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Eschatology - AllThingsFulfilled.com
Eschatology, Armageddon, Fulfiled Bible Prophecy, Last Days

Are Only 144,000 Going to Heaven?

Eschatology

At our potluck for our church group last
night we had some interesting discussions
with our teenagers about money and
responsibility.

Are Only 144,000 Going to Heaven?, was a
question asked that was as much out of place
in that conversation as it is in this paragraph.

After we finished some good food and a lively
discussion, we had a ten minute devotional.

Everything went well, but at the end of the
discussion, one of the members, a really nice
lady said she was called “Miss Goody-Two-Shoes” by a coworker.

Her coworker told her to chill and stop being such a good person


because only 144,000 people were going to heaven. She said, her minister, (a well known Pentecostal Preacher, told her that, for the same reason, he wasn’t going either.) He preached for years on the radio, TV and locally, until his death about a year ago.

What do you make of that? Seems, people are really confused. Shows how getting eschatology skewed can really undermine the confidence a person has in God’s blessings.

This was a teachable moment for all our teens. How sad it would have been to have their faith shaken in God’s word to such a degree. The question even came up, why serve God, if you’re not going to heaven?

Paul responded to a similar question saying: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Cor. 15:19) Then he posed a few questions of his own.

“If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “’Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’” (1 Cor. 15:32) If living and dying was all there is to life, then it made sense to remain where he was, under the law.

Yet, he previously asked, “And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? Why did they preach Christianity under the threat of death if there were no advantage?

Are Only 144,000 Going to Heaven?

Some interpret the Book of Revelation chapter 7:1–8, to mean that only 144,000 people are going to heaven. They look at themselves and say, “I don’t have a chance.” What’s the problem here? It’s a misreading and misunderstanding of the text.

First, Revelation is written in signs and symbols, (Rev. 1:1–3). Having a basic understanding of those symbols helps one to understand the scriptures. The study of numbers in the Bible is called Biblical Numerology.

Certain numbers used in the Book of Revelation have certain meanings. For example, the numbers 3 equals divine perfection while,  7 means spiritual perfection. 6 is the number of man or imperfection, or the the man of sin. 40 is is the time of trial or testing.

1,000, a multiple of 10 X 10 X 10, is the number of divine completion. 144,000 is a multiple of 12 (governmental perfection) X 12, X 1,000, Divine  perfection. (See Numbers in Scripture by E.W. Bullinger.)

In Revelation, the number 144,000 is not meant to be literal. A sign does not signify itself. The reference is to the remnant in Israel who were saved by the gospel. However, the text does not end with Israel.

Sealing the 144,000

No one alive today or since the close of the apostolic and Holy Spirit’s ministry can be part of the 144,000. They were sealed by the Holy Spirit, and are called the firstfruits.

This means they were first century Christians. The Holy Spirit sealed the first century church until it’s redemption, Eph. 1:13, 14, also called the day of redemption or which corresponds to the day of the Lord, Eph. 4:30.

Christ placed the redemption of the church in connection with the fall of the Jerusalem temple, (Lk. 21:20–22, 28, 32).

The Great Multitude – Revelation 7:9–10

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, people, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and before the Lamb.

When one of the 24 elders asks concerning them, he also answered that they came out of the great tribulation and had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, (Rev. 7:13).

He then sees the entire multitude standing before the throne of God, serving him day and night in His temple. Note, this compares with verse 9, where the number which no man could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and languages stood before the throne.

In chapter 14, John saw the 144000 standing with the Lamb (Christ). They sang a new song before God’s throne. Again they are the firstfruits.

In Hebrews, Paul says of the church; they had come to Mt. Zion, to the heavenly city, —the throne of God, to an innumerable company of angels and to Jesus the Lamb, who is also the Mediator between man and God, (Heb. 12:22–23).

It is a picture of the completion of the mystery of God as he declared to his holy apostles and prophets, (Rev. 10:7), i.e. that the Gentiles would be fellow-heirs, of the same body and partakers of the promise [of Abraham] in Christ, through the gospel, (Eph. 3:3-6; Gal. 3:26-29).

The Fall of Babylon

Following the sealing of the 144,000, Mystery Babylon, the great city falls, (Rev. 14:8–11). Babylon, the great city is identified as Jerusalem, —the city where the Lord was crucified, Revelation 11:8.

