There has been much debate over the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation chapters 7 and 14. Some religious groups try to claim the scripture speaks of their denomination or organization. But what does the Word of God say?
Revelation 7:1-8 speaks of 144,000 from “all the tribes of the children of Israel” (verse 4). If we will allow the Bible to speak for its self, we must agree that the 144,000 are all Israelites. We also find that Revelation 14:1-5 shares some interesting facts about this mysterious 144,000. Fact one, they are in heaven. Mount Zion as mention in the first verse is not the Mount Zion on earth, but in heaven. Proving this point we move forward to verses 2, 3, 5. Verse 2 says, “And I heard a voice from heaven,” verse 3 states, “but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth,” and verse 5 declares, “for they are without fault before the throne of God.” If that is not enough proof, look at Hebrews 12:22 where the write clearly says, “But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem...”
The second truth found in Revelation 14:1-5 pertaining to the 144,000 is that they “were not defiled with women; for they are virgins” (verse 4). A woman in prophecy pertains to a church. There are two primary churches mentioned in Revelation, first the true church, i.e. the bride of Christ, and the other relates to the false church, “mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5). While these two churches are the primary churches mentioned in scripture, we must also note that the false church was a mother, thus having daughters, i.e. other churches. Revelation 14:4 stated that these 144,000 were not defiled with women. I think it is safe to say that the 144,000 were not part of the church age. We find them already in heaven, as stated earlier, and they sung a song that no other man could learn (Revelation 14:3). This brings us to the third revelation on the 144,000.
Revelation 14:4 tells us that the 144,000 were “the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” First-fruits were offered at the resurrection of Christ. Matthew 27:50-53 tells us that at Christ’s resurrection “the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves” (Matthew 27:52, 53). This was the symbolic 144,000 that ascended to God as a type of first-fruits of the resurrection, thus declaring there would be a bountiful harvest later, at the second coming of Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:20 speaks of Christ’s resurrection as a first-fruits of them that slept.
Lets condense our findings. 1) 144,000 were Israelites. 2) 144,000 were of the pre-church age. 3) 144,000 were first-fruits offered at the resurrection of Christ.
We really did not develop the thought behind the 144,000 having a song that no man could sing. I think the fact that the 144,000 were of the pre-church age has a lot to do with the special privilege in singing a song no man could sing. The 144,000 walked by faith, not just any faith, their faith was greater in that they died before the Messiah came to earth. Those 144,000 saints were unique, they told of the Messiahs coming, sometimes as the Spirit of God moved upon them (2 Peter 1:21). Jesus said to Thomas, “BLESSED ARE THEY THAT HAVE NOT SEEN, AND YET HAVE BELIEVED” (John 20:29). The 144,000 had a song to sing that even those on this side of the cross could not sing!
All our finding are extremely important, especially in light of what follows the testimony of the 144,000, the message of the Church age as found in Revelation 14:6-13. Fear God for the hour of His judgment is come, worship the Creator, beware of the doctrine of Babylon, i.e. the false church, and come out of Babylon.
Jesus began His ministry by saying, “repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). The message of the Church from day one has been; fear God, repent, judgment is coming. In Matthew 3:7-12 John the baptizer, the forerunner of Christ called for repentance. In judgment John declared, “And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the tree: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” If that’s not judgment, what is? Peter on the day of Pentecost told those in audience, “Repent...and with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:38, 40). Again in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” 1 Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
The message of Revelation 14:6:13 is clear. It is a message delivered to the Church at its conception. Grace is preached with passion when one understands the need.
In closing. I truly believe the Bible will speak for itself if we will allow. Permit the Holy Spirit to guide you to the truth; “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things...the anointing which you have received of Christ abides in you, and you do not need any man to indoctrinate you: but the same anointing teaches you all things, and is true, the anointing cannot lie, it has even taught you to abide in Christ” (personal translation of 1 John 2:20, 27).