Are the 144,000 of Revelation currently in Heaven?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 1

All right, let’s get our next question up here. We’ve been dropping lines about that. So Roland asks, are the 144,000 of Revelation currently in heaven? If so, how and when did they get there? It would be extremely impossible to select them from today’s world population, which consists of multiple ethnicities. Sometimes people discover that their ancestry consists of diverse racial bloodline. No doubt having settled in various parts of the world, the Jews of our time would have intermarried whenever they have settled, wherever they have settled. Therefore, can we safely say that the original twelve tribes are no longer in existence on earth?

Speaker 2

So there’s a lot of questions there really good questions. Right, so let’s pick apart the first question. There are 144,000 currently in Heaven. And actually, maybe that’s one that we’ll answer over the course of answering the other ones, because I’m not saying that’s an unreasonable thing to ask or even assume that they might still be in heaven, because when you read Revelation, often it’s going to talk about this group as if they are in heaven. So you might think, okay, because Revelation is talking about them being in heaven, maybe they’re there now. But we have to remember a lot of things that Revelation is telling us are things yet to come. And also Revelation doesn’t stick in exact chronological order, even within the same chapter. It might be bouncing back and forth between events, events that might be actually after something might show up before. And then they go back and forth. Because it’s a kayastic structure. It’s a poetic structure where things in the back or early on progressively move towards the middle and then as you move out, it’s sort of a mirror image of it. And I could say that it’s hard to visualize it, but some people use a symbol like this to sort of describe the chiastic structure.

Speaker 2

But now that you know the word, you can look it up and help, you know. Yeah, revelation isn’t necessarily linear, it’s there’s a lot more going on there.

Speaker 1

So before you dive into this, I’m sure there’s viewers that don’t really know much about the 144,000, what’s significant about the 144,000?

Speaker 2

And that’s exactly where I want to go. So let’s start before they actually show up. You first see the 144,000 in Revelation seven, but let’s take a look at the end of Revelation six is a blue letter Bible app. And so Revelation six is going through opening of these seven seals. And as you approach some of the final seals, big things start happening like the stars fall from heaven. And these big signs, which actually, if you go back and match them to Daniel 24 sorry, Matthew 24, you’re going to see it’s some of the same exact signs. So this autonomous is talking about some of the same events Jesus was mentioning. And then it talks about after the heavens roll back as a scroll and mountains and islands get moved. Everybody is pretty much panicking, says the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the chief captains, the mighty men, and every bondman and free men hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. And they said to the mountains and rocks, fallen us and hide us from the face of Him that sitth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.

Speaker 2

These people are freaking out about God and he’s coming, jesus is coming with this power and might and they’re freaking out. But should they be afraid? Because this is the Lamb, right? If you knew Jesus in his character, you wouldn’t be afraid of him. But they’re panicking. And Revelation Six closes with, for the great day of wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? So it’s asking this question. So most of the world is freaking out, wanting to just die or hiding caves, but who can stand the coming of Christ? So we then flip over to Revelation Seven and we soon get introduced to this group, this group of people who receive the seal of God. And it’s important to think of that, the seal of God, because anti advanced, everybody’s talking about the mark of the beast, what’s the mark of the beast? But Revelation also tells you about the opposite of the mark of the beast, which is the seal of God. If you know what the seal of God is, you don’t have to worry about what is the mark of the beast. But these people are getting the seal of God.

Speaker 2

So this has got to be at the end of time. And then the number is read that there’s 144,000 of them and it lists all these different tribes. So it goes through twelve different tribes. Judah Asher, simian levi Zebelin, joseph Benjamin. And it’s a big debate amongst people about are these literal tribes or are these figurative? In Revelation, sometimes it’s literal, often it’s figurative. So what are some clues, though? First, and this is getting to the question, part of it, are these ethnicities, who are these people? Yeah, the question says it would be extremely impossible, slack from today’s world population, which consists of multiple ethnicities. Sometimes people discover that their ancestry consists of diverse racial bloodlines. So he’s getting into like more or less can this be the Jewish people, real Jewish people?

Speaker 1

Is it a bloodline thing?

Speaker 2

Yeah. Is this a bloodline thing?

Speaker 1

Are the 144,000 do they have to be bloodline descended from these tribes?

Speaker 2

Yeah. And right, yeah, not just Jewish people, but the twelve tribes.

Speaker 3

I’m sorry.

Speaker 2

No, go ahead.

Speaker 3

I was going to say, if I could speak to that as well, just to pull out a Bible verse, and I love the flow that you’re going in is we’re looking at are these tribes literal? And it seems like the person is assuming that it is a literal, literal Jewish group of people. But when you read the New Testament, for example, in Romans, chapter two, verses 28 29, it says, for he is not a Jew which is outwardly. Neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is. A Jew, which is when inwardly and circumcision of the heart in the spirit and not of the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God. And so just kind of understanding that this is not a literal Jew, these are not literal Jews only that make up the 144,000. These are God’s people from all over the world, that in a sense are spiritual Jews, in that they’re God’s people, but it has nothing to do with a bloodline exactly.

