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Who are the 144,000?

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by JohnB445, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Active Member Supporter

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    I agree that Revelation has many flavors of figure of speech, but I believe that the description of the 144,000 in Rev 7 and Rev 14 makes it pretty clear that they are literal men of Israel.

    So we don't try to symbolize those men God listed the specific number from each named tribe of Israel.

    These men have a specific purpose during the Day of the Lord; as is prophesied elsewhere in Revelation, but also in Daniel, Zechariah, etc., having to do with the coming to the Lord of the nation Israel and the witnessing to the multitudes who will come to Christ during the tribulation.

    I understand that there are those who do not believe that any part of Revelation can be taken literally, so their opinions will differ.
     
  2. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What is really a myth is thinking that only 144,000 of all Israel are literally going to be saved, or that the number 144,000 is symbolic (a spiritual number) but that they are still tribes from the nation of Israel literally. That's like attempting to have your cake and eat it too. As always, one of the best rules to a sound Hermeneutic is that "inconsistency is the hallmark of error." Moreover:

    Revelation 7:9
    • "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;"
    Your reasoning would mean that of the nation of Israel only literally 144,000 are saved, but of the Gentiles were saved a great multitude that no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues. Considering your Dispensational doctrine of the Nation of Israel being the center of salvation, how is that possible, coherent, consistent, logical or harmonious with the rest of your teachings. Again, one of the best rules to a sound system of interpretation is that "inconsistency is the hallmark of error."

    In the Book of Revelation, that is clearly filled with imagery and great symbolism, and a narrative where precisely 12,000 from every tribe (minus 2) are saved, what on earth would make you think that this number would be literal? For example, is it the four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, or the fact that they hold the four winds of the earth so that it would not blow on the earth, sea and trees? Or is that they had washed their robes in Christ's blood, and that's how they are so white? Nothing about this whole narrative is literal. The white robes made white by blood "SYMBOLIZE" the righteousness of Christ, they aren't literal white robes, this is spiritual imagery illustrating something much more relevant than literal white robes.

    Isaiah 61:10
    • "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."
    There are people with smear tactics and talking points have got to stop privately interpreting the Bible and start allowing the Scriptures to interpret themselves. That means Jews are who the Word of God says they are, Israel is who the Word of God says it is and the robes we are clothed in is what God's Word says it is. So if Israel is who God says Israel is, then there are obviously more than a mere 144,000, and if 12,000 is a symbolic number then all Israel shall be saved as it is written (Romans 11). Not as you suppose..

    The truth is that the 144,000 were not Jews only, but Gentiles as well. They are all chosen Elect from the Old and New Testament in Spiritual Israel which the spiritual number of 144,000 represents.

    I suggest that you can read this article on Revelation 7 and the 144,000
     
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  3. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Active Member Supporter

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    You're absolutely right, of course. Fortunately, that isn't what God tells us in Scripture. The 144,000 are set aside and sealed for a specific purpose to evangelize the multitudes, Jews and gentiles alike, who will come to Christ in the Great Tribulation. Multitudes, millions, not just 144,000.

    It's like when the Holy Spirit came down on 3,000 during Pentecost, and someone suggesting that only those 3,000 were ever to be saved. No, they were the first, and were to go out and evangelize the world. Very analogous to the 144,000.

    I actually don't know anybody who isn't a JW who suggests that the 144,000 are the only ones to be saved during the GT. So, I'm not sure where you came up with the idea.
     
  4. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nowhere in Scripture that says God has put "aside" the 144,000 of Jews to preach the Gospel. I believe you are reading into Scripture.

    Does not make sense. In fact, the 3,000 saved is part of symbolic 140,000. :)

    Here is one of many: Many Pre-millennialists, even Dave Hunt, believe that.
     
  5. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Active Member Supporter

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    Except for:
    Rev 7:3-4 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.​

    Rev 14:4-5 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. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.​

    The 144,000 are clearly chosen and sealed for a purpose. You might want to argue semantics against a "set aside" if you want. But it doesn't change God's unambiguous meaning of His purpose for the 144,000.

    Uh ... Okaaay.
     
