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Who are the 144,000? The elect? The “male child”? May 23, 2011

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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Whilst I venture from time to time into eschatology my main focus is not so much about unravelling end times prophecies but rather to emphasize the need for Christians to apply discernment especially in this area by demonstrating some of the erroneous teachings that have emerged contrary to scriptures.

One of the many “theories” that abound concerning the end times is the identity of a group of 144,000 people spoken of in Revelations. Some say the 144,000 are the church, others say these are the elect and an even more preposterous view is that these together are the “male child” spoken of in Revelations 12. The theory I want to focus on here is whether this group could indeed constitute the “male child” of Rev 12:5. Here are the relevant verses:

1

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2

And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

5

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

13

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
     

We understand from reading other prophecies that the woman here spoken of in verse 1 isIsrael, which shall bring forth a “male child”.  According to the theorists therefore this “male child” are the 144,000 men that would be saved from the 12 tribes of Israel before the Lord’s return. Scripture tells us in Rev 14 that these are 12000 men of each of the twelve tribes of Israel (See also Rev 7).

Could these 144,000 be the “male child” referenced in Rev 12? The first thing we need to note here is that in verse 5 of Rev 12 the man child was caught up to God and to His throne. Following this event the woman (Israel) fled into the dessert for 1260 days (we could apply the principle of 1 day for a year here to mean 1260 years but the theorists say this is 3.5 years). If the 144,000 are indeed the “male child” at what point in history were they caught up to God’s throne? The short answer is they would have been “caught up” during the opening of the 6th Seal in Revelations 6:12-17, 7:1-8. It was during the 6th Seal that the heavens were opened, when the day of God’s wrath had come. Reading from verse 1 of Revelations 7 therefore we learn that 4 angels stood at the ready at the four corners of the earth to pour out God’s wrath but they were told by another angel not to hurt the earth till the servants of God (the 144,000) were sealed in their foreheads. So we know therefore that up to this point in history the 144,000 were still on the earth and could not have been caught up at any time previously since it is only at this point that they were to be sealed with the seal of God. If indeed this group were caught up then they could only have been caught up after they were sealed. So what does all this mean?

Going back to Revelations 12 we learn that after the man child was “caught up”, Israel fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God for her to be nourished for 1260 days. If the theorists are to be believe then what this means is that after the 144,000 (the supposed “man child”) are “caught up” at the 6th Seal, Israel flees into the dessert on “judgement day” for 3.5 years. We do not know the gap of time between the 6th and 7th Seals but it makes no sense to say that Israel is fleeing to the wilderness at a time when everyone else has “gone to heaven” including the great multitude that were seen after the 144,000 were sealed, and the wrath of God was about to be poured out on the earth. I do not need to make any suppositions here though as Revelations 12 makes clear that the time period when the “man child” is caught up and the woman fleeing into the wilderness is a distinctly different time period from the 6th Seal events. Reading to the end of Rev 12 we learn that after the woman flees into the wilderness the serpent cast a flood out of it’s mouth after the woman but the earth helped the woman by swallowing up the flood. What happened next is that the dragon tried to make war with the remnant of the woman’s seed:

17

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Note therefore that the remnant were those that had the testimony of Jesus Christ. The serpent could only have made war with this remnant of the woman’s seed prior to the 6th Seal because at the 6th Seal all those that had the testimony of Christ were joined with Him and were gathered around His throne. The evidence is therefore clear that the 144,000 could not be the man child because the events that occur after the man child is caught up and that of the 6th Seal are in two separate time-frames. The man child is therefore none other than Jesus Christ as it is only He that has the distinction whereby He will rule all nations with a rod of iron (Rev 19:15). The 144,000 are 12,000 men from each of the 12 tribes who have not defiled themselves with women, and who are considered the first fruits unto God (Rev 14).

What I have presented here is an example of how false teachers read scriptures and interpret them in isolation, ignoring the glaring inconsistencies in their arguments, which goes against the grain of scripture. This is one of the reasons we need to apply proper discernment instead of being carried away with every wind of doctrine.

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Comments»

1. Justin - June 22, 2011

Hello. 144,000 has two meanings. First it is a numerical reference to Earth with the moon and their combined orbits of the sun in days. Secondly it represents those of us who have spent months undoing the teachings of the Church and starting again, looking at the Bible in terms of the search for Truth and getting closer to God. There are constructs and structures which join thought into multiple dimensios. Eventually you get to proving YWYH is God and then how to use it to predict events which are caused by an interaction of events.

