We have been looking at what the Bible says concerning the Woman and now in the blog, I want to look at exactly who the Bible says makes up the Woman.
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, 6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, 7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, 8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000. (NIV)
Here we see a body of people that meet some of the requirements of the Woman. This body is made up of Israelites. (I find it very interesting and puzzling that no one of the tribe of Dan is included. I have looked high and low through the Scriptures for why, but as yet I don’t know.) Anyway, we see that these people are marked by God so that no harm will come to them—another requirement of the Woman.
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (NIV)
Here too we see that these 144,000 believers are very devout and blameless. They are, at the time that this passage depicts, believers in Jesus Christ, but they were not believers in Jesus at the time of the Rapture. I say this because if they were then they would have been Christians and they would have been taken in the Rapture along with every other believer in Christ Jesus. This understanding can be confusing when you are first reading the prophecies and trying to understand who is who in them.
I have mentioned in a previous blog that right now, during the Christian Age (Church Age) there are two different categories of believers. There is the Church and there is Israel. Israel still has a covenant relationship with the Lord God even if they don’t understand that Jesus is the Christ. This is very important to understand when reading the prophecies because most of the prophecies are about Israel and not about the Church at all. It is very clear that the 144,000 are Israelites. This is spelled out directly for us. There is no possibility of this not being the case.
These 144,000 Israelite believers will be in Jerusalem at the time of the abomination that causes desolation sign as mentioned in [Daniel 9:27].
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (NIV)
At the time of the abomination that causes desolation sign, Satan will try to kill the 144,000, but because they are special and protected by God he can’t, so in frustration and anger he will go after the other practicing Israelites. It is these other practicing Israelites that are referred to in [Revelation 12:17] above.
“His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.
33 “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. (NIV)
Here we see the reason for God allowing Satan/Beast-man to attack the believers in Israel (not the 144,000.) God allows this to refine, purify and make spotless the remaining Israelite believers. There is no need to allow Satan/Beast-man to attack the 144,000 because as we have seen they are already spotless and pure. This brings to mind an important biblical principle here, and that is that God allows trials and tribulations to come to us believers to help us grow spotless and pure too.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)
1 Peter 1:6-8
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV)
It is God’s desire that we are as close to perfect as we can be. The Lord God disciplines us as needed. The Israelites need this discipline because, after all, they have rejected Jesus as the Christ right up to the time that the Beast-man goes after them.