  6. Ronald

    Ronald Exhortations Supporter

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    Read Romans 11. It clearly states that the Jews were blinded for the sake of the Gentiles UNTIL THIS DAY... But during the end times, God will remove the veil of blindness; so their remnant (1/3 0f the Jews), will realize who their Messiah has been all along. Of these, this remnant, (which currently would number just under 5 million), 144,000 (12k from each tribe - that God knows) male virgins (Rev. 7 &14) will receive the Holy Spirit just prior to the destruction caused by God's Judgment during this time. What about the rest of the 4.8 million? I would imagine that there would be 144k female virgins in order to repopulate the earth after the GT. The Church will be resurrected, thus having eternal bodies, will not be given into marriage or having children.
    This is a time when the Jews will be tested once again. Children are born during the Millennial Kingdom. These children and their children's children will have a will to choose or rebel against Christ (when Satan is once again released to deceive those on earth who are not saved). Then the second Judgment against the world, (and this includes the second resurrection and death), will destroy the first heaven and first earth and a new heaven and new earth will be created, a perfect earth that will last for eternity. There will be no need of sun or moon, no more nights, God will illuminate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  7. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    John 10:27-28
    • "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    • And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
    The point being, we are not "physically" all held in the literal palms of God's hands, rather God is illustrating again the same continual covenant relationship, where He will never forget them and always defend them. To think in Isaiah 49 God is claiming his palms are tattooed with all His children is like saying that sinners have their sin engraved/tattooed on the hearts and altars, or that God is holding all of us physically in His hand. Clearly, that's not what God is saying, though it could be argued that He is. The language is symbolic, meaning He cares for them and will never forget them, and this is metaphorically how they are always in His hand. Or how they are graven/written upon His hands. Isaiah is no more portraying God with tattoos than Revelation chapter 14 is claiming His name is literally written on our foreheads. The argument is the same, and both are without real merit.

    Revelation 14:1
    • "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads."
    One could argue since it says they're His name is written there, why can't we believe it? Well, we do believe it, but as God always intended, not as we might want it to mean (for our own purposes). These Children of God don't have tattooed names written on their foreheads. Revelation is again symbolizing some spiritual truth in God's divine cryptic imagery. God has made a covenant with his people and therefore they are spiritually/metaphorically all graven, scribed or written upon, signifying they belong to God. They are His purchased possessions. Just the same as sheep are literally branded to show ownership, God's children are spiritually branded to illustrate they belong to God. Revelation 14 is an illustration of our Covenant with Him through Christ, just as Isaiah 49:16 is illustrative of His "sure" covenant with us--that He will never forget.

    Deuteronomy 4:31
    • "(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them."
    He'll not forget his people because everyone of them are spiritually graven upon the palm of His hand (Psalms 31:15) signifying that every time He lifts them up, His promise is seen. They will always be delivered out of the hand of their enemies. This is God's Spiritual truth.

    Isaiah 49:16b
    • "... thy walls are continually before me."
    Likewise the second part of that verse continues, signifying that He dwells with His people (Psalms 90:1) within this holy city. For all intents and purposes, He is its wall, their continual protection before Him, as "HE" is their only real peace and safety. Not at all unlike the metaphorical setting we see in Revelation of the wall of the great Holy city having the names of all the tribes of Israel. This is the very same Spiritual truth in view there.

    Revelation 21:12
    • "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:"
    If we look circumspectly at the context of the Isaiah passage, it's clearly speaking of the wall as their protection from those around them that would destroy them. God, within this city, has it continually before Him.

    A similar example of the use of such metaphorical language is in Revelation where God speaks of the Beast,. This Beast has all the unfaithful receive his name as a mark "written upon them." That doesn't mean that he causes all in the world that are deceived to literally/physically receive a graving, a tattoo, or a literal mark or name (As many wrongly suppose). Rather, it is symbolic of them having becoming sold out to Satan. Being brought into servitude to him as his possessions, just as we are Christ's possessions with His name upon us. It's not a physical mark that all who worship him are forced to get engraved upon them, but this is how scripture is (and always has been) written to show us some spiritual truths. God's word is spiritual, not political. That's why most of Israel is still looking for their deliverer when He has already come. That's why the Premillennialists are looking for a literal/physical kingdom and throne where Christ will rule on in this sin-cursed earth. Like National Israel before them, they don't really understand that God is Spirit, His Kingdom is not of this world, and He has already established His kingdom and rule through his people, 144,000. The same error of looking at things politically, worldly, literally and without the Spirit of truth.
     
  8. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Active Member Supporter

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    My "thing" is I tend to go on about biblical hermeneutics. Briefly, at one end of a line representing hermeneutic style -- we'll say the left side -- are those who completely allegorize the Bible and believe that all prophecy is metaphor and other figures of speech. On the far right side are those who interpret Scripture as being all literal.

