Revelation 7:4-8 – Part 1 – Who Are The 144,000

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Rev 7:4  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
Rev 7:5  Of the tribe of Juda [ were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben [ were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad [ were] sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:6  Of the tribe of Aser [ were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim [ were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses [ were] sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:7  Of the tribe of Simeon [ were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi [ were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar [ were] sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:8  Of the tribe of Zabulon [ were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph [ were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin [ were] sealed twelve thousand.

Who are these 144,000 “of all the tribes of the children of Israel?” Who do the scriptures reveal they really are? Many in the orthodox Christian world today believe that these are literal, physical Jews of the literal, physical 12 tribes of Israel because of what is said about these 144,000 in Rev 14. Many teach that, based upon this verse, these are 144,000 literal, physical, Jewish, male virgins who will be sealed with the seal of God.

Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

But we have demonstrated abundantly that the book of Revelation is a book of symbols. This is no time to forget that fact. Signs and symbols are not spiritual realities. All the realities of scripture are spiritual realities and “not words that man’s wisdom teaches.”

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak [“things of the spirit” v.14], not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

“The Holy Ghost teacheth comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” We are also plainly instructed:

2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Col 3:2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Paul has just given us the secret to understanding the symbolism of scripture. The ability to apply that secret as we read the words of scripture is truly a gift from God. It takes the spirit of God Himself to keep us from constantly slipping back into the physical realm as we read words which “are spirit…” Being “not defiled with women; for they are virgins” has nothing to do with the physical realm except as physical women and physical virgins are used to help us to understand what is a spiritual woman and what is a spiritual virgin. The Holy Spirit does not compare spiritual with physical. Nor does it compare physical with spiritual. “The Holy Ghost teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” What that means as it applies to our subject today, is that both Israel and each of her twelve tribes must conform to what the scriptures reveal them to now be, because “the words which man’s wisdom teaches” are that the word ‘Israel’ is not a spiritual word, and the tribe of Judah is not a spiritual tribe, and the word ‘women’ is not a spiritual word, and the word ‘virgins’ is not a spiritual word. But if the scriptures actually demonstrate that ‘Israel’ is no longer a physical nation, and if the scriptures demonstrate that any one physical tribe is actually now a spiritual tribe, then every single tribe is now a spiritual tribe, composed of spiritual Israelites.
So is the word ‘Israel’ a spiritual word with a spiritual meaning in scripture? Is a Jew now a literal, physical ‘Jew,’ or are these spiritual words? What do the scriptures teach us about what the word ‘Israel’ and the word ‘Jew’ mean when they are “not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches?”

What now Biblically constitutes a Jew?

Here is what the scriptures teach. It is a spiritual teaching, and yet it is simple and straightforward.

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

A physical Jew is not even to be counted as a Jew now. “He is not a Jew…” is what the scriptures teach. Physical descent has nothing to do with being a spiritual Jew or a spiritual Israelite. The apostle Paul says that it amounts to nothing more than dung, and if you are not a spiritual Israelite or Jew, then you are not an Israelite or a Jew at all. That is what the scriptures teach.

Rom 9:7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Php 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Php 3:5  Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, a nd do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Being “of the [ physical] stock of Israel, of the [ physical] tribe of Benjamin or the tribe of Judah is “counted but dung” to the man of the spirit. Who then are “the children of God?” Who are “the children of promise?” Who now is Israel? Who now is a Jew? Who now is a Benjamite, or a member of any of the other tribes of Israel? Paul’s answer leaves no room for speculation:

Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

There it is, ” not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” What the spirit is teaching us is that being the physical seed of Abraham does not make on Abraham’s seed. Being a physical Jew or a physical Benjamite or being physically descended from any other “of all the tribes of Israel… is but dung.”

What then does make one “counted for the seed?”

There are two groups and two groups only, who are being saved. One group can be “counted,” and are said to number 144,000. The other group is said to be “innumerable.”

