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Who are the 144,000?

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The 144,000 Jews / Israelites who are sealed in Revelation 7:4-8 are sealed for the specific purpose of being “evangelists” during the Tribulation period. The sealing provides protection from the plagues and devastation brought on by the trumpet and bowl judgments, as well as from the wrath of the Antichrist. The 144,000 is not a limit to how many people will be saved, but rather is just a select group of Jewish believers called to proclaim God’s message during the end times. There will be perhaps millions of other converts during the Tribulation, most of them a result of the 144,000’s ministry.

Revelation 7:4-8

4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed.
One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;

6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;

7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;

8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

Article By: Got Questions
 
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This my understanding, St. John the Revelator tells about this 144,000—12,000 from each tribe of Israel. How does the Church, the Body of Christ, come to be of the twelve tribes of Israel? In this way: God laid out the entire program of the Gospel Age on the Jewish basis.
Provision was made for choosing the total number of the Bride class out of Natural Israel—12,000 out of each of the twelve tribes. God foreknew, however, that fleshly Israel as a nation would not receive Jesus as Messiah, and that those who would receive Him would be only a small remnant from all the tribes. But the elect Church was to number 144,000—12,000 from each tribe.
Of those of Fleshly Israel who came into the Gospel Church we do not know the proportion from each of the tribes. All twelve tribes were represented in Palestine when our Lord Jesus came, though chiefly Judah and Benjamin. During the Jewish Harvest there were approximately 25,000 gathered to the Lord from Palestine and adjacent countries—an average of a little over 2000 from each tribe. So there was not nearly the required number. Therefore, after the close of the 70 symbolic weeks of favour (Dan. 9:24) promised to the Jews, God turned to the Gentiles, to fill up the number lacking from the various tribes. (Acts 13:46) When we were received into Christ, the question was, Where would we be put? We do not know, however, where the Lord has put us; some will be in one tribe, and some in another, as God wills. But His decision will satisfy us.
Christian Love,
Pamy
 
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It might be noted that the 144,000 are mentioned also in Revelations chapter 14. Aside from their being of the twelve tribes of Israel, specific attributes are ascribed to them, especially that they shall be men who are virgins.

"Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God." (Revelation 14:1-5)
 
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