    I believe that there are very, very few who totter at the absolute end of the line on either side. So, most of us are on the line on the left or right tending toward the middle, some more closely toward the ends than the others.

    I also believe that once someone has found a comfortable position on the line it is impossible to budge him or her off of it. And, once someone's position on that line is known it is fairly easy to predict their understanding of much of biblical text.

    My understanding is that you are to the left of me on the hermeneutic line. But, don't make the mistake of thinking I'm all the way over to the right end. I know the difference between figures of speech and literal interpretation.

    Having said that, it's disingenuous of you to suggest I believe that we are all being physically held in the physical palm of God's physical hand just because I believe in a literal 144,000 in Revelation -- and that much of Revelation can be taken literally.

    That's just my hermeneutic style; which differs from yours.

    OK?
     
  9. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For many people who often said:

    "Dispensationalists hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible "AS" the best hermeneutic."

    But I am MORE interested in what "THE BIBLE" says about doctrines like Dispensationalism. So then, what does that quote means? That Dispensationalists hold to the literal interpretation except when they personally/private decided it can't be a literal interpretation? In reality, that puts the onus, responsibility and burden on themselves as the decision maker of how to and when to interpret, rather than God. I for one would never want to be put in that position. When it comes to God's word, better to let God's (inerrant) word interpret itself. Exhibit A:

    Ams 9:11-15
    • "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
    • That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
    • Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
    • And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them;and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
    • And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God."

    This all may appear to be a very literal prophesy, but a scholarly study of Scripture would reveal God's word declares this all fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Christ, which your sect rejects as fulfilled because it contradicts their personal/private interpretations of "bringing back the captivity" of the people of modern state of Israel. Nevertheless, God's word is clear on the matter:

    Acts 15:124-16
    • "Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
    • And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
    • Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
    • And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
    • After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
    • That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things."
    Dispensationalism notwithstanding, God word says this pertained to the New Covenant church and it has been fulfilled. Yet these truths are heavily redacted in the writings of Dispensationalism because it doesn't fit the Dispensationalist mantra of a literal earthly restoration, rebuilding, freeing of captivity, rebuilding of the tabernacle, or the Jews returning to the Lord. That is to say, Jews under their personal definition of Jews, not God's. Same thing with 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14. For example, look at Revelation 14 that you quoted:

    "Rev 14:4-5 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. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."​

    But the question is, do you know who 144,000 really are? God said they are the ones redeemed from among men being the firstfruits unto God. So are you going to make your own "private interpretation" of the Biblical word "Firstfruits." We can't make up personal views about who are the firstfruits. The Bible is it's own interpreter, the Bible is it's own dictionary, the Bible defines it's own terms! That's what sound hermeneutics is founded upon. Not "hermeneutics style" or "hermeneutics line." And as I've testified to the witness of scripture, again and again, God's word says that we all (believers) are the firstfruits. That's not my word, that's the word of God not subject to ignoring or casting aside. By contrast, nowhere does the Bible say that Old Testament Jewish or 144,000 literal Jews of today alone are the firstfruits. You know that!!! Again, you read that into scripture, but it is not actually there. And that is where we bump heads. When you declare this "as if" this is the witness of scripture when it is actually just your assumptions. So much for debating on where you stand on "hermeneutics line."
     
  10. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Active Member Supporter

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    It's interesting what you say here.

    But it's full of rash, unfounded assumptions.

    You claim that when dispensationalists view whether something is literal or a figure of speech it is a personal/private decision, ignoring God's intent from Scripture.

    But when learned scholars such as yourselves view whether something is literal or a figure of speech it is because of discerning, accurate study of Scripture.

    Cracks me up. My my, aren't you just special!
     
  11. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    God made two promises. One to Abraham's seed, and the other to Abraham and his seed, which is Christ. One a picture of the old covenant, which couldn't be kept, and the other of the new covenant that is kept in Christ.

    Ge 15:18
    [18] In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

    This is the physical land promised Israel, Abraham's seed. And the promise was fulfilled and conditions set on it in order for them to stay there.

    De 9:5-6
    [5] Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
    [6] Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.

    If you read on you will see that God told them plainly it was not unconditional and he would take it from them. The problem is, the premillennial and otherworldly oriented theologians are preoccupied with the nation of Israel, instead of the bible.

    But we seek for a better nation and a land that cannot be conquered or plowed under by Romans, the true promised land is not in Israel, but "is" Covenant Israel. That olive tree in Romans 11 represents the Israel of God, not a physical nation. Out of that Covenant Israel "IN CHRIST" is the 144,000 that represent the spiritual people of God, not a physical people of God.
     
