“And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: from the tribe of Judah 12,000 … from the tribe of Reuben 12,000 … from the tribe of Gad … Asher … Naphtali … Manasseh … Simeon … Levi … Issachar … Zebulon … Joseph … Benjamin.” (Revelation 7:4-8)
I know that many of you have been taught by your religious teachers that the tribulation evangelists described in Revelation chapter 7 are 144,000 Jewish virgin boys; 12,000 literal Israelites from each of the respective tribes mentioned in that chapter. On the surface that may seem to be the right answer, but hidden just beneath the surface of the scriptures yet still in plain sight are some clues that indicate a much deeper symbolic meaning here. Beloved, God tends to hide many things in plain sight … we just need spiritual eyes in order to see them.
If I were to point out to you all of the reasons as to why the 12 tribes mentioned in Revelation chapter 7 are symbolic and cannot be literal, it would certainly make for a very informative but probably very long and tedious teaching. For this reason I will share with you just a few clues that the Lord uses to show us that there is a deeper hidden meaning in passages of scripture like this one.
One of the first clues that hinted to me that there must be a spiritual meaning to the 144,000 was the way in which the tribes are listed. This is the only time in scripture that the names of the tribes appear in this order. Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob, is listed as second while Judah, fourth in birth order, is listed as first. Joseph and Levi are included, while Ephraim and Dan are left out altogether. Joseph was not normally listed among the twelve tribes because his inheritance was given to his sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Levi was not normally listed among the tribes because the Levites were chosen to be the priests for Israel, they were excluded from receiving a specific territory inheritance and from census figures for they were to spread out among all the tribes as teachers and priests. Dan and Ephraim were normally listed with the tribes, but in this case they are left out altogether. What do these things mean? Like I said earlier, I don’t feel led to try to go into the spiritual meaning of all these things at this time, but I do feel led to encourage all of you to wait upon the Lord where clues are given as to a deeper spiritual meaning in the scriptures. This is so that you may move beyond some of the traditions that have been taught to you by men and into the Revelation of Jesus Christ and an experiential knowledge of the Truth.
I will share something with you regarding these names that you may find rather amusing if not altogether edifying. When I looked into the meanings of the names of each of the tribes that are listed in Revelation chapter 7, and then put those meanings together in the very order that they are listed … they formed a statement. Some words were added only to complete the thought that the meaning of each name conveys, and also to form complete sentences. The statement seems to give us some indication as to the nature and the character of the 144,000, and also describes their story of struggle, redemption, victory, and then placement as sons of God. The statement is as follows:
I will praise the Lord (Judah), for He has looked on me (Reuben) and has granted me good fortune (Gad). Happy am I (Asher), because my wrestling (Naphtali) is teaching me how to overcome my fallen nature, and is making me to forget (Manasseh) that lost and fallen state from which I have been redeemed. God hears me (Simeon), for He has joined Himself in Spirit to me (Levi). He has purchased me (Issachar) by the Blood of the Lamb and is making me into a place in which He chooses to dwell (Zebulun) forever. As I myself decrease (that is my adamic nature), God will add more of Himself to me (Joseph), for He is making me into a son of His right hand (Benjamin) … a son of God.
That’s kind of interesting is it not?
Oh! … and one more thing … that “virgin” thing…
These are those who are espoused to one Husband, presented as CHASTE VIRGINS UNTO CHRIST. These are a group of God’s people who have not been corrupted by the false doctrines of all the apostate churches, in other words, they have not been spiritually defiled by the great whore and her many harlot daughters.
As if actual virginity would make these evangelists any more righteous or virtuous than any other believer. Come on now!! How silly is that, really?