144,000 reasons to share the Gospel with your Jewish friends

Posted by Olivier Melnick on June 26, 2023

Our Bible is replete with numbers, adding numerical precision to God’s counsel. Incidentally, we can tend to focus on parts of the Bible that do not have specific numbers and ignore those other parts that have precise numbers given to us for a reason. Unless otherwise specified–as in the seventy weeks of Daniel– we should always take biblical numbers literally.

So, what are we to make of God’s description of the 144,000 men from Israel in Revelation? Keeping with the context, in Revelation 7:1-8, they will be 12,000 Jewish men from the 12 tribes of Israel. They will not be Jehovah’s Witnesses or any other group of men. There is no reason to believe that they are spiritual Israel either.

Some have argued that tribal identity is no longer identifiable since–to the exception of the Levites who carry their tribal identity in their names like Cohen or Levy– all records kept inside the Temple in Jerusalem were destroyed when that very Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70.   So, today, the vast majority of the Jewish people do not know their tribal origins and will not be able to discover it by any other means. While this identity is lost to men, it was never lost to our omniscient God, and since He will personally hand-select the 144,000 men to become world evangelists during the Tribulation, we ought not to worry about who they are.

On the other hand, we ought to rejoice and be very grateful that even during such a time of turmoil on planet Earth during the Tribulation, God will provide a way out of eternal damnation through the powerful evangelistic ministry of these 144,000 preachers of the Word. The future of some of our loved ones left behind will depend on the witness of these evangelists.

In Revelation 14:1-5, we read again about the 144,000, this time towards the end of the Great Tribulation.

1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

 We can learn several things about these men from the two passages:

• Revelation 14:1 tells us that they will receive the special seal from the Lamb and the Father on their forehead as they will be set apart for a very special ministry. That seal will also protect them from harm during the Great Tribulation, also known as the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” since it will focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the Jewish people.
Revelation 14:1, “having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.”

 • Revelation 14:3 explains to us that they have been purchased. Yeshua paid the price for these men with His own blood, so they belong to Him.
Revelation 14:3, “the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.”

 • Revelation 14:4 adds that these 144,000 Jewish men will be pure as not having defiled themselves with women. There is no reason to look at this part allegorically. This speaks of virgin men set aside for celibacy and service to God.
Revelation 14:4 “These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste.”

 • Revelation 14:4 also tells us that these men will be obedient to the call that they have received from the Lamb. They will be persistent and consistent against all odds.
Revelation 14:4 “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.”

These men will turn out to be the greatest evangelists the world has ever known. Incidentally, since the Jewish people have been scattered by God into the Diaspora, we can find Jewish people all over the globe, and they usually speak at least two languages and often more. What a great asset to their evangelistic endeavor during the Tribulation. They will be unstoppable and through their ministry, many people will come to a saving knowledge of Yeshua the Messiah.

These men will be Jewish men left behind as unbelievers after the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial Rapture of the Church. They will become believers after the Rapture and then start their evangelistic ministry. Now, the one thing we cannot do as believers is to set a date for the Rapture. Yeshua Himself warned us. Nobody knows the day or the hour and we shouldn’t try to figure it out.
Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
Acts 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

Yet, there is something that we should do and be very excited about doing. When we look around us, no matter what country we live in, most people get the impression that we truly are in the last hour of the end-days. It is surprising to see that Yeshua hasn’t already returned to snatch the Saints and allow for the Tribulation to start. But God doesn’t wish for anyone to perish.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

While many will never accept Yeshua as the Son of God, Savior of the world and Messiah of Israel, He is longsuffering and is giving the world more time to come to Him. Considering the times we live in, it might not be an exaggeration to believe that some of the Jewish males we encounter and share the Gospel with will become part of the 144,000.  This is supposed to be an encouragement to all believers. Today, whenever we share the Gospel with a Jewish man, you could be planting a Gospel seed in the heart of one of the future 144,000. We would be investing in future kingdom work way beyond the Rapture. Along those lines, we also ought to start praying for the 144,000 and their ministry.

