The following is an excerpt from the 16th chapter of Earthquake Resurrection: Supernatural Catalyst for the Coming Global Catastrophe by David W. Lowe. The book features a unique prophetic model involving a pattern with earthquakes and resurrections which sheds new and intriguing light on the future resurrection in connection with a global catastrophe. If you have comments or questions about this excerpt or the book, you may email the author by clicking here.
The Startling Possible Identity of the 144,000?
Revelation chapter 7. First, the view from the earth just after the sixth seal events. An angel declares that, prior to the judgments of the Lord falling on the earth, the 144,000 must be sealed with the "seal of the living God". This seal is extremely important, because, during the fifth trumpet judgment, the 144,000 are protected from the demonic creatures who ascend from the abyss and torment humanity for five months:
Rev 9:4 They were told not to damage the grass of the earth, or any green plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their forehead.
In Revelation chapter 7, the genealogical descent of the 144,000 is revealed: 12,000 of them are chosen from each of 12 different sons of Jacob. The author goes to great pains to list every son of Jacob from which 12,000 different men descend until 144,000 are accounted for.
The traditional literal interpretation of the 144,000 is that they will be a group of men whom God will call out of the tribes of Israel, or perhaps all nations, just after the beginning of Danielís 70th week. According to this traditional interpretation, they will be a special group of the children of Israel who will have lived a pious life of celibacy and dedication to God, but they will not be a part of the caught-up believers. Instead, they will remain on earth, be sealed by God for protection during the trumpet judgments, and evangelize the rest of the world. As for the tribe of Israel from whom they are said to descend, some reason that the two witnesses will be able to tell them from which tribe they trace their descent.
This interpretation leaves much to be desired when all of the traits of the 144,000 are considered. In Revelation chapters 7 and 14, the following traits of this group of people are provided:
- They must all be descendants of the different tribes of Israel. (Revelation 7:4-8)
- They must all be men, because they did not defile themselves with women. (Revelation 14:4)
- They are all male parthenoi in Greek, or sexually pure. This could mean these men had never had sexual relations, had never been sexually immoral, or that in their current state, they were unable to have those type of relations. (Revelation 14:4)
- They were "redeemed from among humanity", which means they must be human beings. (Revelation 14:3,4)
- They had never told a lie, and they were "blameless". The Greek word for "blameless" is amomoi, which Peter used to describe Jesus when he was presented as a lamb "without blemish":
I Pet 1:19 but by precious blood like that of an unblemished [amomou] and spotless lamb, namely Christ.
The 144,000 are in a state of holiness and purity as Jesus Christ was his entire life, which could only be possible if they had been in an immortal state. This is because, in a mortal state, all are born into sin, and no one is righteous. (Revelation 14:5)
- They followed the Lamb wherever he went, which is a trait shared by those who are part of the resurrected and caught-up believers. (Revelation 14:4):
I The 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
- They are "redeemed from humanity as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb". Firstfruits means that they are part of a larger whole, in this case humanity, that is taken out of, or redeemed from, the larger whole. (Revelation 14:4)
- They seem to possess supernatural qualities, such as:
- They are protected with the seal of God from the fifth trumpet judgment creatures which appear and torture humanity for five months. (Revelation 9:4)
- After being on the earth during Danielís 70th week, they mysteriously appear on heavenís Mount Zion in Revelation chapter 14 without explanation. (Revelation 14:1-5)
There is one group of individuals described briefly in the New Testament that appear to possess all the traits above, a group thoroughly analyzed earlier in the book. That group is the "many saints" of Matthew chapter 27 that were resurrected to immortality just after Christís resurrection. The following is a list of reasons why the "many saints who had died" and were resurrected is a possible explanation for the elusive identity of the 144,000. Each numbered point below corresponds with the eight numbered points above:
- The "many saints" were raised from the dead in and around Jerusalem at the least, so they would be in a territory where the children of Israel had been. Their description as "saints" couldnít mean saints of Christ, because he had just died and been raised. Therefore, these saints must have been righteous members of the tribes of Israel who died prior to Christís death.
- There is no restriction in Matthew chapter 27 to the gender of the "many saints", so it is possible that the Lord chose only males to be raised.
- In a resurrected state, these men would not have sexual relations. As Jesus stated, in a resurrected state, people will be like the angels in that they do not marry nor are given in marriage:
Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
- The "many saints" were redeemed from humanity, just as the 144,000 are described.
- The "many saints", in their resurrected state, would be "blameless", or in a state of holiness and purity. The Greek word amomoi, in addition to being a word used to describe Christ as a lamb without blemish, is also used several times to describe the people of God when they will be presented to him:
Eph 5:27 so that he may present the church to himself as gloriousónot having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless [amomos].
Jud 1:24 Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish [amomous] before his glorious presence,
- The "many saints", in their resurrected and glorified bodies, would be able to be with the Lord wherever he went. The supernatural seal of God and the Lamb that is on their forehead during the time they are on the earth in the first part of Danielís 70th week may be how they stay supernaturally united with the Lamb while he is in heaven and they are on the earth.
- The "many saints" would be considered "firstfruits" to both God and the Lamb, just as the 144,000 are described, since they were the first human beings resurrected to immortality after Jesus Christ. They were part of a larger whole that was taken out of the larger whole as a firstfruits offering to God and the Lamb.
- The "many saints" would, in their immortal state, possess the supernatural qualities that the 144,000 seemed to possess. These are the same qualities Jesus displayed after his resurrection and described in an earlier chapter.
This is presented only as a possible explanation of the identity of the 144,000. Many prophecy scholars have tried, ever since Revelation was penned, to explain their identity. Many of the problems of interpretation that they noted are alleviated if the 144,000 are a group of individuals who lived in the distant past and are currently in a resurrected and immortal state, including:
- The tendency to symbolize the 144,000 number as well as many of the qualities they are described as having, which could only be possessed by individuals who were in a resurrected and glorified state.
- The perceived problem of how they will know of which tribe they are a part, since after 70 AD, the twelve tribes were scattered and many believe they disappeared. The resurrection of the "many saints" occurred before 70 AD.
- Whether they are really symbolic of individuals, both Jews and Gentiles, who will turn back to the Lord during Danielís 70th week.
- The tendency to symbolize their description of being virgins and being without any blame.
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The preceding was an excerpt from the 16th chapter of Earthquake Resurrection: Supernatural Catalyst for the Coming Global Catastrophe by David W. Lowe. The book features a unique prophetic model involving a pattern with earthquakes and resurrections which sheds new and intriguing light on the future resurrection in connection with a global catastrophe. If you have comments or questions about this excerpt or the book, you may email the author by clicking here.
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