  12. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Active Member Supporter

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    TribSigns, have you taken a close look at Genesis 15:6-21 where God performed a solemn ritual and made the unconditional, unilateral covenant with Abraham and his seed? What is it about the character of that ritual that should stand out to you as illustrating the unconditional nature of the covenant?

    That covenant was later affirmed and re-affirmed in Genesis 22:15-18; Genesis 26:2-5; and in Hebrews 6:13-18.

    This is not to be confused with the many times that God brought judgment on Israel for her disobedience. At no time did God revoke the solemn oath he had made to Abraham and His people Israel.

    To put it colloquially, a parent can spank a child for disobedience, but it doesn't mean that the parent disinherits the child because of it.

    The proper understanding of God's plan for Israel depends heavily on understanding the difference between the two -- judgment vs disinheritance.
     
  13. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus Hebrews 2:14.... Pesky Devil, git! Supporter

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    I recommend a good study on the covenantle parable of the Rich man and Lazarus in conjunction with the covenantle book of Revelation.
    Note

    Luke 16:24 why is the rich man calling out to Father Abraham?


    LittleLambofJesus said:
    I have a question. Why is this rich man in Luke 16 calling out to "father Abraham" in this verse :confused:
    Thanks :wave:

    Lazarus and the Rich Man - Here a little, there a little - Commentary

    LUKE 16:19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day."
    We begin by scrutinizing the description Yeshua gives us of the rich man. First, he tells us that this man was clothed in purple and fine linen. This type of clothing would not have been out of the ordinary for one of considerable wealth during this time period. However, this attire also has symbolic meaning. The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary says: "The wearing of purple was associated particularly with royalty . . ." (p. 863, "Purple"). In addition, the New Bible Dictionary tells us: "The use of linen in OT times was prescribed for priests (Ex. 28:39). The coat, turban and girdle must be of fine linen." (p. 702, "Linen").

    So we see that the garments worn by this rich man were symbolic of royalty and the priesthood. With that in mind, let's see what God told Moses just before giving the Israelites the Law on Mount Sinai:......................

    Luke 16:24
    And he sounding said "Father Abraham! be thou merciful to-me! and send Lazarus! that he should be dipping the tip of the finger of him of water and should be cooling down the tongue of me
    that I am being pained in the flame this."
    [Matthew 3:9/Acts 7:30-38]
    Good question. Doesn't he believe just a tad bit late? Eveidently he had no concerns before. This also shows some other things like a person is alive after physical death. This shatters the SDA the dead know nothing IMHO.
    ===========================================
    Lazarus and the Rich Man - Here a little, there a little - Commentary

    The parable of Lazarus and the rich man has been the foundation for many of the erroneous beliefs about "hell" within traditional Christianity. Some have viewed it not as a parable, but as a true story Yeshua told to give details about the punishment of sinners in hell. Yet a thorough, unbiased examination of this story will show that the generally accepted interpretations of this passage of Scripture are erroneous and misleading. In this article, we will go through the parable verse by verse to determine what the Messiah was truly teaching.

    LUKE 16:24
    "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am anguisehd in this flame.' "

    First, notice that the rich man identifies Abraham as his father, just as the Pharisees did (John 8:39). The rich man (Judah) is now shown to be undergoing reproof, testing, and punishment in "this flame" (singular, not "these flames"). It is quite obvious that the flame is not literal, because a wet fingertip on the tongue would do nothing to quench the pain inflicted by real flames.

    The word rendered "torment" here is a form of the Greek verb odunao, which literally means "grief," "pain," or "suffering." Predominantly, it conveys the sense of mental anguish, not physical pain. Forms of this word are found only four times in the Scriptures, all in the writings of Luke. It appears twice in this parable, in verses 24 and 25. In Luke 2:48, it is used to describe the anxious distress that Mary and Joseph felt after they discovered the 12-year old Yeshua missing on the trip home from Jerusalem after the Passover feast. In Acts 20:38, it depicts the sorrow the elders of the Ephesian Church felt at Paul's farewell announcement that they would never see him again.

    The rich man cries out from the symbolic darkness of Hades for comfort because of the suffering caused by the flame. The explanation of the symbolism of the flame will require a little background information.

    In Deuteronomy 11 and 28, Moses delineates God's part in His covenant with Israel. Moses told them that if they obeyed God, they would be the most blessed nation on earth. Conversely, if they disobeyed, God promised to curse and eventually destroy them because of their sins..................

