The Puzzling Question of the 144,000

Read: Revelation 7

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (v. 17)

Before the seventh seal and final end, God orders the angels to withhold judgment. He’ll save all he can! First, John hears there are 144,000 people, drawn from “every tribe of the sons of Israel” (v. 3). And then he sees an uncountable multitude from every nation, tribe, and people! Each culture reflects a part of God’s multifaceted glory. Dressed in white and waving palm fronds, all sing God’s praises.

This vision means our Jewish-Gentile church fulfills God’s promises to Abraham. His descendants will be as the stars and sand, and multiethnic! (Gen. 17:5; 22:17). Jesus died to unite Jewish and non-Jewish followers into one body, household and church because there is only one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all (Eph. 2:14-22; 4:4-5). This vision shows us a church that is not limited in size or by human divisions, but is growing and welcoming more people every day.

The end of this passage goes on to describe the beautiful promise for those who believe. Every earthly need is met, and they joyfully serve God all day and all night. The Lamb has become the shepherd, and he wipes away every tear. Are you counted among their number? —Ruth Siemens

As you pray, thank God for his global, everlasting church. Accept his love and grace for you today.

About the Author

Ruth Siemens was a campus minister with IVCF/IFES, then started Global Opportunities to prepare professionals to work and witness in secular employment abroad.

This entry is part 10 of 30 in the series Revelation