So, aside from seeking to bless the Jewish people and in return, be blessed by the God of Israel according to the promise given in Genesis 12:3, we truly have 144,000 reasons to share the Gospel with Jewish people today. We truly live in exciting times!

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Comments ...

7 comments on “144,000 reasons to share the Gospel with your Jewish friends”

  1. Olivier, I've heard it hypothesized that these 144,000 Jewish men will be amazing evangelists among their own people, and to the unbelieving nations, during the Tribulation...but the text only tells us that they learn a new song and "follow the Lamb wherever He goes."

    If we read the rest of the book of Revelation from a literalist viewpoint--and I do--how can we assume that their purpose (job) will be evangelizing on the earth?

    1. Shalom,

      I have to agree with this question, as one of the 3 angels of Revelation 14:6 will be spreading the gospel of the LORD.

      Blessing in YESHUA.

  2. I was thinking that GOD is preparing them now they know who they are and what their mission is after the rapture.
    Like prophets the e said yes and will be obedient until the time when they start their mission.
    Why do you believe they are now unbelievers? I think I missed something.

  3. If they were believers before the rapture they would have become the church and be raptured. The reason they are on earth must be because they are Jews who haven’t accepted Jesus for who he is until they find many friends gone and the great tribulation will be upon them.

    1. I believe that a clue as to their quality of life is in the verse, “...And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth...”

      My point is that they are redeemed from the earth. Yet they are before the throne. These 144,000 Jewish evangelists travel with Jesus.

      Hallelujah! Praise God!

  4. I am supposed to speak at a Sunday School class on July 30th. I plan to center my talk on Daniel's 70 weeks. The point of this is I think I am speaking before a class that many have been raised in replacement theology. Gabriel told Daniel that "Seventy weeks are determined for your people." Before this Daniel said, "I was praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel." So it is clear that the Seventy weeks are for Israel. 69 weeks were already fulfilled. But where is the 70th week? Then we are told of a prince who is to come that will make a covenant with many for one week. That's the 70th week we know as the tribulation. So what we learn from Daniel is that this last week, the tribulation is in particular "determined for your (Daniel) people, and that is Israel the Jews. I am attempting to show that when the Bible says, "Israel" it means Israel and not the church. However I have experienced such stubbornness with Christians on the topic of eschatology that I sort of feel that I am wasting my time. That's why when I just read Jan Markell's article expressing similar frustration over the deliberate blindness of the mainline church, I felt comforted just knowing I am not alone in this experience. It seems that even Christians hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest. I appreciate Olivier your article that we may be planting seeds in Jews who could be the 144,000 in Revelation 14. I did wonder how they could be from the 12 tribes because it appears that some of them have been lost, but Olivier's word that most Jews do not know their tribe, so that means that all Jews include the 12 tribes and God knows what tribe they come from. Also the reason they can't know who they are now is because the rapture must occur first, and if they were already believers, they would be raptured. So the 144,000 Jewish men must become believers after the rapture occurs.

    1. Absolutely fascinating study, i.e. eschatology. There are knowns and unknowns. We Christians today, not involved in replacement theology, believe that the church is to be raptured, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18. It will happen. Thing is that for a person to be born again, as we know it, the Spirit of God takes the word of God and brings about the new birth, according to John 3. However, when the church goes up to heaven, the Spirit is removed from the earth, according to 2 Thessalonians 2, where it is written -- “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” That being true, how does one get saved during the great tribulation which is a specific time in which Satan targets the nation Israel? In other words, can the Spirit work from heaven? Salvation will be hard. Nevertheless, God is able. He already knows who will accept his Son and who will not. The scripture says that these particular witnesses will have the the name of the Son and the name of his Father. That will indicate who to trust. Certainly, not the antichrist, which will promote his identifying marks -- "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six."

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