    While the significance of this seemingly pointless detail has been neglected by scholars throughout the centuries, you can be certain that it did not escape the notice of the Pharisees and scribes to which Yeshua was speaking. They thoroughly knew their history and were extremely proud of their heritage. Yeshua wanted those self-righteous Pharisees to know exactly who he was referring to with this parable. This detail cements the identity of the rich man as the House of Judah, the Jews!

    As the history of Israel in the Tanakh shows, only rarely did they obey God. Although God was patient and forgave them many times when they repented and turned back to Him, eventually He brought about the curses on Israel as He had promised.

    First the House of Israel (the 10 tribes that composed the northern kingdom of Samaria) was carried into captivity by Assyria (c. 722 BCE). Hosea, who prophesied during the end of the northern kingdom, said this about God's chosen people who were called to be a royal priesthood and a holy nation:
     
  14. ThatCanadianDude_88

    ThatCanadianDude_88 New Member

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    Hello

    It's important to really take the time to properly evaluate the passages in question contextually, but also marry it with our understanding of Biblical history. We need to have a sound approach both on the theological and historical level in order to begin answering this question properly.

    I truly believe that the 144,000 are not literal Jews, but that this is a description meaning to serve as a spiritual metaphor for the living church of Christ during that time when the Day of the Lord unfolds, the “holy people”, the “saints of the Most High”.

    It cannot be literal. The northern 10 tribes were lost in ancient times, and even from the Biblical perspective, post-exilic Jews were not identified based on tribe but were simply called Israelites. The only tribes identified in Scripture following the Babylonian diaspora are Judah, Levi, and Benjamin. Even more so, considering the time period that has elapsed since then (2500 years later), a time period which is made up of literally centuries of the worldwide Jewish population existing again as a diaspora, any sort of modern distinction of a literal amount of Jews from each tribe simply does not fit.

    Now couple this with the fact that the Biblical description of the 144,000 is, without a doubt, a clear description of the redeemed in Christ who are carriers of the Gospel, you'll know it cannot be Jews, who are to remain apostate until Christ returns when the remnant will be saved.

    It cannot be the Jews who are "saved" at Christ's return either, as the 144,000 are said to be sealed during the Day of the Lord for protection in anticipation of the judgments to follow, all this taking place PRIOR to Christ's return. Also, there is a clear Biblical distinction between the redeemed in Christ and the Remnant who will be saved. By God's sovereign grace and in accordance to His covenant faithfulness, the jewish remnant will be saved - but it is the Redeemed (gospel believing Jews and Gentiles throughout the church age) who are co-heirs with Christ according to the Abrahamic promise, who will be glorified with Christ and reign with Him. The Church of Christ are the ones who follow Him WHEN He returns.

    The number 144,000 I believe is symbolic and is meant to convey the truth that the Church at that time, when they are sealed, is complete. Practically speaking, the 144,000 are those alive during the times of end who represent the very last of the elect. We are not meant to know the exact number, which is why it is symbolic. The dispensation of grace has drawn to a close and now judgment falls on the world in anticipation of the Messianic Kingdom.

    12 x 12 or 12 squared = 144 - salvation is of the Jews and the fullness of her saving work through Christ has reached its climax, this is why Israel is the vehicle of this particular prophecy.

    Multiplied by 1000 (a number indicating completion, perfection, eternity) = 144,000

    Their sealing is what will serve as the testimony to the world at large, their protection and effective separation from the divine judgments to fall is what is going to point to the God of the Christians and announce Him to be the sovereign One over what is taking place. It is meant to be the final testimony and warning, and will put Christ into clear view in the mind's eye of the world.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  15. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Church and the 144,000

    Revelation 7:3-4 describe the 144,000 as “sealed.” That description is reserved in the NT for believers in Christ – His Body and Bride – the Church:

    2 Corinthians 1:21-22
    Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

    Ephesians 1:13
    In Him, 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,