Rom 9:8  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Rev 7:9  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;

Rom 9:8 tells us who is “counted for the seed” of Abraham, but here is yet another way of  answering  that question.

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

But how can this requirement of being “Abraham’s seed” be made to apply to a Gentile Roman, or a Gentile Ephesian or a Gentile Galatian? How can all these Gentile converts to Christ now be considered as Abraham’s one and only seed? Are Gentile converts to Christ now actually Biblically “counted” as Abraham’s only “promised son”, Abraham’s “one seed?” Are they really to now be considered “as Isaac was… the children of promise?” Are Gentiles actually considered by God, and by the scriptures of His Word, to be Israelites, and heirs of the promise made to Abraham? Is that what “the holy spirit, comparing spiritual with spiritual, teaches?” What do the scriptures teach?

Gal 4:28  Now we brethren [ Gentile Galatians], as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye[ Gentile Ephesians] are no more strangers and foreigners [ to the commonwealth of Israel, verse 12], but fellowcitizens [ of Israel] with the saints, and of the household of God;

Does this make Paul a replacement theologian? Does this take the promise given to Abraham to make of Him a nation and a company of nations and give that promise only to those of both the Jewish and the Gentiles who are converts to Christ? Or does God now have two separate chosen or elect peoples; one according to the flesh, and another according to the spirit? No, God does not have two separate elect or chosen people. “He is NOT a Jew which is one outwardly…”
Did we not just read:

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Did we not just read the New Testament definition of  what is and what “is not a Jew?” Did we not read that the Gentile Ephesian converts are those who “are called uncircumcision by that which is called circumcision in the flesh made by hands?” Did not the scriptures we just read teach us that those Ephesian Gentile converts to Christ were “in time PAST Gentiles” in the flesh, but they are now “made near by the blood of Christ,” and they are now a part of “the commonwealth of Israel?” How many phrases like, “the commonwealth of Israel… as Isaac was… counted for the seed… to whom pertaineth the promises…” all addressed to Gentile Christians, must we read before we simply acknowledge that “he is NOT a Jew that is one outwardly, but he is a Jew which is one inwardly?”

Did Paul contradict himself?

But what about this verse of scripture? Doesn’t this verse completely nullify every verse we have just read? Isn’t Paul actually contradicting Himself when he makes this statement?

Rom 3:1  What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Rom 3:2  Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

That is the way the natural mind works. The natural mind has no use for “the sum of God’s Word” (Psa 119:160 ASV) It is a testament to the spiritual blindness Christ bequeathed to us when we are the multitudes of His day, that those who point to these two verses still, to this very day, cannot see them in the light of the two immediately preceding verses, which I simply must, once again repeat:

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Being a Jew and being circumcised is just as advantageous now as it ever was. The only difference is that it is now an advantage “much in every way” because “the oracles of God”, including the oracle of circumcision, are now committed only unto “he [ who] is a Jew inwardly” and the “profit” of the oracle of circumcision is now committed only to those who are “circumcised of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter.”
In other words “He is not a Jew which is one outwardly” in no way contradicts “What advantage then hath the Jew” or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way…” It actually complements and explains what “He is a Jew which is one inwardly” means. What that means is what it says, but what it says is that it is a great advantage to be a Jew, and it is an advantage “in every way” to be circumcised only if you “are a Jew inwardly, and your circumcision is now of the heart in the spirit.”

Does Paul’s doctrine agree with Christ’s doctrine?

Christ tells us that all his words “are spirit.” “The words that I speak unto you are spirit.” He tells us plainly that fleshly pedigree “profits nothing.”

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Now apply this Truth to the words which He had spoken to “the woman at the well” in Samaria just two chapters earlier:

Joh 4:21  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. [ It is “neither1”
Joh 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. [ The inward spiritual ‘Jew.’]
Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

That is the truth as plainly as Christ Himself could put it. God will not be worshiped by anyone who thinks that physical Jerusalem, physical Samaria or any physical building or physical place or physical relic is anything more than dung. True disciples of Christ need nothing in the physical realm to bolster their faith. The true disciples of Christ abhor all such idolatry.

