Rev.14: 1 “ And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
Rev.5: 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
While Moses in Exodus 15, sang the song of ‘deliverance’ of the wilderness church from the hands of Pharaoh and his men in the red Sea, the redeemed of the Lord today through the blood of Jesus are singing a new song which is the song of ‘redemption’. It is a new song because only the redeemed in Christ knows it and can sing it.
The song tells of our new place and position in Christ and on the earth, “kings and priests” . Kings rule and priests reconciles, so friends, this is not a fulfilled eschatology of AD 70. It’s an ongoing event and prophecy that can be manifested by any one that have come under the blood of the Lamb and now have the Christ resident within him. He is the head and we are his Body, he is actually ruling and reconciling the earth and men through us as his expression on the Earth just as we read of
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” 2 Cor.5:19.
This Book is the ongoing Revelation of Jesus Christ and not history and neither is it just futuristic in scope.
144,000 SEALED AND THE PURPOSE OF THE SEAL
Honestly, the key to the understanding of the 144,000 of Rev. 14, that are standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion is found in Rev.7. In this passage we are told that John in a vision saw four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea;
“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God”. The angels having the seal of the Living God said to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea (Rev. 7:1-3 NlV).
Essentially, we can see that the seal was to provide assurance that God’s people are secured from the plagues and judgments. The seal identifies those under God’s protection. (See Ezek. 9:4-6). It is a matter of ownership or possession.
Then reading from verse 4-8 we are told “Then I heard the numbers of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000 … from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000” like we indicate in the previous study of part 8.
SIGNIFICANCE OF NUMBERS
Before proceeding, let me state here that the use of numbers is very significant in Bible interpretation and especially to the writer of the Book of Revelation. This idea is very foreign to most modern Bible readers, yet it is a major key in understanding the Scriptures. While I may not go into interpreting or giving the meaning of most numbers in this writing, let us just take a look at the symbolic numbers in Revelation as 4, 7, 12 and their multiples.
The number 4 for instance stands for the number of the world – created universe. You have the four seasons, four quarters of the earth, North, South, East and West. Therefore the four living creatures as can be found in the book of Revelation represent all redeemed creation.
The number 7 denotes perfection or completion, with reference to the seven days of the creation week of Genesis account.
And since we have the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament and 12 apostles in the New Testament, 12 stones at the bottom ‘of River Jordan, 12 manner of fruits in the tree of life, it stands to reason that 12 is the number that stands for the Church of God, His government, or in the case above God’s redeemed people from both covenants Israel, His kingdom
Now, a number multiplied by 10’s such as 144,000 (12 x 12 x 10 x 10 x 10) would suggest a definite but very large number or figure. Evidently then in line with the application of the “tens of thousands” the 144,000 stands for the entire Church throughout history; a kind of first fruit unto God and the Lamb from amongst men (Rev. 14:4). For after this number in verse 9 of Rev. 7, we are told of the great multitude in white robes that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb (NIV).
A LOOK AT THE THOUSAND FIGURES IN SCRIPTURES, that we make us understand the ‘Thousand’ Language of God
Haven indicated what APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE is, and the Book of Revelation being one of them, the thousand represents ideas and not arithmetical values. Take for instance when the relations of Rebecca prayed for her as they were sending her away with Abraham’s servant to Isaac in Marriage, they said unto her, “…Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them” Gen. 24:60. What can we understand by this? “Thousands of millions” is certainly not a literal number but something that is infinite.
And that is directly connected to the prosperity of the Kingdom, which has no end in terms of arithmetical calculation even as Rebecca was a type of the Church, and a wife to Isaac who was a figure of Christ.
So the idea behind it is that which is incalculable because “…the increase of His government, there shall be no end” (Isa. 9:7).
At the slaughter of Goliath by David, the women came out of all the cities dancing and singing at the return of David from the slaughter when Abner presented him to Saul. We are told “the women answered one another as they played and said Saul hath slain his thousands and David his ten thousand” 1 Sam. 18:7. But how many people did David really kill? David simply killed one man – Goliath. The comparison here is that while Saul has been fighting the Philistines with occasional defeats the greatest problem Israel had was Goliath who had so cowed the army of Israel in making them to hide in holes. So this one man was more or less the whole of the Philistines put together for he was their backbone. So destroying Goliath is equal to destroying the entire army of the Philistines. Therefore we can see that the value of the ten thousands of David’s slaughter here as compared to that of Saul is the strength and might of Goliath, not a literal number. I pray God will help us to understand.
So, the 144,000 of Rev 14 cannot be said to be specific numerical figures as our fulfilled eschatologist and the Jehovah Witnesses we want to make us believe. This is the fullness of the kingdom of God, 12 being the number of the kingdom and 144,000 are simply the multiples of the 12 in their thousands which is God’s number in his dealings.
To be continued…
© 2016 – Dr. David O. Ogaga