The key is in Revelations: I am the Alpha and the Omega, who was, is and is to come.

Then go to Matthew in the KJV and look at it from a structure point of view in light of the Alpha Omega thing. Then away you go!

So far I am the only one I know of

2. Henry - June 28, 2011

Justin,
Thanks for dropping by. The problem with your interpretation is that it is not based on SCRIPTURE. We have to rely on scripture to interpret scripture and not on extra-biblical views. The 144,000 are a literal number – 12,000 males of each of the “12 chosen tribes” of Israel. This is what Revelation 14 tells us.

3. Jerry kelso - February 22, 2012

Henry, I believe we have to be careful who we call false teachers because their hermeneutics may be slightly different than somebody else’s. Prophecy is mainly subjective. I have studied many different views on this passage for this is a part of exegesis. You have to put the positions side by side with scripture.
Jesus being the manchild is one of the most popular among mainstream evangelicals. This is understandable because Psalms 2:9 bears out that Jesus would be the one to rule with a rod of iron over the nations. Jesus was a manchild of Israel, born of a woman made under the law. Galatians 4:4. And we know he ascended up to the right hand of the father in heaven. Acts 1 and Revelation 5. Jesus fits the scenario, but, others can fit the scenario as well according to their hermeneutics and scriptures they may use. Can all the scriptures across the board be reconciled?
It is generally understood that all the seal, trumpets, and vials happen consecutively. Others believe they happen alongside of each other.
The seals are the beginning of the tribulation even though some believe it is a panoramic view of the tribulation because of the earthquake and men crying for the rocks to fall on them. However the wrath of the lamb is through the trumpet judgements of which the 144,000 are protected. Revelation 9:4 or 5 I believe. Revelation 7 is a parenthetical of the companies that will be saved in the tribulation. The 144,000 are preserved through the trumpet judgements, (Revelation 9) and are in heaven in Revelation 14 before the throne as the firstfruits. The way they get there is they are raptured as the manchild.
If you notice the dragon who is the devil has 7 heads and 10 horns. His 7 heads are crowned. The 1st 6 are empires that had oppressed Israel in past history according to Daniel. These were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The 7th head will be the Revised Roman Empire. Daniel talks about this empire and the 10 horns as well. So this is a picture of the future tribulation. Christ is used as a historical context which is fine though John had already seen the risen Christ. And as far as a picture of the great confrontation between God and Satan would not be a literal fulfillment in the middle of the tribulation or the end of the tribulation for Christ is the lamb on the throne in the middle of the tribulation and at the end of the tribulation he is coming back to earth to take over the kingdoms of this world. Revelation 11:15. So according to Revelation 1:19 the tribulation time factor is those things hereafter. The time factor can only fit the 144,000 and Israel is in heavy travail and the manchild will be a company. Isaiah 66:7, 8 talk about the manchild being delivered before her children are delivered.
The war in Heaven and Satan is kicked out and the woman goes into the wilderness to be protected for 1260 days, the latter half of the tribulation who was said to have delivered the manchild.
The whole chapter deals with the transition of Satan giving his power over to the Antichrist and he does in chapter 13. If you notice the last verse is about the remnant of her seed. Seed denotes a birth so the other part of her seed was the manchild who will be the 144,000 who went to heaven according to Revelation 14.
In conclusion, you have the woman (Israel in the wilderness), The remnant fleeing who have the testimony of Jesus Christ who will make it through the tribulation. Zechariah says that two thirds will be cut off and one third will come through the fire purified. So the 144,000 are not the remnant and they are not in the wilderness for they arrive in Heaven in the middle of the tribulation. They fit the whole scenario for in Revelation 5 we all will rule with a rod of Iron and it fit’s the time factor according to Revelation 1:19 which Christ in the past does not fit into this passage as a literal fulfillment. He can only be in this passage as a Historical context. This does not violate Christ position as ruling with a rod of Iron and etc. and at the same time it puts the proper perspective of the 144,000’s mission and how they get to heaven and helps us understand how they are separate from the remnant. I believe that is rightly dividing the word and not false teaching. God Bless! Jerry Kelso Truth Seeker