Joh 20:29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [ are] they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

That includes the idolatry of physical pedigree. Being a physical, fleshly Israelite, or a physical, fleshly Jew, “profiteth nothing.” “Ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father… True worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in Truth… comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
The apostle Paul, as we will soon see, knew and taught the same thing Christ taught. Christ spoke and taught in symbols and signs. He called them ‘parables’, and He told us why He did so. He told us His words “were spirit”, and He told us that He had “not given unto…[ the multitudes who came to hear Him teach] to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven.” 

Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

One more reason why Christ taught in parables

But that is not all He tells us about why He teaches in parables. There is more to the reason why “the holy spirit teaches… not in the words man’s wisdom teaches, but [ instead] comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Here is that additional reason Christ gives for teaching in parables.

Mat 13:12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

It is not adding to these words to note that Christ answered His disciples’ question concerning why He taught in parables by telling them that He teaches the multitudes who come to Him in parables “because.. it is not given… to them … to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” It is in this same thirteenth chapter we are told that Christ never spoke to the multitudes of His disciples without a parable.

Mat 13:34  All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
Mat 13:35  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

But that connecting word ‘for’ at the beginning of verse 12 tells us that those who “have not” much spiritual understanding “from them shall be taken even that [ little] that they had.” That is also a part of the function of “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” and ” not speaking in words that man’s wisdom teaches… speaking to them in parables.” We must include verse 12 in our understanding of  Christ’s purpose for speaking in parables. Christ’s parables, His signs and symbols, are the spiritual words which take away what little is given to the multitudes “to hear.”

Mar 4:33  And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

The multitudes who are “not given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God’ are now deprived of  gleaning any spiritual knowledge from outward words, outward physical healing and outward physical miracles. Even Christ’s miracles, like turning water into wine and feeding the multitudes, or even the physical raising from the dead which Christ performed on more than one occasion, are nothing more than a history lesson to those from whom is taken even what little spiritual understanding they once had. We have all lived for many years, without the benefit of spiritual eyes and spiritual ears, and for most that is the way this entire life will be lived. That is why we see such pitiful displays of spiritual blindness as dramatic physical devastations and physical plagues upon the planet, and even physical fire coming out of the mouths of two physical men in very popular movies like the Left Behind series. “Even that he hath shall be taken away from him.”
That is just another way of saying “the flesh profits nothing.” Understanding God’s Words physically, profits nothing. That is the doctrine of Christ concerning how few are given spiritual understanding of the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” That is how few will ever understand who really are these 144,000 firstfruit virgins who follow Christ wherever He goes.

Whose Are The Words of this book?

Who happens to be the person who is “opening His mouth in parables” to give us this revelation of Jesus Christ? There is no need to speculate. This is:

Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and sign ified it by his angel unto his servant John:.

There it is. This revelation is “the revelation of Jesus Christ… signified by His angel unto His servant John.” That being so; Christ being the author of this book, then this book too, must be a book of signs and symbols, because:

Mat 13:34  All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

We will not at this point explain the symbolism involved, but here is a rather extreme example of how this book is written, and how it must be understood. That includes these “144,000 of all the tribes of Israel.” Just look at the symbolism of these verses in ch. 17.

Rev 17:7  And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:8  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Rev 17:9  And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
Rev 17:10  And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

“The mind that has wisdom” is being told  and will see and understand this mystery, this secret. “I will tell you the mystery…” To “the mind that has wisdom”  these verses are perfectly clear. “The mind that has wisdom” understands clearly what are all the symbols involved when it reads that “the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits… and there are seven kings.”  Here we have a parable within a parable, and the mind that has wisdom can see clearly what is being said because “the time has come” that Christ is no longer speaking in a parable to those who are now “being shown plainly of the Father.” He is now “speaking to us [ all] plainly,” if we have been granted “eyes that see and ears that hear… the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.”

