After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad, 12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh, 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar, 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed. Revelation 7:1-8
After reading today’s verses, who do you think the 144,000 will be, Jew or Gentile? If you are like me and accept that where scripture is plain we should accept it at face value then the answer is Jews. The 144,000 are to be taken from each of the twelve tribes if Israel. But if you talk to a Jehovah’s Witness the answer would be Gentiles and not any gentiles but Jehovah’s Witness members. In fact the Jehovah’s Witness movement believed that when their membership reached 144,000 Jesus would return and the 144,000 sealed would be taken to heaven and only the 144,000. That was supposed to have taken place in 1914. When 1914 came and went without Jesus second coming they Jehovah’s Witness revised their claim and said that Jesus came in secret. With a membership now of over 7 million the 144,000 limit to go to heaven was also a problem. The beauty of placing proclamations of man on a par with the Word of God is that when things don’t go as plan you can just change your mind. Now the 144,000 still go the heaven but the rest will now live and populate a new earth.
But why do Jehovah’s Witness think they are the 144,000 when the Bible clearly says the 144,000 will come from the tribes of Israel? I received an answer one winter morning a few years ago when a Jehovah’s Witness missionary came to my door Bible in hand ready to let me know the truth. As he went from verse to verse trying to convince me that the Jehovah’s Witness are correct and I continually asked him to read the verses before and after his proof text, we came to today’s verses in Revelation. He told me these verses referred to the Jehovah’s Witness and when I asked how he had come to that conclusion his answer was that the tribes listed in Revelation were different from the tribes mentioned in the Old Testament. So was he correct, are they different? The answer is yes and no. Tomorrow let’s look at the tribes of Israel.
Have a blessed day,