Who are the 144.000
As with the True Israel of God, Gal 6:16, Rom11:26, being those who, like Abraham, Walk in the Steps of Faith, do the deeds of faith, from all nations and tongues, so the symbolic 144.000 in Rev14 are the Righteous Saints in the Gospel age who have no guile in their mouth, are pure of heart and Keep the Commandments of the Lord. Comparing Scripture with scripture we find them described and the four gospels and the Epistles as the great harvest of believers.
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
2 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:
3 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.
(redeemed from the corrupting influence of sin and given all things that pertain to life and godliness, 2Pet1:3-4)
4 These are they which
were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow
the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the
firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
(the Wise Virgins who follow the lamb to the blessed marriage, Matt25:1-13, take up their cross of persecution and follow Christ, Mk8:34-38, Lk9:23-27, the First fruits unto God, Rom8:23, Js1:18, not of the resurrection, but those redeemed to follow the Lamb)
5 And in their mouth was found no
guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
(blessed is the man in who's heart there is no guile, Ps34:1, Jh1:47, 1Thes1:10, the true Saints who have Purified their hearts by Obedience to the Truth, through the Spirit, 1Pet1:22, Producing deeds worthy of faith, Js2:22-24, Not as perfect as God in Knowledge, but perfect in Obedience from the heart in accordance with the measure given them Rom6:16, 2Pet3:14)
6 And I saw another angel fly in the
midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on
the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
(all the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the righteous line)
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God,
and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him
that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
(the Judgment is Now, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, Matt3:2)
8 And there followed another angel,
saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all
nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
(already crumbling as spoken, not a futuristic event. Babylon, the great whore Church has been eaten away generation by generation through its own corruption growing worse and worse, 2Tim3:1-13)
9 And the third angel followed them,
saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and
receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
(those who love the world, lust of flesh, eyes and pride of life, 1Jh2:15-17, identified by the Mark they have freely received because they refuse to crucify the flesh with its evil passions and desires, Rev13:16, Rom6:4-6, defiled evil eye from within, Mk7:21-23)
10 The same shall drink of the wine
of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his
indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence
of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
(the Gospel Messengers of God, often called 'angels in Revelation as the messengers to the Churches. These punished because obey not gospel, when Lord returns, 2Thes1:8-9)
11 And the smoke of their torment
ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship
the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
(this speaking of the hell on earth, lawless, apostate Church, who worship the Beast, his image (false Christ) and are marked with the stigma of sin they will not forsake in repentance)
12 Here is the patience of the saints: (the symbolic 144,000) here are they that keep(holdfast) the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Jh14:15, 1Jh 2:3, 1Jh3:22, 24, Matt19:17, 1Jh5:2-3, Rev12:17, the Saints Obey)
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: (henceforth meaning all who have passed on and had kept the faith during the gospel age) Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (works of Righteousness done in love, storing up treasure in heaven)
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the
temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy
sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the
earth is ripe.
(this speaks of the great harvest of Wheat during the gospel age, Matt13:37-43)
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. (Babylon the great harlot Church is fallen, the abomination of desolation is Judged)
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. (the Wrath of God poured out on the children of disobedience, Col3:6, Eph5:6, who think the wrath was poured out on Jesus in their place)
20 And the winepress was trodden
without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse
bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
(metaphoric for the time frame of those who obey not the gospel, the era of wild grapes, Rev 11:2, the three measures of leaven that was took and hid, Mat13:33, the great tree that provides shade to the whole earth, Dan4:11-12, the mustard tree branches filled with fowls of the air, Matt13:31-32, their blood reaches the fullness of their crimes against God)
The 144,000 has nothing to do with the Nation of Israel or some imaginary revival among the Jews. It is a symbolic number that represents the 'true Israel' of God, gathered in during the Gospel age, from all nations and tongues. The linage, dating back to Abel, Seth, Noah, represents the Righteous line who walk by faith and keep His Commandments, grafted into the True Vine, Rom11:15-22. Throughout the Gospel age they represent the true witness of Jesus Christ and will eventually be vindicated at the great resurrection and final Judgment.
By Mike D