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Monday: The Sealed People of God — 13 Comments

  1. The number "12" occurs 187 times in the Bible and 22 times in the book of Revelation alone. The most notable associations are the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 disciples. Numerologists have a field day describing the meaning of 12. In the Revelation setting, the use of 12 and it's related 144,000, is probably meant to be considered as symbolic and it would appear to be associated with the notion of completeness. Rather than trying to derive more meaning out of the numbers we are probably better off concentrating on the characteristics of those who are included in the number.

    It is interesting to note that immediately after the tabulation of the 144000, John says:

    After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; Rev 7:9 NKJV

  2. Defentely 144,000 is symbolic number. A literal number restricts Gods power to save to the uttermost. My Aunt was getting up in age when I was visiting her and she said I have decided to be creamated. I asked her why? She said, "I want to see if God can put the pieces back together." It immediately became aware to that her faith in God was very strong.

  3. Why did John hear the number of the sealed? We have discovered that John uses many OT experiences to describe what he hears and sees so it is not surprising that the tribes of Israel are used, but what is the message? To me it is that God has not forget His covenant with literal Israel and will thus not forget His covenant with spiritual Israel, but those who rejected Him are excluded from His people. We need to understand going forward that in Rev Israel and it's enemies will be used to represent God's people and their enemies.

  4. The twelve tribes of Israel.

    Were they really twelve?
    - No. They were thirteen, Joseph was counted twice through Ephraim and Manasseh. Gen 48:5.

    Why do we say they were twelve?
    - Because the tribe of Levi Was chosen by God to be priests and they were not to be counted. Deut 10:8,9. Numb 1:4.

    Are these tribes in revelation real Israelites from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv etc?
    No. The promises of God to the Israelites are now for the spiritual Israelites. Rom 2:28-29, gal 3:29.

    Why is Dan excluded from the revelation list?
    - because he has satanic character of biting the heals. Gen 49:17.

    Why is Ephraim excluded?
    - because he embraced paganism. Hosea 4:17.

    Why is the list in revelation different from all the others?

    - The names in revelation are symbolic.
    - The names in this list tell us about the history of the church, salvation, victory unto the marriage of the lamb.

    Judah - I'll praise the lord.
    Reuben - the lord has seen my misery.
    Gad- good fortune.
    Asher - happy I am.
    Naphtali - a great struggle.
    Manasseh - to forget.
    Simeon - the lord heard me.
    Levi - attached to me.
    Issachar - the reward.
    Zebulun - a good place.
    Joseph - he will add to me.
    Benjamin - son of my right hand

    What do we get when we combine the meaning of these symbolic names?
    - I'll praise the lord for He has seen me and given me my fortune. I'm happy because the lord who fights for me has made me to forget. God hears me and has been attached to me. He has rewarded me with a good place to stay and He will add to me the son of His right hand. Amen.

  5. In Daniel 12:1-3 we find,

    The Time of the End

    12 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

  6. Intriguing - God told Moses to count the people but to pay a ransom and then He gets very angry at David for counting for his own purpose? (1Chron 21:1-2, 11-14)
    What significance does this have on John "hearing" the number of those who are 'sealed'? Are they going to be compared with the army of the sixth trumpet Rev 9:16
    Gideon gives us a clue (Judges 7:2) - he started with 32,000 and it was reduced down to 300 - and with them God won the battle. With God on your side you don't need to count who is on your side.
    Let us look at Ex 30:11-16
    Exo 30:12 When you count the sons of Israel, of those who are to be numbered, then they shall each man give a ransom for his soul to Jehovah when you number them, so that there may be no plague among them when you number them.
    Important words: number, ransom, no plague.
    144,000 are numbered
    Jesus - the Lamb - gave His life as a ransom for them
    They are sealed to save them from the plagues

    Mat 20:28 even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
    1Pe 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;

    • Shirley, I believe if you'll check it out, God only allowed leader to number the people in preparation for battle. Thus, when we see a *numbered* group in Revelation, we should probably be thinking of an army prepared for battle.

      So what battle would that be?

      • Inge, I only see Israel being counted when they went to Egypt and when they came out of Egypt. Symbolically the sealed are coming out of slavery to sin and going to the promised land.
        Please provide references of being counted before battle to help me understand.

        • It’s in the first three verses of Numbers, while they were still at Sinai. The census only counted men over the age of 20 who were able to go to war. They didn’t count everyone in the camp. Hope that helps.

          • Mitch, yes it says those able to go to war but is not just before going to battle, they are also counted when they return from exile. I don't find them being counted before a battle, except for Gideon. Interesting God has 144,000 and the devil 200,000,000 but who wins?

  7. The 144,000 is a clearly symbolic reference to the character and experience of this group. There are descriptions given that help us understand that they are faithful servants of God, who have overcome, symbolized by the washing of their robes(righteous character) in the blood of the Lamb. They have overcome sin, being sanctified by the Truth(John 17:17), and worship the Lord “in the beauty of Holiness”. The promises of Jesus are for “him that overcomes...”.

    I would suggest that this chapter gives a two-fold reply to the single question, providing a more complete illustration of the same group. Spiritual Israel, from “ all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,”.

    To get a 3rd view of the character of these sealed ones, go find the meaning of the names listed, compiled in the order they are given in Rev 7. See what it reveals. (You will find the meaning of each name in Genesis, where these names are given at the birth of Jacob's sons)

  8. How are we to understand EG White's two statements as relates to the 144,000:

    1. “Then the angel said, "You must go back, and if you are faithful, you, with the 144,000, shall have the privilege of visiting all the worlds and viewing the handiwork of God." Early Writings, p. 39

    2. Talking about a Mrs Hastings in 1850, who had died EG White states "I saw that she was sealed and would come up at the voice of God and stand upon the earth, and would be with the 144,000. I saw we need not mourn for her; she would rest in the time of trouble, and all that we could mourn for was our loss in being deprived of her company. I saw her death would result in good. Selected Messages, volume 2, p. 263

  9. Just an interesting thought.
    In the OT we find 12 sons of Israel.
    Then we see a great multitude of children of Israel.

    In the NT we see 12 apostles that follow Jesus everywhere He goes.
    Then we see a great multitude who accept Christ.

    So to continue the pattern --
    In Revelation we see 12 groups of 12,000
    Then we see a great multitude

    That pattern seems to suggest that the 12 groups of 12,000, like the 12 apostles, and the 12 sons of Jacob are somehow instrumental in bringing in the great multitude. They are the messengers, empowered by the Holy Spirit and their close walk with Christ, who are sounding the three angel's messages to bring in the great multitude from every nation, kindred and people.


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