4. Henry - February 24, 2012

Jerry Kelso,
Thanks for stopping by. Indeed many people have different interpretations of the scriptures pertaining to the end times. This therefore leads to subjectivity in the interpretation of prophecy but the prophecies themselves are not meant to be subjective. We therefore need to seek to arrive at the correct interpretation. One of the problems in your presentation is that you look at the whole Revelations as a future event. In my view however there are parts that relates to past events such as Revelations 12 which speaks of the male child. If we look at this passage as a future occurrence then of course we need to look for a separate candidate to fit the bill for the male child. I think this is the mistake that many interpreters fall in. Whilst there are scriptures to confirm that Jesus will rule with a rod of iron in Psalms 2 and Revelations 19:15 there is nothing in scripture to distinguish the 144,000 as the male child. It is simply an assumption due to a lack of any other suitable candidates, particularly if we look at Rev 12 from a futurist point of view. Ask yourself this question: Is Satan still in Heaven today or has he already been cast down to earth?

The other problem therefore with your conclusions is that you make no distinction between the tribulation and God’s wrath and this has lead to some problematic conclusions on your part. During the 6th seal (see Rev 6) the heavens departed as a scroll to reveal God’s throne in Heaven. It was at this point (see Rev 7) that the 144,000 were sealed and ushered into the presence of the Lamb, following which a great multitude of every nation tribe and tongue were seen standing before God’s throne. The 144,000 therefore could not have been in heaven prior to the opening of the sixth seal because it was at that time that scripture tells us they were sealed with the seal of God. Following the sixth seal is the seventh which commences the wrath of God with the trumpet judgements etc. Since the 144k could not have been raptured prior to the 6th seal therefore when the heavens were opened (2 Pet 3:10) then we have a serious problem with them being the male child if we go back to Rev 12. Rev 12 tells us that after the male child was caught up to God’s throne, Israel fled to the dessert to a place God prepared for her where she was nurished for 1260 days. This would mean then that Israel goes into the desert when the 7th seal, revealing God’s wrath, was opened. This would also mean that the dragon with the 7 heads would be persecuting the Remnant of the woman’s seed (who had the testimony of Jesus Christ) when God’s wrath is being poured out and everyone else in Christ are already taken up before God’s throne. Does this make sense to you? This is the same problem I presented to Don and he could not answer it yet he insisted on pursuing with this faulty interpretation. God would not subject those who had the testimony of Jesus (the remnant) to His wrath so this remnant would have been taken out of the way at the time of the 6th seal. For these reasons the 144k cannot be the male child because the timing of the 6th seal and the timing of the male child being cuaght up to God’s throne must necessarily be different intervals of time.

I hope you will consider these points carefully.

5. Jerry kelso - March 21, 2012

Henry, So sorry I missed that you had posted a reply.
1. We have already discussed Revelation 6 and you haven’t replied back yet and you mentioned about discussing hermeneutics, so let me know.
2. The man child is said to be Jesus according to Psalm 2:9 by many. It is true; Jesus will rule with a rod of iron over the nations but, so will the saints in the kingdom according to Revelation 2:27.
3. Many people believe it has to be Jesus in a historical context. This is ok for the first reference if you want to show the great confrontation between God and Satan. However, in reality of the time factor in Revelation of things hereafter it doesn’t fit because Jesus life to his resurrection were way in the past and John had already seen the resurrected Lord.
4.The 7 heads being crowned and not the ten horns is significant because, the Antichrist has not fully gained control of the 10 horns which is the 7th head. So Satan is in control of the 7th head which was in the future of the tribulation. The 6 other heads are mentioned in Daniel were nations from Egypt-Rome which oppressed Israel in the past.
5. The sun-clothed woman of course is Israel which is shown in the 12 stars and the sun and the moon shown in Genesis to do with Joseph brothers bowing in obedience to him. Genesis 37:9:11.
6.This chapter is not a historical context. The above scriptural facts follows in line with the war in heaven, and Satan who is the accuser of the brethren and is kicked out of Heaven and is twice as mad at the fleeing woman. He is even more mad when the woman goes into the wilderness and is protected.
7. The antichrist armies are swallowed up by the earth and the remainder go after the remnant of her seed who flee into Judea and other places. The remnant of her seed is usually interpreted as the only other part of the woman. However, the remnant of her seed denotes a birth. The birth is the man child. You may think this far fetch but, Isaiah 66:7-8 mention the two travails of Israel, The man child and the travail of her children. The travail of her children will be at the end of the tribulation.
8. In chapter 9:4 those sealed with God which are the 144,000 are protected. This shows that the 144,000 are protected through the trumpet judgements and raptured to Heaven in Revelation 14.
So you can see that the 144,000 start right before the middle of the tribulation, because the trumpet judgements are in the middle of the tribulation. This is when the man child is raptured.
Chapter 13 furthers the progression of the story with the Antichrist and his kingdom and then shows the parenthetical of the 14th chapter with the 144,000 and the angels sounding and the blessed dead.
One foot note is that 7th chapter of Revelation is a parenthetical of the two companies of redeemed in Revelation. This is the 1st parenthetical of the tribulation. So there is nothing divisive or wrong with the 144,000 being the man child. So you can say Christ historical context of Revelation 12:1-6 is correct in showing the great confrontation or something but, not fulfillment. Incidentally, this is about the only place that people who believe the futurist position place it. Revelation 1:19 God Bless! Jerry Kelso

