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The 144,000 martyrs in Revelation chapters 7 and 14

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Question:  Did you know about the 144,000? Those who are delivered out of the slain curse are virgins. The 144,000 are the man child. The 144,000 Sealed of THE LORD are Jews, for every True Christian is a Jew.

Response:  The 144,000 are literally Jewish (Rev.7:4-8; 14:4-5); they are a central part of a wave of extraordinary evangelism which will take place during the Tribulation.  Please see the links:

The Sealing of the 144,000 (in Coming Tribulation 2B)

The Martyrdom of the 144,000 (in Coming Tribulation 4)

As to your statements:

1) "Those who are delivered out of the slain curse are virgins." If by "delivered out of the slain curse" you mean to say that a person can become one of the 144,000 through some spiritual experience, I would have to say that the scripture is quite clear that this is not the case. These extraordinary individuals will all be Jewish, part of the reassertion of Jewish leadership in the Church which will take place in the Tribulation (cf. the ministry of the "two witnesses", Moses and Elijah in Rev.11; see the link in CT 3A: "The Two Witnesses"). We gentiles, for example, cannot possibly join this number regardless of how well we are following the Lord. That does not mean we do not now (or will not then) have an important part in the Plan of God (we do and shall), but this is not our particular role to play.

2) "144000 Sealed of THE LORD are Jews, for every True Christian is a Jew." In fact, while we believers are all now one in Christ and "have been brought near" (Eph.2:11-13), it is we gentiles who have been grafted into Israel (Rom.11), not the other way around. And it is the mystery of the Church that gentiles too have been graciously included into the Body of Jesus Christ, who is Jewish in His humanity, onto the foundation of the apostles, who are Jews, along with the first generation of Christians, who are disproportionately Jewish (cf. Eph.1:9-10; 3:9-10; Col.1:26-27). Consider: "To the Jew first, and also to the gentile [lit. Greek]" (Rom.1:16; 2:9-10); "It was necessary to preach the word of God first to you [Jews], but since you are rejecting it and don't consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the gentiles" (Acts 13:46). In Romans 2:29, the statement "He is really a Jew who is one inwardly" means that not all Israel is Israel (i.e., those of Abraham's physical seed who are not of his spiritual seed because of unbelief) – but that is very much different from saying that therefore all who do believe are Israel in the sense of being literally Jewish; such is not the case.  There is one Body of Christ in which Jews [by first priority] and gentiles [by the grace of God] share equally (Gal.3:26-29). So while there is a sense in which what you say here has some validity, we need to be careful to understand that we gentiles are sharing in the Vine by inclusion with (literal) believing Jews, and that our inclusion does not in any way mean their exclusion (that is Paul's whole point in Romans chapter 11) – there will always be a "remnant according to grace" of believing Jews (Rom.11:5: see SR#5: "the Uniqueness of Israel"), and, beginning with the Tribulation, literal Israel will again come to play the dominant role in the Body of Christ, her Messiah (and ours).

Yours in Him,

Bob Luginbill

 


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