No, it definitely is not true that only 144,000 people will go to heaven,
despite the fact that the Jehovah’s Witness has famously interpreted the
passage that way. First of all, you should know that most of the book of
Revelation is in what is known as apocalyptic language. This is a type of
literature common among the Hebrew writers at the time of the writing of
the New Testament. Other apocalyptic writings in the Bible include
Zechariah, parts of Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, etc.. With most types of
writing, the reader is to take statements literally unless the context
demands a symbolic interpretation. In apocalyptic writing, the reader is
to take things fuguratively unless the context demands a literal
interpretation. Therefore, in Revelation, we see Jesus as a lamb and so
forth. If we were to take Revelation 7:4-8 literally, then only male
virgins from the twelve tribes of Israel would be in heaven. No one
believes this, which makes taking the 144,000 who were sealed literally to
be completely inconsistent.

In Jewish writings, the number 12 is consistently used as the number of
God’s people. There were twelve tribes and twelve apostles. Also, in
Jewish writings, the number 1000 represents a great number. Therefore 12
x 12 x 1000 means the full number of God’s people. That is who will be
sealed, as symbolized by Revelation 7:4. There is another reason to not
take this verse literally. Notice Revelation 7:9. It states quite
clearly that there are “great multitudes that no one could count from
every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and
in front of the Lamb.” These people are wearing white robes. Based on
this, we know with absolute certainty that there are going to be much more
than 144,000 in heaven. Praise God for that!

John Oakes

what is Revelations 7:4 talking about? ;Is it true that only 144,000
people are going to heaven?

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