Speaker 2

And if you look at the Old Testament, so we have the twelve tribes, and actually there’s not exactly twelve we’ll talk about that, right. And ten of them early on get hauled off. The ones in what’s called Samaria get hauled off. They’re spread all over. Nobody knows what happened to them. And their bloodlines have been mingled with everybody else, sort of as the person asking the question indicates, there’s no way to go back and figure out who are descendants of those people. And then you go to then the couple tribes during Jesus’s time, the Jews, the Levites, maybe some Benjamites, and they also have now been spread throughout the world. A lot of them have been lost. A lot of people who might think they’re Jews are not necessarily of the twelve tribes. There’s a group of people like the Khazars, who as a people they converted to Judaism, but they themselves are not again direct descendants of the bloodline of Jacob. So how can we then tell who are these people that are going to be in 144,000? Is Jesus going to somehow still know the bloodlines? Or is Jesus looking for something more deeper that’s more about the heart?

Speaker 2

So these twelve tribes, you look at them and again mentioned there’s not exactly twelve tribes. You had the twelve sons of Jacob, and one of them was Joseph, and Joseph is mentioned as one of these 144 thousands. And Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manassa. And Jacob, just before he died, adopted those two sons as his. So Jacob in a sense, actually had 14 sons. And how do we get to the twelve tribes, though? So after the golden calf was made, the Levites basically gave themselves over to God. God pulls them, in a sense, out of the twelve. They’re special, they belong to God. They’re not counted. And there’s actual Bible verses, they do not count the Levites. And then the half tribe, the two half tribes of Joseph, joseph’s two sons, even Manassa sort of become almost like two separate tribes. So Joseph doesn’t have his own tribe, but his two sons each get in their own tribe. This is the way that Jacob was really blessed. His sons now become two tribes. Wow. So we go back to the 144,000, we look at who’s listed on Revelation 76. Manassa is listed as one of those twelve tribes of 144,000.

Speaker 2

If you go down to Revelation 78, joseph is mentioned as one of those tribes. So wait a minute. Is there a group of people who are Joseph who are then different than Manassa?

Speaker 1

Right.

Speaker 2

So you will be double counting because Manassa would be a part of Joseph, so it would be Ephraim. And then why is Manassa mentioned and not Ephraim? And we look at the tribes. You’re also missing the tribe of Dan. Dan is not there.

Speaker 3

I was just going to mention that too.

Speaker 2

Yeah. What happened to Dan? I mean, Dan was evil, right?

Speaker 3

What happened with I understood with Dan is that there was a battle going on back during the nation of Israel and they stayed in their ships and they refused to go out and fight in battle with Israel. So basically they were kind of cowards and they refused to fight with God’s people for their cause. They just stayed away from the battle in a ship, in ships, and refused to participate in this war. And so my understanding is from that point forward, they were kind of excluded from Israel.

Speaker 2

Yeah, that might be right. That could be very right. And the thing I’m thinking too is Jarrabom, the first king of the separate once the ten tribes separated from Judah, they had a new king, Jarbolam, and he created these golden calves and one of them was placed in Dan, and he used that as a basis to also separate those ten tribes from Jehovah, the real God. So I think there’s a lot associated with Dan that they’re not a good tribe. So at least spiritually we can understand why they wouldn’t be included, but then why not Ephraim? And again, you look in the Bible, there’s also a lot of verses talk about Ephraim having some major sin problems, but so did all the other tribes.

Speaker 1

So what’s significant about these twelve?

Speaker 2

So I’ve seen people where they take the meaning of each of these words, each name, and then you stitch them together and you actually get sort of like a summary of the gospel.

Speaker 1

Do we have that available?

Speaker 2

I don’t I don’t know if that was intended by God.

Speaker 1

So I’ve read that too, and I thought it was pretty inspiring.

Speaker 2

But I think the bigger point is this is a combination of tribes that does not appear anywhere else in the Bible and doesn’t really logically make sense other than it’s probably a spiritual group of people. Actually, Phil, if you got a comment from Andrew Carroll, could put it up his thought, and I would agree with him then that this 144,000 is not literal, it’s figurative, even, just on this basis alone. But we’re not stuck with just this. I think there’s two other ways we could tell that this is not a literal number. Look at revelation 79, right after we have all these twelve tribes, and we’re told there’s 12,000 each tribe. Revelation 79 says, after this I beheld and lo a great multitude which no man could number of all nations, all kindreds and people and tongues stood before the throne and before the lamb, clothed with bright robes and palms in their hands. Some people try to say this is a different group of people, but there’s no other group of people discussed. We’re talking about the 144,000. John turns around and now he sees this great multitude, and he specifically says that no one could number.

