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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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16 comments

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.