In this article, I will clarify and identify who the 144,000 mentioned in The Book of Revelation are.
This explanation is not what the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society teach concerning them; as I believe their explanation is in error. Neither is this explanation one crafted after any religious organization. This explanation is my own and what I believe Christ taught about it.
The key to identifying who the 144000 are is in understanding within what time frame or epoch of time they appear.
Reference to the 144000 appears only three times in Scripture and ALL references appear in The Book of Revelation. (Revelation 7:4, Revelation 14:1, and Revelation 14:3)
If one assumes that the events mentioned in The Book of Revelation apply to our time period today, then the explanation I am about to give will probably not make sense to them and will probably be rejected, as it goes against popular teaching about the 144000 and their so-called remnant.
I am 100 percent convinced that the events mentioned in The Book of Revelation – more accurately, The Revelation By Jesus Christ That God Gave Him – DO NOT have anything to do with our modern time period.
I am equally convinced that “the start” of the fulfillment of the contents of the Revelation By Jesus Christ That God Gave Him begins immediately at the end of Christ’s future 1000 year reign over the earth and the ascension of Satan out of the Abyss.
The Revelation is a warning to those existing in those future days of what will occur shortly after Christs 1000 year kingdom ends. This line of reasoning makes perfect sense and is a perfect fit. No attempt is made here to rub anyone the wrong way. Truth is truth and it has never been an easy pill to swallow and digest.
Once one understands this, then identifying who the 144000 becomes easily ascertained. Please follow along as I explain to you why The Book of Revelation has not had a start of being fulfilled yet AND why the choosing and appearance of the 144000 can only take place during Christs 1000 year reign and why they will continue to exist on earth after Christs 1000 year reign ends.
Revelation 1:1 – The First Place To Look
The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.
Notice that the revelation is given to Jesus Christ by God. Jesus, in turn, dispatches his angel to John with the Revelation message to make it known to him.
The main thing to focus on in this Scripture is the expression: “to show his servants what must soon take place.”
The Apostle John has been dead now for nearly 2000 years. Those followers who were contemporaries would have also been dead now nearly 2000 years. So the expression “to show his servants what must soon take place” could not apply to them at that time of their lives.
As far as us living today: Two thousand years have transpired and we today hardly qualify as those servants to be shown “what must soon take place.”
The “servants” in Revelation 1:1 would have to apply to all of Christs followers no matter where they are or no matter what time period they lived in. The servants would have to apply to those persons who never heard the name or title of Jesus [the]Christ; persons who lived many thousands of years before there was a Messiah; persons from each and every time period, language, tribe and nation. The only way all persons ever born since Adam could become a servant would be if all of them were resurrected into a system where they are all brought together under one ruler: Christ Jesus. And, that is exactly what Jesus teaches.
Imagine one of the greatest events to occur on earth – The Resurrection – bringing together all persons from every epoch of time under one ruler over them, Christ Jesus. Remember, Jesus promised a condemned man who was not his follower paradise. (Luke 23:43)
The expression “what must soon take place” would only make sense set against a time period where all of mankind – those long dead as well – will have been resurrected back to life and standing up as living and breathing human beings.
Jesus promised a resurrection of ALL at John 5:28-29. There he says:
Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when ALL who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
Note: I want to clarify a gross misunderstanding of John 5:28-29. Many have been taught that the Great Resurrection will be one in which those who have done good during their present lifetimes will rise to have everlasting life. And, that those who have done evil will be resurrected so that they will be condemned. That is not what this Scripture is teaching and neither is that how it should be understood. First of all, no one is good but God. (Mark 10:18). Therefore, all of us would be condemned at the resurrection. Again, that is not what this Scripture is teaching. At the resurrection of all persons, all of us will stand up alive within Christs 1000 year kingdom over the earth. All of us will rise. All of us will exist through the entire 1000 year duration of it. However, it is when that 1000 year kingdom ends is when John 5:28-29 takes on meaning. (Revelation 20:7) At the end of the 1000 years, Satan is released from the Abyss and he ascends out of it. He sees a perfect human society that has all been resurrected from the dead and all have gone through Christs 1000 year Kingdom and paradise. Satan goes out to mislead them. Therefore, it is what those persons do that is good (remain faithful) and what those persons do that is bad (become unfaithful) is what determines if they will have life (everlasting life) or destruction (The Lake of Fire or The Second Death) – in other words, go into nonexistence. No person living today or in the past – no matter how bad they have been – has been condemned. Neither has any person living today or in the past who has done good has been granted everlasting life. As stated earlier, no one is good but God. How can anyone among mankind do what is good in our imperfect state? It is for that reason that Jesus taught us to forgive one another an unlimited number of times; even our enemies. It is for that reason that he taught his followers not to condemn or make judgment upon others. (Matthew 7:1-3) Jesus did not condemn an adulterous woman, so why are many today within the religious system (called by men) Christianity claiming to be his followers condemning others to an eternal hellfire or loss of life if they do not join some religious organization? The bottom line is that no human knows what is good and bad. When Adam ate of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad, he essentially made the decision to decide what was good and bad for himself; not what The Most High God would define for His creation was is good and bad. As a result, today all of mankind decides what is good and bad for himself. So the question is: What is good and what is bad? That is why Jesus could say, “No one is good but God.” Therefore, when John 5:28-29 speaks of those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned, it is not referring to any person born since Adam. It is referring to the entire world of mankind that will be resurrected in the future. When that resurrection occurs, what will stand in front of mankind in those days will no longer be death (as it is now), but either the prospect of living eternally (rise to live) or eternal destruction (rise to be condemned). The direction in which those persons in those future days go will depend upon whether they allow themselves to rebel against God when Satan is released from the Abyss, sets up his beastly system of governance over the earth, and goes out to mislead them.
