Though they are only mentioned twice in scripture, there seems to be a lot of debate over who they are. What is boggling is that the answer as to who they are is also given, yet always over looked.
So who are the 144,000?
Revelation 7: 2-8 "And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand."
To have the seal of God is to say you have lived your life in a godly manner. The tribes of of Israel where the actual descendants of Abraham. So the 144,000 are the physical descendants of Abraham who have been found worthy of eternal life in the kingdom of God, and are the first resurrection.
Only 144,000 Mentioned
Revelation 14: 1-5 "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 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. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."
Revelation 20:2-5 "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection."
They are the first fruits of God's two harvests, the first to be transformed at Christ's coming! These are the best of the best from the descendants of Abraham, who have followed faithfully in the Lord even to the point death. These resurrected saints are destined to stand before the throne of God and follow Christ wherever he goes.
When speaking of not defiled by women, it is reference to having not participated in pagan worship. The Church is prophetically referred to as a woman, and false religions are referred to as whores, so to be virgins is to say they have not worshipped false gods. These first fruits are offered to the Lord, just as the first born in every home was to be offered to the Lord.
They will reign with Christ as kings and priests during the thousand years on earth, and not only sit with him on his throne, but will become a spiritual part of the new Jerusalem.
Ephesians 2:19-22 "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
Revelation 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."
There is nothing hidden or cryptic to be found here. They are just what it says they are, from the 12 tribes, redeemed, that is to say they were not worshipping the beast (false religion).
For information on the great multitude read the article The Great Multitude.
The Church of God Proclaimed