The Barley Overcomers
Male and Female
Is the 144,000 in Revelation referring to a literal amount of people? For another clue, look at David’s army:
1 Chronicles 27:1 – And the sons of Israel, after their number, heads of the fathers, and princes of the thousands and of the hundreds, and their officers, those serving the king in any matter of the courses, that are coming in and going out month by month, throughout all months of the year – [are] in each course twenty and four thousand. (YLT)
According to Chronicles, David’s army rotated in groups of 24,000 every month for 12 months. The rest of the chapter explains this in more detail. This means that David had an army of 288,000 men (24,000 x 12 = 288,000). David also had a choir of 288 seen in 1 Chronicles 25:7. From these passages, it is most likely that there are two groups of overcomers, 144,000 each. Also remember in Revelation 14:3 that it said: “these are they who with women were not defiled, for they are virgin.” In the Bible, “virgin” is always referring to a women, not a man. Revelation 14:4 goes on to say “these are they who are following the Lamb whithersoever he may go; these were bought from among men.” This idea of following behind has a male and female theme, because in those days it was customary for the women to follow behind their husbands as they walked. So the two groups of overcomers are men and women. Therefore, there will be 144,000 men and 144,000 women who are overcomers, for a total of 288,000.
The First Resurrection
Most Christians believe there will be one big resurrection in the end times where both believers and non-believers will rise from the dead and be judged. However, this is only partially correct. Let’s look at Revelation:
Revelation 20:6 – Happy and hold [is] he who is having part in the first rising again; over these the second death hath not authority, but they shall be priests of God and of the Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (YLT)
Revelation 2:11 – He who is having an ear – let him hear what the Spirit saith to the assemblies: He who is overcoming may not be injured of the second death. (YLT)
Revelation 20 says that there is a first rising, or first resurrection. This group will rise from the dead and reign with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 2 calls them overcomers. These are the barley overcomers.
Another example is the parable of the ten virgins found in Matthew 25:1-12. All of the virgins had lamps, but only five brought extra oil, and only those that brought extra oil had enough light to meet the bridegroom. The virgins all represent Christian believers. The bridegroom represents Christ. Oil represents light which represents knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, only the believers with extensive knowledge and wisdom will be allowed to reign with Christ.
The Second Resurrection
If there is a first resurrection there has to be a second right? Yup, you guessed it:
Acts 24:15 – having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for, [that] there is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous; (YLT)
John 5:28, 29 – Wonder not at this, because there doth come an hour in which all those in the tombs shall hear his voice, and they shall come forth; those who did the good things to a rising again of life, and those who practiced the evil things to a rising again of judgment. (YLT)
These two verses talk about the second resurrection. Acts 24 says that in the second resurrection both the righteous and unrighteous will rise from the dead. Also notice that Acts 24 says rising “again,” so this is not the first time. John 5 says that this will happen in a single "hour". Notice this is singular, not plural, meaning it is at the same time. John 5 also says that those that did good things will have life and those that did evil things will have judgment. So we can conclude both believers and non-believers will rise from the dead in the second resurrection. This is referring to the group of wheat and the group of grapes. Luke talks more about this:
Luke 12:45-48 – And if that servant may say in his heart, My lord doth delay to come, and may begin to beat the men-servants and the maid-servants, to eat also, and to drink, and to be drunken, the lord of that servant will come in a day in which he doth not look for [him], and in an hour that he doth not know, and will cut him off, and his portion will be unfaithful he will point. And that servant, who having known his lord’s will, and not having prepared, nor having gone according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes, and he who, not having known, and having done things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few; and to every one to whom much was given, much shall be required from him; and to whom they did comitt much, more abundantly they will ask of him. (YLT)
This verse is a parable talking about the wheat group, or the believers in the second resurrection. Notice the verse says the lord will come at an unknown hour (again like John 5). Then in verse 47 it says servants which KNOW the lord’s will, but DID NOT prepare will be beaten with many strips, but those that DID prepare will receive fewer stripes. Revelation 21 tells us what will haven to the grape group:
Revelation 21:8 – and to fearful, and unsteadfast, and abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the liars, their part [is] in the lake that is burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (YLT)
Revelation talks about the murders and sorcerers. This is the grape group, or those that DID NOT KNOW the lord’s will. They will be thrown into the lake of fire, which is the second death. We already talked about this in the Lake of Fire. The lake of fire is God’s burning and purifying judgment. Although harsh, it is not eternal because all must be saved due to the law of Jubilee.
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