The 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5

Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.  (2)  And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps,  (3)  and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.  (4)  It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb,  (5)  and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

are the faithful saints or believers from all ages.  We know that Revelation is a book of symbol, so we need to interpret the symbolic language.  It is not a literal number, nor is it literally 12,000 from every tribe of Israel, although people from these tribes will be included in the redeemed.  If we compare scripture with scripture, it is easy to identify these 144,000.

Rev 14:1 tells us that the 144,000 had Jesus and God’s name on their foreheads.  Rev 3:12 tells us that those who conquer or overcome, will have the name of God written on them.  1 John 5:4-5 tells us those born of God overcome the world.  So there is one identification of the 144,000 – those born of God.

Rev 22:3-5 tells us that the Lamb’s (Jesus) servants will have his name on their forehead and that his servants will reign for ever.  Rev 5:9-10 tells us that those who reign with Jesus have been ransomed by his blood.  Mark 10:45 tells us that Jesus gave his life as a ransom for many and 1 Peter 1:18 that the believers were ransomed by the blood of Jesus.  So here is another identification of the 144,000 – the ransomed .  We also read in Rev 14:3 that the 144,000 have been ransomed or redeemed.

Rev 14:4 says that the 144,000:

  • are virgins -  Paul identifies the believers as pure virgins in 2 Cor 11:2. Jesus’ parable of the 10 virgins in Mat 25:1 also indicates that Jesus’ followers are virgins, not in the literal sense of course, but those faithful to Jesus.
  • follow the Lamb – John 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
  • have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and Jesus – James and Paul (James 1:18 & 2 Thes 2:13-14)  identify the believers as firstfruits.

Rev 14:5 identifies the 144,000 as being truthful and blameless. Many passages refer to the believers as being blameless.  For example, Eph 1:4; Php 1:10; Php 2:15; Col 1:22; 1 Thes 5:23 etc.

To sum up, the 144,000 are those born of God who have overcome the world, been redeemed or ransomed by the blood of Jesus and faithfully follow Jesus.

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  • WoundedEgo

    Actually, the 144,000 are the faithful Jewish disciples/remnant. They are the “little flock.” The “other sheep” are the gentiles, who come in later in great droves from all nations.

    John 10:27 likewise is referring to the faithful Jews.

    These were Jesus original flock. These were the Father’s and he committed them to Jesus’ care.

  • Sheryl

    I see your point, WoundedEgo, but I don’t agree that Rev 14:1 & Rev 7:4 are just alluding to natural Israel, because those who are “in Christ”, are spiritual Jews and sons of Abraham by faith. Paul says in Galatians 3:29 that all those who are Christ’s are sons of Abraham. He also says in Galatians 3:28 that we are all one, so there is no distinction between Jew or gentile, for those in Christ.

    Gal 3:25-29 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, (26) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (27) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (29) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.