Joh 16:25  These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.

When would “the time come” for Christ to show His disciple “plainly of the Father?” Was that to happen only after the resurrection? If so, then which resurrection? Apparently Christ was speaking spiritually of the downpayment, “earnest of the spirit” form of being resurrected in Christ, because these are Christ’s own words:

Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

But Christ’s yet unconverted disciples still could not comprehend how they “had seen Him,” and said the same thing then, that all of Christ’s yet unconverted disciples say to this very day.

Joh 14:8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Joh 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

You and I have never seen the physical Christ, any more than Philip and the eleven other apostles have physically “seen the Father.”  To this very day, to and for most Christians the ability to see the True Christ of scripture, and to “hear His voice,” is “not given.” Otherwise any carnal mind could understand what ‘seven mountains’ are, and there would be no need in scripture for phrases like “whoso reads let him understand…” “let him that hath wisdom count…” and “here is the mind that hath wisdom…”
Look at the very next verse in Mat 13.

Mat 13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

So, to determine who the 144,000 “of all the tribes of Israel” are, we must remember what physical Israel symbolizes in scripture. Nevertheless the natural man within us all will still ask, if this is a spiritual group, then…

Why are “all the tribes of Israel” mentioned individually?

Could it possibly be that the fact that the tribes are listed individually means that the real Jew has to be descended ‘outwardly’ from Abraham before he can be one of these “12,000 firstfruits from all the [ outward] tribes of Israel?” How tempting it is for the natural man to revert to such reasoning. How quickly we all tend to forget that Paul has just told us that “they which are the [ outward] children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God, but the children of promise are counted for the seed?”  Has not Eph 2:11-14 answered this question once and for all? Does not Eph 2 explain to us that being of Israel, and being of the entire commonwealth of all the 12 tribes of Israel, is now all  a matter of being “in Christ?” Does not Eph 2, to this very day explain to us that “the commonwealth of Israel” now consists of both Jews and Gentiles who are “both… in Christ?” Does not Eph 2 tell us that Gentiles “in Christ” are no longer Gentiles? Let’s read those verses again, and if ever you tend to forget this, then go back and read them again.

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

“Who hath made of both one…” The word ‘both’ refers to those who “were in times past Gentiles,” and “that which is called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands.” The word ‘both’ refers to “the commonwealth of Israel” and “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” What is God doing with these two groups according to the pen of the spirit here?

Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Christ’s life in the flesh demonstrated for us that the days, months, times and years of Judaism, the priesthood of Judaism, the animal sacrifices of Judaism, and the letter of the laws of Judaism, were all a wall of enmity which is now “abolished in His flesh” and in the example He has left for us to follow. Now we Gentiles are no longer Gentiles, but part of the very commonwealth of the twelve tribes of Israel, and those who are “called circumcision” are now no more than Gentiles if they are not “in Christ Jesus.”

Eph 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off [ Gentiles], and to them that were nigh [ Jews].
Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners[ From the commonwealth of Israel], but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Now Biblically, the Gentiles who are “in Christ Jesus,” are a part of the 12 tribe commonwealth of Israel. Eph 2 means what it states when Paul says “that at one time [ in the PAST] we WERE Gentiles in the flesh, who are CALLED uncircumcision by that which is CALLED the circumcision IN THE FLESH made by hands?” Don’t you be one of those who is guilty of still calling “circumcision in the flesh, made by hands” a Jew or an Israelite. Rather you need to stand for the truth that “he is NOT a Jew which is one outwardly, and circumcision is [ only] of the heart, in the spirit.” Paul repeats this same doctrine when writing to the Philippians:

Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision [ Gentile Philippians], which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Who is ‘the true circumcision’? Who is ‘the true Jew’? Who are ‘the true children of God’? Who is ‘the commonwealth of Israel?’ There can be no doubt. According to the scriptures they are only those “which worship God in spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh.”
But now let’s look at the verses of scripture which demonstrate who are these 144,000…

Virgins… which follow the Lamb… being firstfruits

As we pointed out at the beginning of this study, the 144,000 are mentioned once again in the book of Revelation, in chapter 14. Here we read:

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 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Surely the Gentiles converts are never called virgins, are they? The answer to that question just happens to be, yes, they are called virgins in 2Co 11.