    Ephesians 4:30
    Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


    The Revelation 7 passage is therefore conveying the insight that the OT Israelitish faithful saints of God are included under the NT banner of the Church. This is further confirmed by the meanings of the names of the listed tribes and substitutes (Levi and Joseph replacing Dan and Ephraim), describing spiritual qualities and experiences of those who comprise the Church:
    Similarly, the meanings of the names of Dan and Ephraim convey the reasons for their exclusion:
    Satan in the guise of the serpent was responsible for the fall of mankind in Genesis 3, and for the bruising of Messiah's heel in Scripture's first recorded prophecy of Genesis 3:15. It was the same serpent Satan whose head Messiah bruised at Calvary.​
    • Ephraim means “fruitful in the land of mine affliction” (Genesis 41:52)
    The reference to “the land of mine affliction” in Ephraim's name's meaning is to that of Egypt, which in Scripture is both a literal and spiritual reality and symbol of bondage. But the Church, God's Chosen People, do not inhabit a land of spiritual affliction and bondage. Rather, they inhabit the Heavenly Jerusalem on Mount Sion (Hebrews 12:22,23), located in the Heavenly Country that God has prepared for the faithful (Hebrews 11:16).​

    Of additional significance is the order in which the names are presented, differing from the usual presentation by order of birth. In particular, Judah appears first, in recognition of its role as the tribal progenitor of Christ, the Lion of Judah.

    While rebellion and apostasy were repetitive afflictions of the OT Israelites, there were still thousands who remained faithful (1 Kings 19:18). Their number is depicted as 12, a scriptural value representing faithfulness; multiplied by 12, representing the faithful from each of the twelve tribes; multiplied by 1,000 representing the indeterminate but large number (Psalms 50:10; Psalms 91:7; Revelation 5:11) of the total faithful in Israel; thus, 144,000.

    Revelation 14 continues the descriptions further reflecting the qualities and experiences of the redeemed – the Church. Absent here is any mention of tribal, ethnic, or other distinctions, thus conveying the reality of the inclusivity and oneness of the NT Church which now embraces both Israelite and Gentile. Its number can also be depicted as 12, representing faithfulness; multipled by 12 representing the 12 faithful apostles, who with the prophets comprise the foundation of the NT church, with Christ as the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20); multiplied by 1,000 representing the indeterminate but large number of the total faithful in the NT Church; thus, also 144,000.

    The NT Church's inclusivity and oneness are declared in the following:

    Galatians 3:28
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Ephesians 2:14
    For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…

    Colossians 3:11
    Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.


    The 144,00 are described as celibate, meaning that as the Bride of Christ, they are not defiled by adultery with the world (James 4:4). They sing a new song of deliverance and victory. They follow Christ wherever He goes. Their residence is heavenly Jerusalem on Mount Zion. (Hebrews 12:22)

    No doubt about it…the Church is written all over the 144,000.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  16. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My position is similar to author who wrote study on the subject.
     
  17. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ahem...

    Depends upon what Abrahamic Covenant you are talking about. The corporate (conditional) one, or the everlasting (unconditional) one. The promise to "Abraham's seed (Israel)," or the promise to "Abraham and His Seed (Christ)."

    Genesis 15:18-21
    • "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
    • The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
    • And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
    • And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
    This Covenant lasted as long as Israel kept the commandments of God concerning it. But if they broke this Covenant, they would be cast out of the land the same as those before them were. "THIS" is a Conditional Covenant or promise made to Abraham. And so "again" what is completely wrong is your understanding of the Covenants? But don't take my word for it, Go read what Moses wrote:

    Deuteronomy 8:18-20
    • "But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
    • And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
    • As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God."
    It's not about your understanding of the Covenant promise, or my understanding about the Covenant promise, but about surrendering to the "authority" of scripture on the matter. Clearly, you are wrong concerning the nature of the Covenants. There is completion in the representations, which you do not discern. That's precisely why there are both a believing Israel and unbelieving Israel.

    Galatians 3:16
    • "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
    Galatians 3:28-29
    • "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    • And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
    We are Abraham's Seed (Christ) and heirs according to the promises "only" as we are in Christ Jesus. Only then are we true CHRIST-ians. Likewise, those who broke God's Covenant with Abraham were never in Christ, and were cast out because of unbelief. Selah! They (according to God's Word) were children of the Covenant God made with Abraham, but were not a true believers. Yes, they were the seed of Abraham physically, but were not Spiritually of the Seed of Abraham, in Jesus Christ!

    He who hath an ear, let him hear.
     
  18. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Amen!

    The number 12 is the spiritual number of the Church or congregation. For example, the 12 tribes of Israel, representing the Old Testament, and the 12 apostles representing the New Testament. And 1,000 is the spiritual number for the fullness of whatever is in view. So the 12,000 from each family signify the fullness (1000) of each family or tribe of God's children (12). Or 12x1000. 12,000 from each tribe. Thus the number, a hundred and forty and four thousand "signify" the completeness or whole body of the children of God throughout time. Both the Jews and the Gentiles Elect!

    So, 12,000 X the 12 tribes or families. It's God's way of illustrating through numbers His whole household, which is the entire body of Christ. Or as it says, "all the tribes of the children of Israel." All the Children of God through Christ. That means everyone who was ever saved. Not all the tribes of the children of the physical nation of Israel! Selah!
     
  19. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Active Member Supporter

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    What I meant when I said ...

    ... is do you really understand the nature of that solemn ritual that made it an unconditional, unilateral oath by God to Abraham and his seed?

    It's what I often say that if there appears to be a confusion or contradiction in God's word it's simply because we haven't been diligent in understanding the text.

    The reason why many get led down the rabbit trail of following verses that they believe say that God is done with Israel is because they don't understand the initial bit of Scripture where God declares his unconditional oath.

    So, because God's covenant with Abraham is unconditional and forever, other interpretations of text used to support the false idea that He is done with Israel are misinterpretations. God simply cannot back down from a solemn, unconditional, unilateral promise.

    TribSigns, I'll give you one more try at understanding what happened in Genesis 15. I'm a firm believer that self-discovery for deeper understanding trumps being lectured at. There's something really important about the ritual that you are missing that makes all the difference in the world. Give it a go, and if it doesn't come to you I'll explain in a following post.
     
  20. TribulationSigns

    TribulationSigns Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Really? No, I will EXPLAIN this post to you.

    I have presented Scripture in my previous posts, but the real question is...did YOU read it with an open mind and with an eye to understand what God was truly saying about promises of an eternal land? I would hope so as there was a lot of Biblical information, instruction, and explanation in the thread. Clearly, God made two types of promises. The promises to "Abraham's seed" which were conditional ones that were of the law and physical temporal lands, and also promises to "Abraham and his Seed," which were unconditional ones and were of grace and Spiritual eternal lands. These were a portrait of the two Covenants, and under only one would Israel be able to dwell in their land eternally. The Spiritual one, which is of grace. Didn't you read this in Scripture?

    Galatians 4:24-26
    • "Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
    • For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
    • But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."
    The Old Covenant with Physical Israel gendereth or gave birth to bondage, but the New covenant with Spiritual Israel gives birth to New Life in Christ Jesus and the Spiritual land promised. Now, where is our mother can be found? The only promise that brings regeneration into an eternal inheritance for the children of Israel is the unconditional one. The conditional Promise/Covenant, which physical Israel brake, was never unconditional.

    Nehemiah 9:7-7
    • "Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
    • And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:"
    The fact that they were not eternal and were conditioned on their obedience is proved by the fact that God DID throw them out of the land. Which would be a contradiction if God gave them the land "eternally." That is to say, if we're looking at this question rationally and according to Scripture. In fact, according to your own beliefs, until 1948 the country was inhabited by another nationality, didn't it? So then, "how were they physically given the land eternally if they were driven out?" Humm? Eternal means you'll always be there. But the truth is that only one land qualifies for eternal habitation and that is the Spiritual promised land. Or was God's arm too short to prevent Israel from being cast out that what you think was His promise be kept? And how about Matthew and what Christ unambiguously declared to Israel. Did that seem in any way ambiguous to you?

    Matthew 21:42-43
    • "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
    • Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."
    In what world does this sound like the Lord is reiterating they have possession of the land eternally "if" the Kingdom (which you postulate is physical) was promised theirs forever? Humm, Doesn't make sense!

    Now, here is the lesson...ANY promise that says if you are obedient you will prosper in the land, and if you are disobedient I will cast you out is by nature not unconditional. As has been stated before, the conditional promise was to Abraham's seed, obviousily meaning his posterity or children, the Israelites.

    Genesis 12:7
    • "And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him."
    Again note carefully, Abraham was not included in THIS promise because this was a promise of the physical land and was conditional was for "thy seed", in obvious stark contrast to the Genesis 17 Promise which was unconditional and to both Abraham and his seed Christ. True to God's promise in Genesis 12 He did give Abraham's children the land that he promised Abraham He would. All was fulfilled. Period! By contrast, the promises to "Abraham and his Seed" was not conditional, and the fact is, Abraham never received the land that God promised his seed, because he died long before that time. That promise was not to Him, but to his posterity. You ask, where did I get this idea and where does it say this promise is fulfilled, and I GAVE you the Scripture that is conclusive and unambiguous, which I will give again, so please pay attention:

    Genesis 15:18
    • "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:"
    So again PLAINLY, God made this promise of the Physical land to Abraham's seed, and not to Abraham. Get it? And that promise was fulfilled fully. Case closed!