6. Ian - March 11, 2013

There is no use trying to barter with your mind as to whether you are chosen. The Father chose all his elect before time started. You can’t change whether you are or whether you aren’t. What the Father does, Is. These things cannot be changed. We cannot make ourselves into the elect, or make ourselves not elect if we are. We look for self glory in the ability to have an opinion. The Fathers Son (Yeshua, Yashuah, Jesus) & the prophets didn’t rely on their opinion, they waited for the Father to reveal to them. This is for The Fathers Glory, not our own.
God bless you & may the Fathers love conquer all.

7. debvaughn - April 14, 2013

Here is what the Lord told me…the “Man child” is like this: The “Man” are the 144,000 and the “child” are the overcomers mentioned that will escape all these things soon to come upon the earth and are caught up to throne of God …THIS is the rapture at mid point of the final 3.5 years. The Man( 144,000) will be left during this time to spread the news of Jesus Christ during the tribulation. The woman is the “church”..yes Christians. The lukewarm ones. I am not asking anyone to believe/agree with me this is just what the Lord told me. and it is soon…the rapture. He also told me that the seals, trumpets and bowls/vials do not happen with all the seals first, then the trumpets, then the vials…they happen a seal, a trumpet and a bowl. If you pray you will be able to see this. When the 7th one happens of each…Jesus rides in on his white horse with His army…time for the final battle. Note the similarities of the 7th of each. I can also tell you I did not get this from my own understanding. The Lord did tell me…but one He told me I was able to see it plainly.

8. Henry - April 18, 2013

Debvaughn,

I think you ought to be careful when you claim that “the Lord told me…” this or that particularly when your claims do not fit scriptures. It is clear from Rev 12 that the scriptures are referring to a single individual and not a collective. It is further clear that the distinction accorded to the Male child that He would rule all nations with a rod of iron can be substantiated by other scriptures. At the same time there are no other scriptures to support the view that the 144,000 males could conceivably be the male child. The only thing we know about them is what is explained in Rev 14. To claim then that the male child constitutes two different different groups of people lacks any biblical support and therefore amounts to speculation at best.

9. descriptivegrace - May 26, 2013

The number is not as important as why they are said to be numbered among the 144,000. Revelation 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.” So if you want to be in the 144,000 you best not have sex, yo.

10. Lincoln - September 8, 2016

I don’t understand how you link the 6th seal to the 144K? The Book of Revelation is undoubtedly written in chronological order. The 6th seal officially begins God’s judgment on mankind. Following the patterns in Biblical history, God would use the enemies of Israel to judge them correct? So too will God use the enemies of mankind (Illuminati and their plan for the NWO) to begin judgments. Now that we’ve got that cleared up, lets take a closer look at Revelation 2:26-27 “And to the one who is victorious and continues in My work until the end, I will give authority over the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter and shatter them — like pottery just as I have received authority from My Father.” This states right here what Revelation 12 refers to. That the man-child will help to rule with a rod of iron meaning the penalties of breaking the Torah will again be in affect during the Millenial Reign. Notice how Matthew 24 matches the first 6 seals of Revelation too. Jesus gave a synopsis of the signs for Jews to watch out for and told them that when the Abomination of Desolation occurs, then to flee into the wilderness. The 144K (man-child) are Jews who have followed Torah faithfully but realize that the thought-to-be messiah in Israel is actually the anti-Christ. Perhaps this realization is confirmed in them by the 2 witnesses. They are referred to as a man-child since they have grown fully in Torah but have been born again with the required faith of a child since as He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. matured in the Torah but have become born again.” -Matthew 18:3. With that said, its no coincidence that they are first mentioned in Revelation 7 and are all standing before the Lord in Revelation 14! Revelation 12 is when they too are raptured. There are multiple raptures folks. First was Enoch, then Elijah, then Jesus and the saints seen walking the Holy City in Matthew 27:52, then comes the Bride followed by the 2 witnesses and then the 144K. It all makes total sense. What doesn’t make sense is how people think the man-child is Jesus. He was already born and is the one handing down the judgments! Like Joseph, He will reveal His true identity and forgive the remnant of the Jewish people who survive tribulation when they will look upon the One they pierced with mourning as if they lost their 1st born son.

