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Are their two groups of 144,000 in Revelation?

A possible theory to consider...

and is speculation based on the scriptures, and certainly isn't "Thus says the Lord." It is to stimulate discussion and study so we can all come to the knowledge God wants us to have and understand!

The number 144,000 has been bantered back and forth as to who they are and where they fit in salvation and prophecy. Who are the 144,000, and why are there TWO groups of 144,000 discussed in Revelation?

Let's see what scriptures have to say about these two groups.

Rev 14:1 "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."

Here, God tells us that this 144,000 are "firstfruits to God." The firstfruits are portrayed in the Feast of Pentecost... Feast of Firstfruits. It is the memorial of the spring harvest of humans in God's plan. In farming in the Middle East, the spring harvest is a very small harvest compared to the fall harvest, portrayed by the "Last Great Day", the last day after the Feast of Tabernacles. This fall harvest is the rest of humanity resurrected in the second resurrection who were not called, or given a chance to know or understand God's plan or hear the Gospel of the kingdom.

What may surprise most Christians is that the 144,000 discussed above are all those who will be resurrected at Christ's return, as the firstfruits of salvation. Christ is the FIRST of the firstfruits...

1 Cor 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Christ is the first human to ever be resurrected, (Born Againand is the first of the harvest. Those people Called by God in this age are those who receive the "firstfruits" of the spirit of God...

Rom 8:23 "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."

From Adam through to the time of Christ's return, there will be a total of 144,000 people who will be trained to rule with Christ at His return... to be the wife of Christ...

Rev 19:6 "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."

Here we see that these people are given new robes in the resurrection... they are now spirit beings as Christ is and will be married to him.

Rev 20:4 "And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This ( the preceding scriptures 1-4) is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."

God is preparing His Kingdom to come to this earth and to reign over all humanity. Those left after the great battle at Christ's return will be taught God's ways, and the saints... those who were called and prepared by Christ and resurrected, will rule with Him for 1000 years. Those resurrected later... The "rest of the dead" will then be given physical life once again and will have their minds opened to God's plan and have their opportunity to respond.

The only other place mentioning any 144,000 is in Rev 7

Rev 7:1 "After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried 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, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.' 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: :5 of the tribe of Judah (Jews today) twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; :6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; :7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi (among the tribe of Judah/Jews today) twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; :8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed."

Remember that this 144,000 are JUST of the 12 tribes, so they cannot be "the" 144,000 of Rev. 12. God's 144,000 called into His Church are of every nation and people of the earth, NOT just physical Israelites. This is a major distinction some miss.

It appears that the preaching of the Two Witnesses of God will bring a number of people to repentance of the 12 tribes, who will be protected by God from the last 7 trumpet plagues, and likely live over into the millennium as physical people to help begin the kingdom and be the millennial continuation of God's true church. There is no mention of these having overcome, and been perfected throughout life and molded into Christ's image, or resurrected with the elect Church.

The easiest answer is this… the true (this age) church appears to be 144,000, beginning to end, period, ending when the second resurrection occurs… as Rev 14 explains.

This other group is lumped in with the 12 tribes of Israel... 12,000 from each tribe. We know the true church today, in this age, is NOT all national Israelites. In fact, there are gentiles throughout it as Paul and Peter both attest to, and we know today. Since we know the "lost" 10 tribes aren't really "lost," (they just don't know who they are yet today), the only other explanation is that this group is the beginning of the "new" "Israel" that God will have as a show case in the millennium, and whom David and the 12 apostles will be ruling over. "Israel" in the millennium has to start somewhere, and it seems to be right at the end of this age, when He calls out some of modern day "Israel" to understand His plan and to begin the process of salvation, and whom He seals/protects from the end time plagues. Remember, the saints are already sealed long before this when they are baptized and receive God's spirit, so to "seal" them again doesn't make sense. The remnant church members may likely be taken to a place of safety anyway...

Rev 12:14 "But the woman (church) was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent."

This is a three and a half year period corresponding to the 3.5 year tribulation period when the two witnesses will be preaching to the world. so they don't need sealing, and those who are the remnant are "purged with fire" to bring complete repentance. Likely these "sealed" (protected) people will later be baptized by God's saints in the millennium, into God's millennial church age.

The remnant, those of the collective church not protected are now targets of Satan...

Rev 12:17 "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, (Those who were protected by God in this "place") and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

For various reasons, God does NOT protect this group. For example:

  • Rev 3:14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say,'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

  • Matt 25:3 "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9 But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut."

Who these 144,000 are isn't critical for salvation, but it could play a part in our understanding of what God is orchestrating for His end time church and the millennial reign of Christ and the saints. Maybe all have the wisdom to discern the truth and to discuss this openly!

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