More importantly, following the fall of Mystery Babylon, (Jerusalem in 70 AD), is that those who die in the Lord from that point forward are blessed.

“Then I head a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘“Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” Yes,” says the Spirit, “that their works follow them.” (Rev. 14:13).

So, rather than being without hope, God gave assurance that those who are in Christ are blessed. The number of the saved who are entering heaven are innumerable.

One of the most thorough resources on the Book of Revelation is Who Is This Babylon? The indepth research, clarity of presentation and irresistible logic make this book a must have for anyone desiring a better grasp on the meaning and message of Revelation. Learn more about it here.

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  1. John Stewart
    5 years ago

    John might have said 144,00. But Jesus Christ said all that believe in him will be with him in heaven.


    • ATF
      4 years ago

      144,000 is a figurative number, so I agree with you.


  2. kellie houser
    4 years ago

    i do not agree with that number


    • ATF
      4 years ago

      It's a figurative number, symbolic, not meant to be literal.


      • Scott
        4 years ago

        In that case, maybe the laws of scripture are simply symbolic, not meant to be literal. You can't have it both ways.


        • ATF
          4 years ago

          Scott, why do you choose to place God in a box that you will not fit into yourself? Is it strange that God can communicate in both figurative and literal language without being locked into an either or situation?

          Haven't you used such phrases as, "I'm hungry as an ox! I'm so hungry I could eat an elephant! "He turned me every way but loose! "I got ripped apart!"? Now when you use that language does it mean that you only speak literally all the time?

          Or, does it mean that you only speak figuratively all the time? Which is it Scott? Let's be fair. You use literal and figurative language almost everyday and you never intend to be all one or the other. So why place God in that box? He is the creator of language and is the first communicator.

          When Jesus said, the bread was His body and the cup His blood, regarding the Lord's Supper, did he mean that we should interpret all the Bible as literal? Or better, yet, what about the time he told the Jews, "Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you."

          Can you tell me what Jesus' flesh and blood tastes like? Is it all literal, all meant to be understood literally? The Gospel of John offers some great "literal" concepts doesn't it?

          How about being born again? Did you enter the second time into your mother's womb?

          I am the light of the world. Is Christ a light bulb or other electrical or celestial luminary?

          I am the Door. How do you handle that literally?

          I am the bread which came down from heaven. Literal manna here?

          The Great Shepherd. Was Jesus a literal sheepherder or carpenter by trade?

          Finally what about this verse…These things I have spoken to you in FIGURATIVE language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in FIGURATIVE language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. Does God belong in your "literal box?" Now if Jesus spoke figuratively and also said he would speak plainly, (literally) that IS both ways, now isn't?


          • Life Sustain System
            4 years ago

            I believe That the 144,000 are to be filled with literal Israelites from the first century until our day. I also believe that all those who believe in Jesus Christ and have been called to heaven will receive their heavenly crown. Also there will be some people left here on earth for the 1000 years of Jesus Christ Judgment (millennial Reign of Christ or Day of Judgment 1 day is but as a 1000 years in Gods Eyes). These are the ones spoken of as left behind because they were not worthy to receive their heavenly crown because they had doubted the ransom sacrifice and needed more time to accept Jesus Christ fully into their hearts.