11. Tommie Harris jr - December 16, 2016

In Revelations 12:5 if you say this child is Christ? Christ already went to heaven.!! Because he told his Disciple that I must leave you, if i don’t leave you which is comforter which is the Holy ghost in my name.John 14:26. So this Male child, represent, the 144,000 ,the 12,tribes with the seal on there foreheads which is in the 7th ch, in Revelations 3,4,which were caught up away from the dragon. Rev,12:5. If you have any Manuel scripts I like to have one on Revelations. To Study. Bless you.

12. Henry - December 20, 2016

Tommie,
I concede that I could be wrong in my conclusions and may God forgive me if I am. However, what are the proof texts that you use to decide that the Male Child constitute 144k people?

13. Henry - December 22, 2016

Douglas,
I have removed your comments because not only do they not relate to the post under discussion but they do not conform in terms of wholesome doctrine.

14. Henry - January 14, 2017

Douglas,
It is you who needs to open your mind and read the scriptures so you are not deceived. Please don’t promote your message on this blog as it is incompatible with the message I give here.

Sawyer,
The same goes for you. Please do not continue spread your message here.

Thank you.

15. anonymous - June 13, 2017

I knew a person once who had a pure white mark upon their right palm the size of a coriander seed and the holy spirit led me to revelations 2.17 in the holy scriptures about the hidden manna the same hidden manna that was put into the ark of the covenant for generations to come.

Sadly this person died at a young age but their offspring inherited the white mark upon their palm, they are as I believe the sealed chosen ones by Jesus Christ of the 144000.

Now the chosen ones cannot preach from the pulpit the chosen ones are the only ones allowed to judge and people must not curse the chosen ones as they can curse back in return.

soon their could be a tribulation where peoples faith will be tested like job, they may loose material possessions money and even their faith in the god of Jacob.

All you need to know is in the scriptures it does not mention what religion people are in the great crowd that is saved by Jesus Christ so the chosen one does not follow a set path as Jesus was tempted by the devil to have everything he saw as long as Jesus Christ bowed down and did an act of worship to the devil but Jesus Christ refused, is this because he disbelieves in the turf war of churches claiming their religion is better than the next and asking for money when gods words are given free?.

Please keep on the watch and heed the warning signs as god fulfills his promise keep an upright heart always.

16. james shaw - August 28, 2017

In the KJV, the “manchild” has a letter” c” in lowercase, but unfortunately in the NKJV, it has “manChild” with the upper case “C” which misleads people to the wrong conclusion that this is Jesus.

Also, the manchild is caught up(harpazo in Greek) to God’s throne . The same caught up is used in 1th4:17. Christ was not “caught up” during his ascension because his disciples looked steadfastly upon him in acts 1:10. We know that we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, which is the rapture. Christ wasn’t changed in the twinkling of an eye , so also, Enoch,Elijah and others who have been mistaken to have been raptured.

The manchild in Is 66:7 is brought forth before the travail as is the man child of rev 12:5,so both are the same
In verse 9 of Isaiah 66, a difference is made between “bring to birth” and “bring forth” . This is the detail that sheds light on who is brought forth(Holy spirit filled Christians to be raptured) and who is brought to birth (born seed of the woman’s remnant 144,000 sealed by God but were beheaded for rejecting the Antichrist markrev13:15).

The woman herself is in the wilderness for 1260 days, which is also 42months .,but those who flee Judea in matt24 run to the same wilderness,a duration equal to the time,times and half a time in the book of daniel .

The woman in the wildernesses of Petra, represents escapees Israelites from Judea.

The remnant of her seed represent those 144000 Israelites.

The manchild “brought forth” not “bring to birth/born” is the raptured church.

.


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