Revelation 7:1-8

The 144,000

This Chapter divides the elect into two categories: the elect in the Sanctified Church, the 144,000; and the elect from the Great Tribulation, the saints who carried on in the wilderness after the Temple of God was desolated by the Antichrist.

In Ezekiel 48, and Revelation 21, the Church, New Jerusalem is described as a City with 12 gates, one gate for each tribe of Israel. John calls these the “144,000.”

The LORD will again choose Jerusalem

The message of the end time Church as “Jerusalem,” the New Jerusalem, is very clear in many Old Testament passages like Daniel 9:26.

In Zechariah 1:16, 2:1-4, and 8:1-3, we read that “the LORD will again choose Jerusalem.” New Jerusalem will once again be inhabited by the Spirit of God, “I will be the glory in her midst,” (Zechariah 2:5), “I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem” (Zechariah 8:2), “then Jerusalem will be called THE CITY of TRUTH, and the mountain of the LORD.” (Zechariah 8:3).

In Isaiah 2:2, and Micah 4:1, we read that in the last days, the Mountain of the LORD’s House will be established above all the mountains. This is the temple of God, “a Holy Temple in the Lord…a dwelling place of God in the Spirit,” (Ephesians 2:21-22).

Ezekiel Prophesied the name of the City as “THE LORD IS THERE”

In Ezekiel 48, Jerusalem is divided into tribes. Ezekiel called this City, “the LORD IS THERE,” (Ezekiel 48:35); meaning “the Spirit of God is there”; this is the Sanctified Church of the end days.

Here, in Revelation 7, John picks up Ezekiel’s twelve gates of New Jerusalem, for the 12 tribes of Israel, and tells us that there are 12,000 from each tribe.

The same division of New Jerusalem into twelve tribes can be found in Revelation 21:12, where we see the twelve gates around Jerusalem, one for each tribe. We should not think that New Jerusalem is only for the blood born tribes of Israel.

A comparison of Ezekiel and Revelation

The Sanctified Church of the end days was prophesied in Ezekiel 40-48. We will see reminders of this prophecy of Ezekiel throughout the Book of Revelation, as shown in the chart below.

Ezekiel 40 – 48 Revelation
The twelve tribes of Israel and their twelve gates in New Jerusalem (Ezekiel 48). The number of each of the twelve tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:4-8).
“This water flows toward the eastern region…when it reaches the sea, its waters are healed” (Ezekiel 47:8). “A great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea” (Revelation 8:8).
The measurement of all the areas of the future temple are described in Ezekiel 40-44, but no measurements are made of the outer court of the Gentiles. “do not measure the outer court for it has been given to the Gentiles” (Revelation 11:2)
“The glory of the God of Israel came by the way of the east, and its sound was like the sound of many waters” (Ezekiel 43:2).

“144,000 having His name, and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and … like the sound of harpists” (Revelation 14:2) 

      
“then I heard the voice of something like a great multitude and like the sound of many waters” (Revelation 19:6).

In Revelation 14, the Sanctified Church is described as

  • 144,000,
  • the Angel flying in mid-heaven,and
  • the Rider on the White Horse

In Revelation 14, there seems to be “three groups” that bring the “hour of God’s judgment.” There is the 144,000 in verses 1 to 5; the Angel flying in the midst of heaven, that preaches the everlasting gospel in verses 6-7, and the Rider on the White Horse, that treads the wrath of the Almighty God in verse 20.

If these really are three different groups, then the 144,000, in Revelation 14:1-5, is presented without purpose in relation to the rest of the Chapter.

But in fact, the 144,000, in verses 1-5 is “the Angel” that appears in Revelation 14:6: “then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to to preach to all those who dwell on the earth.”  This Angel is the Spirit of Christ, the Angel who Rides upon the White Horse.  This is the Spirit of Christ which is manifest as “the Body of Christ,” God’s Church.  Paul said, “for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Sanctified Church is Christ’s Body, the Messenger of God that brings God’s judgment, “the hour of His judgment has come” (Revelation 14:7).

