SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : 144 000 Sealed- Who are They? Literal or Symbolic?

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
PosterThread
EvangelTam
Member



Joined: 2011/1/29
Posts: 149


 144 000 Sealed- Who are They? Literal or Symbolic?

Hey All,

So first off thank you to all who have been posting in response to the questions on Revelation! There have been some really helpful responses so far in regards to the thread of the Two Witness.
That being said I wanted to bring up the 144 000 witnesses as I heard many different things concerning them

Some questions that I am pondering are:
Who are the 144 000 witnesses? Are they literal or symbolic? are the 144 000 in Rev 7 the same as those on Revelation 14? Is Mt. Zion the literal mountain in Israel?

Let me put forth what I have come to intepret on some of the questions asked. I think that there is good evidence that the 144 000 in Revelation 7 are symbolic of God's Chosen people and NOT literally 144 000 people of Hebraic descent.

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. 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.”

The 144,000
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. -Revelation 7:1-8

If we look at the letter that James writes he uses similar language:

James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. James 1:1

James here addresses the recipients as the "twelve tribes." From what I understand he is not talking about the 12 tribes as the twelve tribes of Israel but rather all believers. It would not make sense for him to be addressing the Jewish people only and have the letters sent everywhere where gentile believers would be reading.

It is more likely that he is addressing Spiritual ISrael as seen in this passage

And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. Galatians 6:16

Here Paul is talking to gentile believers and jewish calling them both the "Israel of God"

From what I understand in scripture the NT covenant brings Jews and Gentiles together under one nation called "Israel"

16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”c He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Romans 4:16-17

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; Romans 10:12

What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin Romans 3:9

14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone Eph 2:14-20

The whole idea of sealing is found in Paul's letters where ALL believers are sealed with the HS
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption Eph 4:30

Lastly:
4And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. Revelation 9:11

When the fifth trumpet sounds only those with the seal will be saved from the judgement. It would not make sense for it only to be Jewish people since the above has already established that they are the same and have become one.

Now for the numbers:

16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”c He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Romans 4:16-17

God promises Abraham to be the father of many nations the word nation here translates to greek "ethene" meaning people groups! From this passage we can see that this promise is fullfilled in every way not only through blood but now also in a spiritual sense through faith in Christ.

12 tribes
12x12= 144
12x 12 000 = 144 000

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery-- so that you will not be wise in your own estimation-- that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; Romans 11:25

I believe this play on numbers symbolizes the "fullness" of the gentiles being sealed! Meaning that it is multiplied fully to fill all of God's plan!

This symbolism is similar to how Jesus says not 70 times but 70 x 7 when Peter asks him how many times should he forgive symbolizing eternal forgivess Matt. 18:21-22

Now for the 144 000 in Rev 14 I am not so sure about that.

Please feel free to comment on this and give your own convictions on this passage!

In Christ
Evangel

 2011/11/16 21:17Profile
Christinyou
Member



Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3699
Ca.

 Re: 144 000 Sealed- Who are They? Literal or Symbolic?

These are 12,000 individuals from each tribe of the Nation of Israel. Just like the fulness of the Gentiles, God knows the exact number and when it will be fulfilled. Just like the exact number who, "have not bowed their knee to Baal." Romans 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

I don't believe they are spiritual Israel, for the 144,000 will live on this earth in the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ as His witnesses to the world of Jesus Christ the Son God of whom we, the born again sons of God will be ruling and reigning with Him. Bondservants, witnesses, are different.

In Christ, a bondservant, adopted and sons of God: Phillip


_________________
Phillip

 2011/11/21 19:45Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re: 144 000 Sealed- Who are They? Literal or Symbolic?

Evangel,

I will have to disagree with you as to the identity of the 144,000.

I believe these are Hebrews because he identifies them, informs us of their physical heritage. If you will count these tribes listed you will notice one tribe missing. You will also notice that Joseph's sons were equal with their uncles.

Now, notice which one of Jacob's sons is missing from this list? I will tell you, it is Dan. This omission would lead me to think this is more then just figurative. It is literal.

Still. We cannot direct the affairs as shared in Revelation - all we can do is read and be challenged. God chooses who wants to be included in these 144,000 - which obviously is an extremely limited number of saints who will get to heaven. But they apparently have a task to fulfill.

BTW, ever wondered who the 24 elders are that surround the throne?

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2011/11/22 14:19Profile
TrueWitness
Member



Joined: 2006/8/10
Posts: 522


 Re:

Of course today none of the Jews can trace their ancestry back far enough to determine what tribe they are from. Because of interbreeding between the tribes, there are probably no persons that are fully 100% of any one tribe. It is a good bet that Jews with last names of Levi, Levine, etc. were originally from the tribe of Levi. When the Jewish Temple is rebuilt, the priests will almost certainly be chosen from persons with those last names. I also heard it reported that Jews with the last name of Cohen had the highest percentage of Levitical blood. No explanation was given to how this was determined. DNA testing? I have no idea.
So when these 144,000 come on the scene of human history, nobody here on Earth will know what tribe any of them are from. They are sealed on their foreheads, but it is not certain that the seal is something that humans can see with their eyes. But it could be. It could be a spiritual seal that purely spirit beings can see.

 2011/11/22 14:44Profile
MrBillPro
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3237
Texas

 Re:

I used to attend a Bible study were the person that held the study told us we all were part of that 144,000, as I said I used to attend.