          • ATF
            4 years ago

            I'm rather acquainted with that view, I simply believe it has a bucket full of exegetical holes in it. the problem with such an interpretation is that it ignores the clearly worded time statements in the Bible. God spoke to man in a language man understands. He said the end of all things had drawn near, (1 Pet. 4:7), the time had come for the judgment to begin, (1 Pet. 4:17) it was the last hour (1 John 2:18); those things were shortly to come to pass, (Rev. 1:3, 22:6), the ends of the ages had come upon the 1st century saints (1 Cor. 10:11); the hour to awake out of sleep had drawn near (Rom. 13:11-12) and all things would be fulfilled in that generation, i.e. first century, (Matt. 24:34; Lk. 21:22, 32). The only way to fit your exegesis is to deny the time statements and claim they don't mean shortly, near, in that generation, etc, which is exactly what you've done. A fulfilled view does not deny that we go to heaven. It actually affirms that we get there much sooner than your view does. Hades has been destroyed. Death is defeated. There is no more waiting. Why would you want to wait a 1000 literal years for something that has been possible since Christ returned in AD 70? He came to reconcile "heaven and earth" (Eph. 1:10). Since Jerusalem fell (Mystery Babylon in Revelation), the Bible says Blessed are the dead who died in the Lord from that point forward that they may rest from their labors, (Rev. 14:6). The new heaven and earth is ours now, not later. We don't have to wait for anything. At death we go to be with Christ which is "far better" (Phil. 1:23) rather than spending a thousand years and more in Hades. The millennium is past. Further, read the original language on the 144000 in Revelation 7. In response to the question "who are these clothed in white robes"? The response was, "these are the ones who are coming out of the great tribulation." John says they were at that time coming "out of the great tribulation." John certainly affirmed that he was in it (Re. 1:9). The 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion, with the Lamb, celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles with palm branches in their hands. This compares with chapter 14, and Hebrews 12:22-23, where it says they had come to Mt. Zion, and to the solemn assembly or festive occasion. So, the 144,000 were on Mt. Zion with the Lamb. Those in Hebrews were on Mt. Zion with the Lamb. But those in Hebrews 12 were there in the first century. Therefore, the 144,000 in Rev. equals those in Hebrews 12. That means that the millennium was about to end. It would end with Satan's destruction of which Paul said God would crush Satan under the feet of the Romans "shortly." (Same as in Rev. 12:10-12.) The devil knows he has a "short" time. The 1000 years is a figurative symbolic number that refers to the perfect enemy subjugating reign of Christ which consummated in their destruction at his parousia in 70 AD.


  3. mom2eas
    4 years ago

    Thank you for helping me answer a question!


  4. Michelle
    3 years ago

    excuse me the bible is not meant to be interpretated it means exactly what it says period, that's what's wrong with religion everybody is adding and taking away from the bible an calling it fact. Do you think that God needs help saying what he wants to say? Do you think that God needs correcting? Because that's what it sounds like from most comments. Ask yourself this Do you Know more than the creator? Are you saying to God "that he should have spoken in clearer terms in order for you to understand him" just read the bible as is, it means exactly as it says.


    • ATF
      3 years ago

      Michelle, yes, the Bible means what it says, and no God does not need man to tell him what the text means and no man is not smarter than God. But that is the very reason man needs help with understanding the scriptures. In Luke 34:44-47, the Bible says, Jesus opened the understanding of the apostles in order that they might comprehend the meaning of the scriptures he taught them earlier during this ministry. He had to explain it so they could grasp the meaning. In Acts 8, the eunuch was reading from Isa 53, when Philip approached him and asked him if he understood what he was reading. He replied no and invited a "man" (Philip) to sit with him and help him to understand (interpret) what God had inspired.Peter wrote of Paul's writings, "some things are "hard to be understood" speaking expressly about Paul's eschatological writings, (2 Pet. 3:16). These and many others imply that we must have honest, accurate interpretation of the Bible to understand it. . The problem occurs when people believe they are under some pseudo divine inspiration that they don't need help but can follow any whim of interpretation they choose. The Bible is always it's own best interpreter, but we must accurately divide the word. Some men are more skilled at it than others hence they teach according to their ability. None are infallible so we all are subject to mistakes and errors in judgment. But to say that we should not interpret what is written is pure nonsense. You can't know what something means until you know what it means. If you already know then you are smarter than God or at least as smart as he is. If you don't know what it means you must take the necessary exegetical steps to find out and do so accurately. So again, it is not God who needs help to say what he means, it is we who need help to understand it.


  5. Enana Evans
    3 years ago

    yes that number(144,000) would go to heaven and the rest needs to face test of faith(anti-christ) before they can meet the Lord Jesus.


  6. Brian
    6 months ago

    There is no reason to take the number, 144,000, as not meaning literally 144,000. After all, the writer goes to the trouble of telling which tribes they will come from, and how many from each tribe. It would be hard to be more specific!

    But also, the same book that gives this number, says that there will be a great multitude before the throne in heaven due to the testimony of the 144,000. So the same book that gives that number explains that vastly more than that number will be in heaven.

    Plus, clearly ther eare already people in heaven, even though these 144,000 have not even started their ministry yet.


    • William Bell
      2 months ago

      Then it can’t be a literal number. Besides, the prophecy of the 144,000 was fulfilled in 70AD. The events were at hand and shortly to come to pass.

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