Most can readily understand the Rider on the White Horse, in Revelation 19:15, as the end time Sanctified Church. In Revelation 14:20, the Rider on the White horse, and the armies of heaven seem to appear without any introduction to trample the wine-press of God’s wrath. But in fact, the Rider on the White Horse was introduced in verses 1 – 5, as the 144,000.

In both Revelation 19:6 and Revelation 14:2, the 144,000, and the Rider on the White Horse are described as having “the voice of many waters.”

The Rider on the White Horse is the end-time Sanctified Church. It is the “powerful agent” in Isaiah 28:2, that corrects “the drunkards of Ephraim” (Isaiah 28:1). Isaiah writes, “precept upon precept, line upon line” (Isaiah 28:13); “with stammering lips and another tongue, He will speak to this people” (Isaiah 28:11). This is the Church of God, that is filled with the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth, and corrects the Gentiles, or Nations, as described in Revelation 14.

1 After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. 

Rev 7:1
four winds – the four Angels are symbolic. Each Angel holds back one of the four winds of the earth. These winds bring destruction, as in Jeremiah 49:36, “against Elam I will bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven.”

Not to blow on the earth, on the sea, or any tree – throughout the Book of Revelation, the earth means the people of the world, the sea means man’s salvation, and trees refers to those of the kingdom of heaven (the righteous). The Angel’s hold back the last moment’s for man’s salvation, until all of the elect are sealed.

2 I saw another angel ascend from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, 

Rev 7:2
another Angel ascending from the rising sun -this Angel is the Spirit of Christ as the Body of Christ, the end time Sanctified Church. The Messiah as the “rising sun” was pictured in Luke 1:78. The Greek Septuagint used the phrase  ἀνατολὴ meaning “the East,” or “rising sun” where English versions use the expression “the branch,” in Zechariah 6:12, and Jeremiah 23:5; and Isaiah 4:2 becomes “God shall shine gloriously.” From Ezekiel 43, and 47, we learn that the end time Sanctified Church will come from the East. See further discussion at Zechariah 6:9-15.

having the seal of the living God – the end time Sanctified Church will baptize with the Holy Spirit, to seal the end time saints.

3 saying, “Don’t harm the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads!” 

Rev 7:3
do not harm – he tells the Angels not to pour out flaming fire yet that will be poured out on this Day; as described in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8.

sealed the bond-servants of our God – the last of the elect of the Sanctified Church, and the last Israel will be saved, they will be sealed by the Spirit (Eph 1:13-14).  Of course, the bond-servants of God are not only blood-born Israelites. The Book of Revelation was written to all “the bond-servants our God” (Revelation 1:1). These are not just blood-born Israelites, they are the true “spiritual Israelites.” In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek (Galatians 3:28).

4 I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel: 

Rev 7:4
144,000 – being 12,000 of each tribe, resembling the listing of tribes and their land in Ezekiel 48, the “New Jerusalem.”

every tribe of the sons of Israel – the Book of Revelation is really the story of the battle between the elect, the true “the sons of Israel,” and the Gentiles. The Gentiles strayed from the message of salvation that came from the Jews. But they must learn that “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). The Gentiles trample the Holy City in Revelation 11,  “do not measure the outer court for it has been given to the Gentiles” (Revelation 11:2). The Gentiles or Nations are judged by the 144,000 in Revelation 14. In Revelation 19, the Rider on the White horse strikes down the false teachings of the “nations” or “Gentiles,” using the word of God. Throughout the Book of Revelation, “Nation” and “Gentile” are the same Greek word, representing those who are not a part of the chosen people.

5 Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand, Of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, Of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, 6 Of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, Of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, Of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, 7 Of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, Of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, Of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 8 Of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, Of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. 

Rev 7:5-8
The listing of tribes excludes Dan, who is in all the primary Old Testament listings. Many speculate why Dan was taken out. The strongest view is that Dan’s tribe set up an image and worshiped, after entering the promised land, see Judges 18:31. This signifies that those who worship the image of the beast will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Dan is replaced by Joseph and Manasseh, rather than the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. Ephraim is representative of the corrupted Kingdom of Israel in Hosea 5 – 14, and the kingdom of the beast, called the “drunkards of Ephraim” in Isaiah 28:1.