Speaker 2

So if we just said this group is 144,000 literal, he now just contradicted himself saying we can’t number this group. And then he’s saying from all nations and kidrids of peoples and tongues. So this is also rebutting that this is specifically of the twelve tribes, literally. And if you go on to the Bible, you also later on Revelation, I think Revelation 14 talks about 16,000 stadia is the amount of space of the blood of the wicked when it gets crushed. And what’s interesting to me is that in Revelation you always have this point counterpoint this yin versus yang, good versus bad of everything. And I would say that is the counterpoint to the 144,000, the wicked people, their blood is 16,000. So that’s four times four times 10,000, similarly to where we have twelve times twelve times 10,000 or 1000. Sorry, it doesn’t check in. Is it 1600 today or 16,000? I think it’s maybe 1600.

Speaker 1

I was trying to find that translation of the twelve.

Speaker 2

And we’re also told that who are these? I think it’s here in Revelation keep bumping. Who are these? And it says these are they who have gone through the great tribulation.

Speaker 3

That’S in Revelation seven at the end.

Speaker 2

Yeah, Revelation 714 13. And one of the elders asked John, he says, what are these which are raid and white robes and where do they come from? And John says, Sorry, the elder says, oh, you don’t know. And he said to John, these are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of Christ. So that great tribulation is the same, I would say the same great Tribulation that Jesus mentions in Matthew 24. And Jesus said that if these days were not shortened, then there wouldn’t be anybody left to be saved, really? But for the elect’s sake, those days were shortened. Who’s this elect? Christine, what comes to mind when you think of elect? What does that word mean?

Speaker 3

Elect definitely means a special oh, I want to say almost like a remnant, like a special group of people called chosen and faithful to God. People that are upright. I guess that would also be a word.

Speaker 2

I like how you use that word, remnant. It’s interesting because 144,000, it has that twelve times twelve in it. That’s how you get 144. And so I think the twelve can mean God’s people. But so it’s like this portion, this special group out of the world, and then it’s a twelve of that. It’s a remnant of the remnant in sense is what, 144,000. So this is a very elite maybe that’s the word we use today, right? Elite. Elite in Jesus group.

Speaker 3

Yeah.

Speaker 2

Boy, I could go on. We could do like 2 hours, 3 hours on this, right?

Speaker 3

We might have to do a deeper.

Speaker 1

Dive on this one at some point after we do more homework on pulling together some of these what each of these names means and what that?

Speaker 2

Wendy has a question for next time.

Speaker 3

Yeah, I was doing the same thing, Wendy. I was like, oh, this is good. I only got about halfway through, so I don’t want to keep us from the next question if we need to keep moving on.

Speaker 2

Oh, you started putting them together?

Speaker 3

Yeah, I was like, oh, it’s interesting. And I think I’ve heard it before. And it is kind of a poem almost of the way of salvation. It’s pretty beautiful. And I love the meaning of names, because when you think of the story of David and Abigail, she’s like, my husband’s name is Nabel, and as his name is, so is he, and Nabal means a fool. And so in the Bible, everybody’s name means something unique and special. And it adds so much richness to the stories in the Bible when you look at the names. Like when you think of Daniel in chapter one, when Nebuchadnezzar changed his and his friend’s names from those Hebrew names, that meant Daniel, meaning God is my judge, to Belshazar Belar, which means blessed or chosen of Bel, the God of Babylon. And so it’s just kind of interesting how the name of somebody means so much in the Bible and God really values the name he gives us. Anyway, that’s just kind of a cool.

Speaker 1

We should pick this one up next time and complete the response on this one with that information. I think if our viewers would like that, please chime in and let us know that you would like us to do that, because we’re here to answer your question.

Speaker 2

And maybe we should find some Bible verses where it talks about God putting his name in us.

Speaker 3

Yeah, exactly. And just thinking about Jacob, his name meant liar. And it wasn’t until he wrestled with Jesus and Jesus said, what is your name? And he admitted it’s Jacob, which meant liar or deceiver, which is what he did. He was a liar. That’s why he was in the position he was in. And because he came to a point with Jesus or with God, that he said, this is who I really am. I am a sinner, I’m a liar. And Jesus said, no, your name is now Israel, which is Prince of God. And so God will change our name we could come from one thing, we can be somebody bad, we can be a sinner. But because we come into contact with the Lord, god can change us and give us a new name and give us a new heart.

Speaker 1

Interesting what you kind of said there, too, that he acknowledged it or recognized it and then God changed his name and how often we go through life like, oh, I don’t do that. I’m a good Christian. I do what Jesus tells me to do and I follow Jesus. And we like to stay blinded to the things we’re doing that aren’t actually following Jesus. And we like to cover that and deny it and hide it. But what you were just talking about is that he actually came to the point of acknowledging that and saying, I am struggling with this problem. I have been living this way and he owns it. And when he owns it, that’s when God actually works and changes who he is, his identity in that.

Speaker 3

Amen. And just to kind of add even on to that, it just reminds me of the Bible, verse one John one nine, that says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And the only sin God can’t forgive is the one we don’t confess. And so if we’re living honestly with God, he will always forgive us. But it’s just coming to the point where, like you’re saying, we have to recognize it and confess it to God. Amen.

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BibleAsk Team

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