_________________
Mr. Bill

 2011/11/22 15:38Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: 144 000 Sealed- Who are They? Literal or Symbolic?

Evangel:

My take on it is that the 144000 are 12000 each from the 12 tribes of Israel. I might be wrong, but I find nothing in scripture that suggests to me that I should interpret such an explicit statement any other way.

As to some of the other observations, I believe James was writing the letter to the 12 tribes of Israel. When Israel was dispersed the people belonging to the 12 tribes were scattered. Since the nation was divided geographically by tribes and since families tended to marry within their own tribes it makes perfect sense that these groups would stick together to a great degree as they were dispersed. To be a believer does not negate the part one has in a tribe of Israel. There are many Benjamite Christians for example. James was writing a letter that he wanted to be circulated among the believers of all 12 tribes of Jews. Remember Paul was called to take the Gospel to the Gentiles but Peter, James, etc. ministered primarily to their fellow Israelites.

For Paul to talk about the two becoming one as I see it is simply referring to the fact that the way of Salvation was opened up to both Jew and Gentile. Remember the Jew prided himself in being God's chosen. Romans 2-3 will bear this out. But God has now chosen all men through faith to be part of His kingdom. The Jews did not understand that they were chosen as an ensample to the world, but that it was God's desire that ALL come to repentance and relationship with Him. I know that what I have said might oversimplify it a bit, but that is the gist of it I believe.

As to the fullness of the Gentiles, I believe you can demonstrate by the scripture you used plus several others that there is a time when the full number of Gentiles has believed on Christ and at that time we will see the return of the Lord.





_________________
Travis

 2011/11/22 17:20Profile
EvangelTam
Member



Joined: 2011/1/29
Posts: 149


 Re:

Thanks so much everyone for your replies so far it has given me much to think about.

I do have some questions though. Your reponses would be appreciated!

ginnyrose,
Can you please explain to me why Dan is not included on the list and why this is significant to the text? I never noticed it before.

twayneb,
Can I ask why was the letter that James wrote was included in the bible intended for gentile readers if he wrote it for the Jewss as well?

So does that mean that all beleivers except the 144 000 will be tortured in the 5 trumpet plague? This is what I find confusing. Can someone explain this please?

Are the 144 000 on mt Zion the same?
What exactly do the witnesses do? What makes them set apart than normal believers?

Thanks again!

In Christ
Evangel

 2011/11/22 19:08Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

QUOTE:
"Can you please explain to me why Dan is not included on the list and why this is significant to the text? I never noticed it before."

I do not remember what our instructor said about this! I took Revelation in Bible School and he pointed this out. If I recall, it had something to do with their apostasy but am not sure what, if any, scripture he used to prove that. The bottom line is I do not remember....I am just telling you what I was told 44 years ago but never made it a point to investigate...just know they are not listed.

Maybe you can find out and let us know?!

About the Witnesses:

They had a specific mission, accomplished it, and were killed. They laid in the streets a few days and then were resurrected in the sight of the people. Seems to me God is using them to warn the people to get right with Him. This, btw, happened, or will happen, in Jerusalem.

The point I get in Revelation is that God is working hard to get people to repent and he is using dramatic events to facilitate it. Now when I see bad things happen I believe that is what God is working to accomplish. Do you not think so, as well?


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2011/11/22 22:44Profile
savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2009


 Re: 144 000 Sealed- Who are They? Literal or Symbolic?


Rev 14:1-5 Then I looked, and there was the lamb standing on Mount Zion! With him were 144,000 people who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. Then I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. They were singing a new song in front of the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. They have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins, and they follow the lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from among humanity as the first fruits for God and the lamb.
In their mouth no lie was found. They are blameless.

Eph. 1:3,4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his presence.

Heb 12:22-24 But ye are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

The tribes of Dan and Ephraim both went off into idolatry (Judges 18:30, Hosea 4:17, 13:12). No idolaters will enter the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:8, 22:15). Joseph is a type of Christ unjustly sold for a sum of money. Levi is the priestly tribe and the church is a kingdom of priests(Rev 1:6). Judah is listed first because Jesus is from the tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5) who is the firstborn from the dead (Col 1;18, Rev 1:5) and the firstborn of many brothers (Rom 8:29).

The 144,000 are ransomed. Such a census required a ransom for each ones soul.

Rev. 7:1-8 is not a literal but a symbolic census of all who make up the body/bride of Christ (Exo 30:12, Num 1:2-49).

Levi was not included in the census (Num 1:49), Manasseh and Ephraim are included instead of Joseph, making a total of twelve tribes in the census. In Revelation Levi is included along with Joseph and one of his sons Manasseh.

Exodus 30:12 "When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his soul to the LORD when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His soul a ransom for many."

 2011/11/23 0:58Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

savannah, you suggest this number -144,000 - to be symbolic of the redeemed.

How do you account for this description that they - 144,000 - are the 'first fruits' for God and the Lamb? This would indicate they were the first ones 'ripe', the first ones 'harvested'. These were also 'virgins'. I would guess it to be literal because God blessed marriage and its accompanying intimacy. Seems to me God had set apart these 144,000 for a special task, one that is separate and apart from the millions of others who inhabit heaven...

I never noticed before that the tribe of Ephraim is missing from that list, but you are right there...

What say?


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2011/11/23 7:48Profile





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy