“Then I looked, and lo, on MountZion
stood the lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name
and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” (Rev 14:1, RSV)
In Rev 7:2, it is recorded that
John saw an angel coming up from the place of the rising of the sun. The angel
was holding the Seal of the Living God. He commanded the four angels not to
hurt the earth, the sea and the trees, until they had sealed the servants of
God on their foreheads. John also heard the number of people of the tribes of
Israel that were sealed. It was one hundred and forty-four thousand.
Who Are They?
A view, commonly held by many Bible expositors, is
that the church will be caught up into the upper air before the Great Tribulation
but the rest of mankind will remain on earth throughout this period of woe. Of
those remaining, these premillennialists believe that the 144,0(X)
to be sealed, are specially chosen by God from among the literal Nation of
However, according to the Bible, the “true
Israelites” in the New Testament era are from the various races, nationalities
and cultures of the world, not from Israel alone! Paul said, “For you
were baptised into union with Christ and so have taken upon yourselves the
qualities of Christ himself. So there is no difference between Jews and
Gentiles, between slaves and freemen. between men and
women: you are all one in union with Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ,
then you are the descendants of Abraham, and will receive what God has
promised” (Gal 3:27-29, TEV).
In Revelations itself, it is stated that the 144,0()() had been “purchase from the earth” (Rev 14:3, NASB).
But Christ has “purchased for God with (his) blood men from every tribe and
tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9, NASB). Without more, clearly the
premillennialists’ view is erroneous and not supportable by the Bible.
The 144,000 have the Seal of the Living God. This
Seal denotes the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14). They are those chosen by the Lord
during the days of the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit. One hundred and
forty-four thousand is twelve times of twelve thousand. Twelve being a complete
number, the 144,000 will then represent the Complete
number of people whom God has predestined to be saved.
They Stood With The Lamb
The 144,000 and the Lamb stood on MountZion.
Mount Zion is a type of the spiritual church. In Hebrews, it is written, “But
you have come to Mount Zion.... the general assembly and church of the
first-born. …“ (Heb 12:22-23). The Lamb represents Jesus Christ. As the Lamb
stood on MountZion, the True Church of God will have
the Lord with her.
The Sound Of Many Waters
And Of Loud Thunder
John heard a voice from heaven like the sound of
many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. That is actually the tremendous
din made by the 144,000 during their prayers. The same phenomenon occurred
when the Holy Spirit descended on the Day of Pentecost. The disciples were
filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke in tongues. The noise thus created
aroused the curiosity of the Jews and the proselytes in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-6).
A brief survey of the Bible would reveal that when
the Holy Spirit comes upon a person, he will speak in tongues (Acts 10:44-46;
19: 1-7). The “speaking of tongues” in prayer is spiritual communication with
God. It cannot be understood by the ordinary man because that person who prays
speaks mysteries in the spirit (1 Cor 14:2).
John also heard that the voice was like the sound of
harpers playing on their harps. Prayers in the spirit can similarly be as
melodious and pleasant as the sound of the harp. This possible when Christians
are perfect in spirit and their “glossalalio” becomes fluent.
The “new song” is the spiritual song as the unknown
tongue is the “new tongue” (cf Mk 16:17). The spiritual song they sing is
extraordinarily pleasant and the melody enchanting.
They Were Redeemed
The 144,000 were “purchased from
the earth” (Rev 14:3). According to Paul, the Church was purchased with God’s
own blood (Acts 20:28). Jesus died for us on the cross. If we believe and
accept the washing by His blood, our sins will he remitted. We shall be saved
by the Lord and obtain the privilege of becoming the children of God (Acts
They Have The Seal Of The
Paul said that after hearing the
gospel of salvation and believing in Christ, one may then he sealed with the
promised Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13). This Seal signifies that we are the children
of God (Rom 8:16).
They Were Holy
“It is these who have not defiled
themselves with women, for they are chaste” (Rev 14:4). Chastity implies
holiness or purity. It certainly does not imply celibacy. If it were physical
virginity these 144,000 would consist of males only because of the preceding
clause “.... these who have not defiled themselves with women..”. Taking it in the spiritual sense therefore, it means
that they are believers who have spurned the temptations of Satan and
subjugated their carnality. As Paul said to the church at Corinth, “I betrothed you to Christ to
present you (denoting the whole congregation) as a pure bride to her one
husband” (2 Cor 11:2).
Marriage is a holy union
instituted by God and should he respected. God has
never looked on those who were married as unclean and thus they are not
excluded from the 144,000 (cf Mk 10:6-9; Heb. 13:4).
They Were Obedient
“These people followed the Lamb
wherever He went” (Rev 14:4). They are absolutely obedient and loyal, even to
the point of death. They are like Christ. If it is God’s will, they will he
unflinching, even if they have to bear the cross all the way to Golgotha (Rev
12:11; Phil 2:8). In their everyday life, they often make decisions but always
with due reverence to Jesus as the highest authority.
They Were Honest
“And in their mouth no lie was
found” (Rev 14:5). “The Devil is the
father of lies” said Jesus (Jn 8:44). He also said, “Just say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’,
anything else you have to say comes from the Evil One” (Mt 5:37 TEV). No lies
were heard from their mouth; they were absolutely honest. Their hearts were not
influenced by the devil.
The Bible said, “If any one makes
no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body
also” (Jas 3:2). Some are of the opinion that lying is a negligible sin which
can be winked at. But Rev 21:s says. “As for ... all
liars, their lot shall be in the lake of fire and brimstone which is the second
They Were Perfect
“For they were spotless” (Rev
14:5). Jesus said, “You therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is
perfect” (Mt 5:48). To be perfect
like our heavenly Father is the highest goal of all Christians. The 144,000
They Have The Name Of The
Lord On Their Foreheads
The 144,000 have the name of the
Lamb and the name of the Father on their foreheads (Rev 14:1). The name ‘Jesus’
is the name of the Father which has been given to the Son. Jesus himself said;
“… Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me …” (Jn 17:11, NASB).
Before the Ascension, Jesus commanded his disciples
to baptise in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mt
28:19). However, on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples baptised the people in
the name of Jesus instead (Acts 2:38). This was because they understood that
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not three distinct persons in one Godhead but the same Eternal God; not coexisting but
the same being whose name is Jesus.
Plainly, to have the name of the Lamb and the Father
on their foreheads is to have the name ‘Jesus’ there. It implies that they bear
the image of Jesus; they are god-like (cf Eph 4:23-24).
Incidentally, the True Church of God, the gathering
of all God’s people, should bear the name ‘Jesus’. The Psalmist declares; in the name of our
God we will set up our banners” (Ps 20:5).
You may join them.
You too may qualify to be 144,000. Only, are you
willing to conform to their standards?