The great resurrection of ALL of mankind born since Adam occurs during Christs definite 1000 year reign over the earth. (Which is still future).
If ALL of mankind is restored back to life – as Jesus promised – and they are existing within his definite 1000 year kingdom, then this provides the perfect backdrop to the fulfillment of Revelation 1:1: “To show his servants what must soon take place.” Why?
Because all of mankind will, at the end of Christs 1000 reign over the earth, will be his servants. So when Christs 1000 year kingdom comes to an end (Revelation 20:7), those servants form collectively what are called “the nations” will be the objects of Satan’s misleading them.
It should be understood that the ending of Christs 1000 year definite kingdom brings the ascension of Satan out of the Abyss and the beginning and establishment of his beastly system of rule over the “vacancy” Christ leaves behind as far as the earth having a king.
So the Book of Revelation is a warning to Christs servants in those days what will “soon take place” after his 1000 year kingdom ends. And we know exactly what occurs what soon takes place after his 1000 year kingdom ends: Satan is released from the Abyss and goes out to mislead the nations.
It is from this premise that I proceed to explain “Who Are The 144000.”
The choosing and appearance of the 144000 cannot occur in our modern time period. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the choosing of them started long ago and that this number is “sealed.” They claim that only a remnant of that 144000 are alive today and many of them are elderly and already in their nineties.
They are in gross error; as the choosing of these future “Kings of the Earth” has not occurred yet. Their choosing can only occur when Christ is installed as earth’s king and he begins his reign over the earth.
Of course, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society teaches that Christ was installed as earth’s king in 1914 and has been ruling invisibly since that year. This is also a gross error because Jesus says that it is impossible for any human, angel and even himself to know such things. Such knowledge belongs only in the jurisdiction of the Father in heaven. (Matthew 24:36; Matthew 24:42; and Acts 1:7)
So to publish such a date goes against everything Jesus taught concerning his return and returning as a King.
Therefore, there are no existing 144000 and there is no anointed remnant of them either. They have not been chosen yet. Why? Because The Christ has not been installed as earth’s king yet. At present, he still stands at his Fathers right side waiting for his Father to coronate him as king. (The Sign seen only in heaven)
There is absolutely no evidence that a new King (The Christ) is in power. The nations are still king and doing as they please. Because of that, we exist in the time period called the Appointed Times of the Nations or The Gentile Times. This current time period will end when it has run its “appointed” course. It’s ending will bring the destruction of all of the nations of the world and the institutions within them. It will also bring down to death, all human life. The ending of the current Appointed Times of the Nations time period brings the beginning of a new administration over the earth: Christs 1000 year kingdom.
It is within that 1000 year kingdom that ALL of mankind will be restored back to life. Those resurrected first from the dead first become the 144000 who will be kings WITH Christ during the 1000 years. Notice how Revelation 20:6 reads:
Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
This Scripture is clear: There will be a first resurrection; implying a second resurrection. Those persons “brought back from the dead” in the first resurrection – we are told – that the second death has no power over them. In other words, they hold the status of immortality. They can never go into a state of nonexistence (The Lake of Fire).
This will be a special lot of persons. They will be Christs “visible” Kings on the earth. They will be charged with administering it locally while Christ himself sits over them as “their King” in heaven. We see that Christ is “their” King at Revelation 1:5:
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Those who are resurrected first, Christ chooses and prepares as his administrators of his 1000 kingdom on the earth.
What the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has done is – like a wild beast – mark its territory like canines urinating – by making the claim that it is God’s chosen vessel and that the 144000 can only come out of that organization. The fact of the matter is that the 144000 will not come out of any organization today or in the future before Christ begins his rule over the earth.
There are only three references to the 144000 in Scripture. They are at Revelation 7:4, Revelation 14:1 and Revelation 14:3. A close examination of them is appropriate at this time.
Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
When one reads this Scripture, one would think that the 144000 are all out of the nation-state of Israel. Yet, that is not what this Scripture is teaching.
