by GOD for 1260 days. God has chosen them before the foundation of the world. John only HEARS about this first group, he doesn’t SEE them. The numbering of this group is EXTREMELY SPECIFIC (12,000 from each tribe), which probably indicates that it is a LITERAL NUMBER. This first group is being sealed BEFORE the Trumpet judgments begin on the earth SO THAT they will be PROTECTED.
Revelation 12:14: But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman (Israel), so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
We also find out later, in Revelation 9, that during the 5th Trumpet, those who had been sealed with the SEAL OF GOD are PROTECTED!
An important thing to note: When the Bible says “Do not hurt the grass, or any green thing or tree (Rev. 7), it is speaking of more than a literal Forest. As a Biblical metaphor, people are also considered as grass and TREES.
Revelation 9: 4: They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads
1 Peter 1:24: because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,
Psalm 103:15: As for man, his days are like grass–-he blooms like a flower of the field;
Psalm 92:12: The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Matthew 3:10: Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Jeremiah 17:8: For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
The Seal of God acts as PROTECTION to the first group of 144,000 and is similar to something that God did for His people during the time of the Babylonian invasion. God protected those who had HIS MARK on their foreheads. (at this time, mankind did NOT have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (SEAL OF GOD).but they WERE able to either align themselves WITH or AGAINST GOD.) In Ezekiel 9 (Old Testament) everyone who did NOT have YHWH’S MARK on their forehead was KILLED. The antichrist ‘s MARK OF THE BEAST is IMITATING, TWISTING AND DISTORTING God’s OLD TESTAMENT MARK FROM EZEKIEL 9. On this Side of the Cross (NEW COVENANT), God NO LONGER MARKS HIS PEOPLE! Now, God SEALS His people with the SEAL OF GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Ezekiel 9:3: Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen (probably pre-incarnate Jesus/Theophany) at whose loins was the writing case. 4 The Lord (GOD THE FATHER) said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” 5 But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare.
What about the 2nd Group of 144,000 seen in Revelation 14? John SEES this Group standing WITH JESUS CHRIST, THE LAMB OF GOD in Mt. Zion (New Jerusalem)! This group is called “FIRST FRUITS to the LAMB”. We believe that this group is the Church of Philadelphia mentioned in Revelation 3, these are the ‘DEAD IN CHRIST who RISE FIRST“, the FAITHFUL CHURCH. We do NOT believe that the number “144,000” in Revelation 14 is a literal number. Like the group of “144,000” seen in Revelation 14, the Church of Philadelphia has the NEW NAME of GOD AND THE LAMB WRITTEN ON THEM. The Church of Philadelphia is being made into a PILLAR in the Temple of God.
Revelation 3:10: Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
In Revelation 7, just after the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish (Hebrew) people, John then sees a group so large that no man can number all dressed in White. This group appears to be the ENTIRE Raptured Church. In our opinion, this group includes not only the “Church of Philadelphia” (Firstfruits to the Lamb and to God), but also ALL of the Lukewarm Saints who REPENTED and were READY for the RAPTURE. Revelation 7 paints us a picture of the entire RAPTURED CHURCH, THE ENTIRE WHEAT HARVEST, in HEAVEN BEFORE THE TRUMPETS SOUND..around the THRONE OF GOD…HALLELUJAH! This is INDEED a GLORIOUS SIGHT!
A Multitude from the Tribulation – REVELATION 7
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; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying,
“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
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?” 14 I (John) said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of (ESCAPE /SEPARATE FROM) The great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 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. 16 They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 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.”