Who are the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation?
We know from the scriptures that there is only one call since Jesus died and that is the high calling to be part of the bride of Christ, composed of 144,000 individuals from every race and nation on the earth. This very special call is mentioned many times in the New Testament letters.
In fact, most letters open with greetings to the saints. (See Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Philippians 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1- 2, 2 Peter 1:1-4. Jude 1:1). It is important to remember that God and God alone does the calling. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
When we consider that it has been almost 2000 years since Jesus died, we wonder how that call can still be operable. We may think to ourselves that surely the Church must be complete by now. But the loftiness of the call requires total submission to the will of God and sacrifice of self will in every matter of life. Many, although they love the Lord and have made a covenant unto death, fall short by not giving their all to Him. But, there is still hope for this group.
Although they will not be part of the very elect overcomers, the 144,000, who inherit immortality, they will, nonetheless, be resurrected to a spirit class. This “Great Company” is mentioned in Revelation 7:9 as a heavenly class wearing white robes and standing before the throne of the Lamb.
“These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:14)
Are there some still searching for a true understanding of God’s word? We believe there are. And some of them may, indeed, be spirit begotten. But, perhaps there are many more who are just seeking enlightenment, not consecration.
The good news is that salvation is all-inclusive. It is heavenly and earthly. When we examine the scriptures we find many references to a future time on earth when God’s Kingdom will be established. (See Isaiah 9:6-7; 35:5-10; 65:21-25; Revelation 11:15; 21:1-4.)
In fact, Jesus tells us to pray for that kingdom on earth.
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
In this earthly kingdom, all who ever lived, the evil as well as the good, will come forth from their graves and have an opportunity for everlasting life after a period of judgment in which righteousness is learned. And the heavenly class, who followed after Jesus now, submitting their wills to God’s will and practicing righteousness in all aspects of their lives, will be instrumental in helping to restore the billions returning from their graves.
This heavenly class will rule with Jesus as his “bride” (Revelation 21:2) for one thousand years (Revelation 20:4), the end result of which is spoken of in Zephaniah 3:9. “For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.”
To learn more about what it means to follow Jesus and strive to be part of the heavenly class listen to, “Does Being a Christian Have to Be Difficult?”