    Now the second part of your question is where it says it was conditional. Well, God answers that too. As it is written:

    Deuteronomy 8:15-20
    • "Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
    • Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
    • And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
    • But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
    • And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
    • As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God."
    Does this sound like an unconditional to you, humm? It is a conditional promise that God made to Abraham about giving his seed the physical land, period. Did you read the part where God declares that they (the Jews) would be destroyed from it just as the other nations that were there before them "if" they were not obedient to Him. All this is representing the old covenant of law, while the Promises to Abraham AND HIS SEED represents the covenant of Grace because the Seed in view there is Christ, not the land of Israel. As has also already been shown by Scripture again and again but will anyone really listen?

    Galatians 3:15-16
    • "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
    • Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
    So though clearly Abraham did NOT receive the promise God made "to his seed or posterity" of the physical land, Abraham would receive the eternal promised land through Christ Jesus. Selah!

    And finally, you asked where is it stated that all those promises to Abraham concerning his seed/children in the land were fulfilled, and I submit to you God's word swearing that all was fulfilled concerning it.

    Joshua 21:43-45
    • "And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
    • And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
    • There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass."
    God DID give them all He promised concerning the physical land and they dwelt in it. So we have to ask if God's word concerning all that He swore to give Abraham's children being fulfilled is good enough? That really is the relevant question. Moreover, God makes it clear that He was not giving them the land because they were inherently good or special people, for God is no respecter of persons. They are only commended special by God's grace. And He declares He gave them the land because God was fulfilling the Promise made to Abraham about his seed possessing the land, which was a type. He did this as a representation that the Old Covenant would secure no one of Israel as His child eternally. The real promise of an eternal inheritance comes only in the New Covenant dispensation.

    Deuteronomy 9:4-5
    • "Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
    • Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
    Why did they receive the physical land "as Promised" Abraham's seed? God tells us very plainly it was that He might perform or fulfill the oath or Promise that He made to Abraham concerning his seed receiving the land. So indeed again God declares all was fulfilled as Promised!

    Now, what about Genesis 17:8-9?

    Genesis 17:8-9 KJV
    [8] And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
    [9] And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

    Indeed! And the Scriptures confirm that Abraham missed the physical land promises made to "his seed," but will certainly share in the spiritual land promises made to Abraham and His seed. For these are the "New Covenant" Promises that can only be fulfilled in the work of Christ and a spiritual place to dwell.

    Genesis 17:7-8
    • "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy Seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
    • And I will give unto thee, and to thy Seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
    Abraham "NEVER" was given the physical land of Canaan, so if God be true (and we know that He is) then this New Covenant established with both "Abraham and His Seed" concerning the land has nothing to do with the physical land of Canaan!! In stark contrast to what was promised his seed after Abraham had passed (Genesis 15:18) and after they came out of Egypt. Unless of course we are going to speculate wildly that God is going to take Abraham back from heaven to live on this sin-cursed physical dirt on Earth called "The Middle East"? That whole idea is disjointed and confused. Rather Genesis 17:8 is promised as an "everlasting possession," and was therefore a type pointing to the kingdom of heaven, which is "the better country" than a physical plot of dirt in the middle east. As indeed explained in Hebrews 11. Didn't you read this in Scripture?

    Hebrews 11:15-19
    • "And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
    • But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
    • By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
    • Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
    • Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure."
    The everlasting possession is much better country than the physical land of Canaan, it is the Spiritual land promised and confirmed in the New Covenant Christ made strong in His blood. And the land, the inheritance, The Kingdom and reign is Spiritual and fulfilled in Christ. This does not have to be debated because it is told us very plainly in Scripture. It is a matter of heart, receive what God actually talked about! The unconditional promises were NOT to Abraham's seed or children, but to one Seed, which again was always Christ. This has already been explained many times. Consider again wisely:

    Galatians 3:16-18
    • "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
    • And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
    • For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise."
    If the promises you STILL think were of literal land, then the inheritance is of the law and not grace! Selah! But if the promises were of a Spiritual habitation, confirmed by the body of Christ, then it is of grace and verified the "only" way it can be an everlasting possession in the Israel of God. Not a plot of dirt that is temporal, but a Spiritual land, the only land that can be eternal.

    Selah!

    Now, what is your BIBLICAL refute to this? Scripture, please.
     
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