The Good News of the Judgment

The "144,000" and the Judgment Hour
William Diehl

Our principles of Biblical interpretation of the symbolic apocalyptic portions of the word of God ought to be in harmony with the clear teachings of the Bible regarding how all sinners are saved. From Adam to the last repentant sinners saved all are saved by the grace of God through faith. Even Abraham was justified by faith, as are all who will be saved.

Many perfectionistic Bible interpreters mistakenly believe that this group called the "144,000" are a special group who have a special anointing and who become sinless Priest-Kings. These are supposedly an extra holy group who dwell in heaven with God while the "servant class" dwells on the earth. This is completely out of harmony with the clear Gospel teaching that "we are all brethren" and therefore all equal in the kingdom of God.

The symbolism of Revelation is usually explained from the imagery given in the text itself.

The text shows us the candlestick of the holy place of the Hebrew tabernacle and tells us that these lamps represent the Churches of God scattered in the province of Asia Minor.

From the symbolism of the Angels and the Scroll and the Lamb and the four living creatures and the 24 elder witnesses to the judgment, we can readily see that the scene is that of the Day of Atonement when the day of Judgment begins and all the world, called Babylon, is judged by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

God sends plagues, famine, sword and wild beasts of the earth (the four horsemen) as curses upon all who break the covenant with God; while He sends blessings to all who are within the sanctuary encampment and sealed with the seal of the living God—the "144,000"—spiritual Israel.

Those who refuse the "seal of God" receive the "Mark of the Beast".

The Beast is the earthly kingdom of Rome which sits upon seven hills and later receives a deadly wound and the wound is healed and it becomes the Lamb-like beast of the Antichrist Papal Rome, the false prophet, which makes war with the true remnant of Israel who do not bow the knee to Baal.

The symbolism of the False Prophet comes from the old testament account of Elijah and the 7,000 faithful remnant. The false prophet calls "fire down from heaven in the sight of men" and deceives the world by means of the miracles he performs.

The "3 and 1/2 year" symbolism also comes from the Elijah motif when he withheld rain for the 3 and 1/2 years of Ahab and Jezebel's apostasy. It was during the 3 and 1/2 years that Elijah was in the wilderness hiding from the wrath of Ahab and Jezebel.

So getting back to the interpretation of the symbol of the "144,000", we must interpret this as representing all of the redeemed of the earth, or as John is shown, the interpretation of this symbol is the "innumerable multitude of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people". These are all those who are spiritual children of Abraham who, like Abraham, have been justified by faith in the imputed "righteousness that is by faith".

"He who is justified by faith shall live."


"Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." Romans 4:7

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