“Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 [men] who had His name and His Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads”,
These 144,000, who have been marked and sealed, have caused much confusion among believers. Most churches agree with the idea that they are Jews from each of the 12 tribes, who are chosen at the end of the age. Does this mean that anyone outside of these tribes doesn’t make it? Maybe you have read these scriptures and felt confusion, or wondered how you might be a part if you are not a physical Jew? As you get a deeper understanding of the Word, you will see who are the 144,000.
The book of Revelation reveals the character and function of the 144, and the choosing of the remnant. As we see the verses with spiritual symbolism, the literal interpretation no longer makes sense, and we get a better understanding of God’s true plan. Revelation 7 says these 144,000 come from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Every name in Hebrew speaks of character and function, so while there were physical tribes, each name is actually speaking of their character. If we look at the tribe of Judah, it means those who are worshippers of God. How many can physically trace their lineage back and know what tribe they came from? According to Paul, we are spiritual Jews and heirs according to the promise if we have a circumcision of the heart, (ref Rom 2:29).
This is pointing to those who have been inscribed on their forehead with the name of the Father. The high priests had the inscription YHVH on their crowns, but the true high priests at the end of the age, are those who have been sealed by Elijah. Why do they have to be sealed by Elijah? Malachi 3 and 4, tells us that He is sending a messenger to prepare the way before His second coming. The revelation must be made known by this messenger who comes in the Spirit of Elijah. The messenger is sent to prepare the remnant by revealing the mysteries and secrets of the kingdom.
The Greek word for mystery is Musterion, it means something hidden that has to be revealed, or the hidden things of God given only to the chosen. 
“They sang a new song before the throne [of God] and before the four living creatures and before the elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin]. No one could learn [to sing] that song except the 144,000 who had been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from the earth”,
(Rev 14:3 AMP).
You may be wondering ‘what is this new song?’ is it something we learn when we get to heaven? The song is a reference to the Song of Moses (Deut 32). This song is the song of restoration, which comes through revelatory teaching,
“let my teaching fall as the rain”,
(ref Deut 32:2).
This is the song of the overcomers, those who have been redeemed, or bought back. They have left the place of limitations, and being ruled by the beastly nature, and now are crossing over into the promised land where they have authority and dominion in their mind.
The Scriptures say they are virgins, men not defiled by women. How are we going to find 144,000 male virgins, from each of the 12 tribes of Jews? If this scripture is to be taken literal, then women are excluded. This type of understanding has led many to improperly believe and teach that women can not be chosen by God. This is a false interpretation, as the Lord used many women throughout the Bible. A virgin is one who has not had intercourse. If we see spiritually that the seed is the Word of God, (ref Lk 8:11), virgins are those who have not received the seed of God. Simply, those whose minds have not received, or been impregnated by, the revelation of the Word. The religious system does not have the true seed of God because they have left the revelatory teachings. Therefore, they are not married to the true Christ, but have become the harlot in the book of Revelation, and will be destroyed. Therefore, this 144,000 group are ones who have not been defiled by women, the false church, nor have they taken in its false seeds or doctrines.
The 144,000 have been called out of the religious system to be marked by Elijah. The Spirit of Elijah comes bringing the teachings to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom. What are those mysteries? 1 Corinthians 2:7, Paul said he came proclaiming,
“the wisdom of God once hidden [from human understanding] but revealed to us by God [that wisdom] which God devised and decreed before the ages for our glorification [to lift us into the glory of His presence].” He continues to say that God unveiled and revealed them by and through His Holy Spirit, as the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God [divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny]”,
(ref 1Co 2:9).
The 144 are also called the firstfruits of God. What is a firstfruit? Often it is referencing the first of the crops of fruit that was offered to God. The fruits that matured ‘first’, or before the rest of the crop.
The Hebrew word Rosh speaks of the head, the chief, the top or choice, the best. 
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of those that slept”, (1Co 15:20).
The Greek word for firstfruits here is Aparche, which means persons superior in excellence to others in the same class. 
The firstfruits are the best of the best. They have not been defiled with false teachings, therefore, they are guiltless and without fault as they have received wisdom and knowledge to mature before the rest. The firstfruits, or remnant, can go out and get the rest of the harvest ready by teaching them the mysteries of the kingdom.
These 144,000 speak of the Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem, or the Lamb’s wife. Those who have been prepared by Elijah, and are now clothed in the fine linen wedding garments, (ref Rev 19:7). Those garments are what the high priests wore into the Holy of Holies; symbolically, they speak of those who are clothed with the right understanding in their minds. New Jerusalem isn’t a physical city coming down from heaven, but those who throw (teach) the rains of restoration. They sing the Song of Moses as mentioned earlier. The measurements of New Jerusalem is 12×12, which equals 144; the foundations are decorated with the same 12 stones found on the ephod of the high priest. The New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven is clothed in God’s Glory, (ref Rev 21:11). These are people who have become perfected in their minds and received a glorified body to become the temple which will house God’s glory.
The truth in understanding the 144,000 doesn’t lie in the literal description or number. The number of the remnant coming out of the religious system is small, as Jesus calls them the “little flock”.
Jude 1:14 says,
“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.”
The truth is very few from the church are actually going to make it. Jesus said at the end,
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven…And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Those who have been sealed and consecrated, the firstfruits to God, are always with Him at the sound of the last trumpet. We are in a time when the last trumpet is sounding, and God is now choosing His 144,000, who along with the dead in Christ, are about to be resurrected into the Glory of God. As you see the deeper understanding of the Word, now you can discern if you are following a true Elijah. Are you receiving the oil to be prepared to be a part of the 144,000?
- Thayer Bible Dictionary – G3466 Musterion
- Brown Driver Briggs Dictionary – H7218 Rosh
- Thayer Bible Dictionary – G536 Aparche