2Co 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

John tells us of this 144,000 “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth…” Do Gentiles follow Christ where ever He goes? Yes, Gentile convert are followers of Christ “where ever He goes.”

1Co 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Php 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
1Th 1:6  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
1Ti 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Finally it is said of these 144,000 “of all the tribes of the children of Israel,” [ that] “these were redeemed from among men being the FIRSTFRUITS unto God and to the Lamb” (Rev 14:4). And, yes, once again Paul tells us that Gentile Roman converts of Christ, “ourselves also… have the firstfruits of the Spirit.”

Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

And James, who was well aware of these truths, despite what Martin Luther or any of our modern purveyors of that false ‘two administrations’ doctrine might say; James tells us this:

Jas 1:18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

James was one of the apostles who heard Peter say these words:

Act 15:5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them [ the Gentiles] to keep the law of Moses.
Act 15:6  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
Act 15:7  And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
Act 15:8  And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Act 15:9  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Act 15:10  Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Act 15:11  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

In spite of all men’s doctrines to the contrary James believed that “we shall be saved even as they.” So when James addressed His epistle “to the twelve tribes scattered aboad,” James knew what he meant by that, whether we know that Christ “has made of twain, one new man” or not.

Jas 1:1  James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Those in Christ, are to this very day “scattered abroad,” nevertheless all who are “in Christ” are still to this very day “the commonwealth of Israel.”

Summary

Let’s review what we have seen in the scriptures today.
1) As always we reminded ourselves that these words are not words which man’s wisdom teaches, but they are words which the holy spirit teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
2) We saw the many verses which demonstrate what now, in Christ, constitutes a true Biblical Jew.
3) We saw the scriptures which show us who is now considered by God to be the true circumcised Israelite, and we saw that Paul considered himself, as a physical Benjamite, to be a spiritual Jew and a spiritual Israelite, and that he considered his physical heritage to be nothing more that dung.
4) We saw that Rom 9:8 and Eph 2 reveal in great detail that the only requirement for being “counted for the seed of Abraham” is that we must simply be “in Christ Jesus.”
5) We considered whether the first two verses of Rom 3 contradict the last two verses of Rom 2, and we say that Paul was simply expalining in the first two verses of Rom 3 that the advantages of being a circumcised Jew are just as great as they ever were, but they are both, being circumcised, and being Jewish, “of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter.”
6) We saw that Paul’s doctrine concerning the transfer of all of the blessings of physical Israel to a new spiritual “Israel of God, is in complete accord with Christ’s own doctrine, as He Himself revealed it to the Samaritan woman at the well.

Joh 4:21  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the [ spiritual] Jews.
Joh 4:23  But t he hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

7) We saw that Christ’s symbolic spiritual words are the very means by which “even that they have” is taken away from those who are “not given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” 8) Finally we took note that “without a parable” Christ never spoke to the multitudes, and we applied that verse to this present study concerning who are these 144,000 firstfruit vergins who follow Christ wherever He goes.
There is much more we need to discuss concerning these firstfruit, virgin, 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. We need to know why they are enumerated as they are with 12,000 being from each tribe. We need to consider why the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are not even mentioned. We also need to know which of the promises made to Abraham apply to these spiritual 144,000, of all the tribes of Israel, and finally we need to know exactly when the scriptures actually teach that all of  physical Israel will be saved. Lord willing we will cover all of those questions and more, in our study next Sunday morning.

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