It must be kept in mind that when Christs 1000 year kingdom begins, there will be no United States of America, no Russia, no China, no Germany, no nation-state Israel. There will be no political nations. They will have been destroyed when Christ begins his rule. Why would Christ share his kingdom with other kingdoms anyway? He would not!
So the 144000 will not be out of the nation-State of Israel who I personally believe are imposters and not Israel. (The identity of the true Israel of God will shock the entire world once the truth is known). Who are they? The “Israel” this Scripture is referring to are persons of the first resurrection that God and Christ view as “pure of heart.” One MUST NOT think that God views what a person is on the outside. God views what a person is on the inside. Notice how Romans 2:29 reads:
Who are they? The “Israel” this Scripture is referring to are persons of the first resurrection that God and Christ view as “pure of heart.” One MUST NOT think that God views what a person is on the outside. God views what a person is on the inside. Notice how Romans 2:29 reads:
No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.
Those persons of the first resurrection are chosen by God as persons full of Holy Spirit (His Power) and they are not literal Jews but a variety of persons most likely persons unknown to the world at large during mankind’s history. God knows who they are.
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
The 144000 are seen standing on Mount Zion WITH The Lamb. This shows them in their capacity as co-kings with Christ. (Revelation 20:6)
That Christ’s name and his Father’s name is written on their foreheads show them as kings appointed by God and Christ.
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
This Scripture actually tells us that the 144000 will be of the first resurrection as they are “redeemed from the earth.” They are different from the other humans on earth. Their woe and experience on earth will be unique and unlike anything, any people within the human family will have ever experienced.
The song that they will learn is not a literal song but shows the special privilege that they will have, and they will possess the wisdom and knowledge those not chosen kings (of the second resurrection) will not have. This makes sense since the Second Death has no power over the 144000. They will be immortal.
Many today still staunchly believe that God is on a fleshly level and insist that the 144000 will be out of the nation-State of Israel. If that were true, what kind of future world would that be? Would the world of today that is so diverse be OK with 144000 kings who are all Jews over them? Those who push this type of teaching, I believe, fall victim to the New World Order teaching we hear so much about. Behind the scenes, those who silently hold the wealth of the world might wish this to be so. But that is not God’s thought or purpose.
What is interesting to me is that Christ 1000 year kingdom has to end. It is NOT an INDEFINITE kingdom. It is what must shortly take place after his kingdom ends is what The Book of Revelation is a warning about.
Millions today are being misled to look into the present and even past time periods as having the fulfillment of the Book of Revelation. Yet, an unspecified period of time must exist on the earth after Satan ascends out of the Abyss. That Satan has to “establish” his beast on the earth implies a considerable amount of time. How much time? We do not know.
One of the most interesting things about the 144000 is that they will serve two masters. The first master they will serve is the one who resurrected them from the dead and who will be king over them and them his co-kings on the earth: Christ Jesus.(Revelation 1:5)
They will have a part in bringing back to life those who are a part of the second resurrection. (Those of the second resurrection do not come alive – that is, receive immortality) until after the 1000 years have ended).
This 144000 will run the entire course of the 1000 years on earth as Christ’s visible representatives responsible over those of the second resurrection.
The second master the 144000 will serve is Satan. Scripture teaches that after Christs 1000 year kingdom ends, the majority of them allow themselves to be misled by Satan and …
The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. (Revelation 17:12)
Stated earlier, none of the existing nations of the world will be in existence at this time. The only kings left over in the earth after Christs 1000 year kingdom ends will be those who were co-kings with him: The 144000.
So these 10 kings mentioned at Revelation 17:12 could only be those who will be the former kings with Christ during his 1000 reign.
The only time period that would fit the to show his servants what must soon take place as mentioned at Revelation 1:1 would have to be a future time period where all of Christ’s slaves are alive again on the earth. That time period would have to be when all of them are resurrected back to life again. Then, having gone through Christ’s 1000 year reign over its earth to it’s ending. Note: All persons from all time periods in earths history born since Adam will be resurrected from the dead into Christ’s paradise of 1000 years. All of mankind is to be considered a slave of Christ. Why? Because he purchased us all (all of mankind) by virtue of his sacrificial death. No human has no say in the matter as to his relationship with God’s Son. He is their owner whether they accept him or not. (1 Cor 11:3)
The time period following the end of Christs 1000 year reign and Satan’s ascension out of the Abyss is the time period of the contents of The Book of Revelation.
So who are the 144000? They will be persons who will be of the first resurrection that commences some time at the start of Christs 1000 year reign as king over the earth. No one today can possibly know who they are or who they will be as they will appear in the future at their resurrection back from the dead to life on earth. They will not be all literal Jews as there will be no countries as we know them today in existence. They will be made of all persons on the earth; there might be persons who were Jews in among them.
What is certain is that any claim today to being one of the 144000 is a false claim. There are no 144000 today or a remnant of them. Their choosing is yet future and occurs at the beginning of Christ’s 1000 year reign.If you see only with your eyes, you will be easy to fool. R. Jerome Harris