4-8 Then I heard that 144,000 would receive the seal, that is 12,000 from every tribe of Israel: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.
9 After I heard about these who would be sealed, I looked and saw a huge crowd of people, which no one could even begin to count, representing every nation and tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and waving palm branches. 10 They cried out with one loud voice.
Crowd: Salvation comes only from our God, who sits upon the throne, and from the Lamb.
John hears that 144,000 people out of Israel are destined to be sealed, but then he turns to see an innumerable multitude from every people group in the world. What he sees reveals the truth of what he hears: the number “144,000” is not an exact count of who will be saved but is a symbolic number (12 x 12 x 1000). “Twelve” is a number that signifies all the people of God, from both the Old and New Testaments. In reality, between the sixth and seventh seal, there is an interlude, an opportunity for people from every nation to enter into the people of God, to receive God’s mark, and to take their places among the redeemed.
11 All the heavenly messengers stood up, encircling the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell prostrate before the throne and worshiped God.Read full chapter