The Woman in the Wilderness and the 144,000 Part 1

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
December 16, 1998

Last Updated :
January 3, 2009

NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.

Theories Concerning The 144,000, Coming War, The Diaspora,
Narrow Is The Way, Spirit Of Exclusivity, The Fiery Furnace,
A Little Help, Joseph's Dream, Joseph And Mary Flee, Dragons
In The Sea, Israel Of Faith, The Arab Seed, The Right Hand
Of God, Woman In The Wilderness, Mount Up With Eagle's Wings

As you may know, within Christian circles, there is quite a
controversy brewing regarding the correct identity of the
144,000 sealed servants of the Lord mentioned in the seventh
chapter of the Book of Revelation. The key verses from this
chapter which discuss this topic are the following:

"And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the
seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to
the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and
the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor
the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in
their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were
sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four
thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
(Revelation 7:2-4)

As I mention in my series 'The Great Tribulation And The
Rapture', it is my personal belief that these people will be
Christianized Jews who will be wise enough to escape out of
Jerusalem just prior to its soon-coming invasion by Muslim
forces. At this current time, it is almost as if the entire
world is watching with abated breath as the final diplomatic
dominoes fall; which will ultimately result in the start of
this terrible war. On both the Israeli and Palestinian sides
of the fence, since a long time ago, final positions have
been taken regarding the fate of Jerusalem. Even if progress
is made which will resolve the current bottleneck revolving
around the full implementation of the Wye Memorandum, an
all-out war still appears to be inevitable, based upon the
Scriptures. Consider the following verses once again:

"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle;
and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the
women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into
captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut
off from the city." (Zechariah 14:2)

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then
know that the desolation thereof is nigh." (Luke 21:20)

Another view suggests that the 144,000 are not just Jews who
currently live in the state of Israel, but rather that they
are comprised of the descendants of the ancient tribes of
Israel who now live all around the world. As I point out in
other articles, the current dispersion, or Diaspora, of the
Jews, is a result of their sins against the Lord since over
two thousand five hundred years ago. Consider the following
Scriptures found in the book of the Prophet Jeremiah:

"Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel;
Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood,
and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them
also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers
have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have
consumed them." (Jeremiah 9:15-16)

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his
spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do
evil. Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that
passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. This is thy lot,
the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because
thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood."
(Jeremiah 13:23-25)

"Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned
incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in
their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a
way not cast up; To make their land desolate, and a
perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be
astonished, and wag his head. I will scatter them as with an
east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and
not the face, in the day of their calamity."
(Jeremiah 18:15-17)

Based upon an estimated worldwide Jewish population of
fourteen million, a bit of mathematical computation reveals
that 144,000 would only be about one per cent of the entire
worldwide Jewish population; and that is truly an extremely
small remnant indeed! If we accept this view as being true,
then there may be many people in the world today who are of
Jewish origin who don't even know it. They might even be
professing Christians!

A final school of thought proposes that the 144,000 servants
of the Lord are not comprised of physical Jews whatsoever;
but rather they represent the true spiritual Israel; that
is, the born-again Believers in Christ, who are spread out
all over the world. While I concur that we Christians are
the true spiritual Israel of faith, as I explain in the
article 'Is God A Racist?', to suggest that only 144,000
Christians will be sealed by the Lord does not seem to make
very much sense to me. There are literally millions of
Christians in the world at this current time. While the Lord
did indeed say that many are called, and few chosen; and
that strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leads
to Eternal Life, I have no doubt whatsoever that God's full
Plan of Salvation involves more than 144,000 saved souls:

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many
there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few
there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

"For many are called, but few are chosen." ( Matthew 22:14)

Not only that, but such a thought is earmarked by the same
spirit of exclusivity I have seen in times past. I know that
many years ago, an organization then known as the Children
of God claimed to be the 144,000 servants of the Lord. They
even had a self-righteous song in which they boasted of this
very thing. While I do not agree with all of their current
views, I must give them credit for the fact that, as they
have matured as a movement, they have been wise enough to
put aside some of their narrowminded doctrines of the past.
Sadly, it appears that the Jehovah's Witnesses continue to
make this very same claim of being the 144,000; and I don't
doubt that there are other organizations that teach this
same erroneous doctrine.

The main point to consider here is that the 144,000 will be
sealed by the Lord, because they are going to go through the
Great Tribulation; and not because they will be rescued from
it prematurely as Pre-Tribulation Rapture theorists believe.
If you accept, as I do, that these may be flesh Jews in the
nation of Israel, who are going to accept Jesus Christ as
their Lord and Saviour in the final hour, or perhaps who
have already done so, then it is possible that they will
remain untouched by the wrath of the demonic Beast and his
Muslim hordes; just as Daniel's three companions came out of
the Babylonian furnace without even the smell of smoke on
their clothes. In fact, it appears that Jesus may have been
right there with them, protecting them from the flames!
Consider these verses found in the Book of Daniel:

"He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in
the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form
of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar
came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and
spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye
servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.
Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the
midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains,
and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw
these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was
an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats
changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them."
(Daniel 3:25-27)

What I find interesting regarding this possibility, is that
in the following verse, also found in the Book of Daniel, we
are told that the Lord's children, possibly meaning Jews in
Israel, will be 'holpen with a little help' during this time
of great persecution; when a small portion of them flee from
the invading forces of the Islamic Beast:

"Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a
little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries."
(Daniel 11:34)

If we add one and one together, it seems quite possible that
these Jews who flee from Jerusalem, might be symbolized by
the woman we see fleeing into the wilderness in Revelation
chapter twelve. It is a very obvious connection in my mind.
To fully understand this, let's go back thousands of years
to the time of Joseph and his brethren. As you may recall,
one of the dreams which Joseph had was the following:

"And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren,
and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold,
the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to
me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and
his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this
dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy
brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the
earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed
the saying." (Genesis 37:9-11)

In this dream, Joseph's eleven brethren are represented by
eleven stars; therefore, it is obvious that Joseph must be
the twelfth star. In like manner, the sun represents Jacob,
Joseph's father; and the moon must represent his mother;
according to Jacob's own words. In short, this is a symbolic
picture of the nation of Israel. Let us move up now several
thousand years into the future to the time of the Revelation
of the Apostle John. In describing the mysterious Woman in
the Wilderness, John wrote the following:

"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman
clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon
her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child
cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And
there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great
red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven
crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of
the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the
dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be
delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all
nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto
God, and to his throne." (Revelation 12:1-5)

As you will quickly notice, this woman is represented by the
very same three symbols as we saw in Joseph's dream; that
is, the sun, the moon, and twelve stars; as such, by simply
comparing Scripture with Scripture, I believe that we can
safely assume that, even though their accounts were written
literally thousands of years apart, the Patriarch Joseph and
the Apostle John were both describing the very same thing.
If we apply John's vision to the time in which it was given,
we could say that the woman represents Mary, the mother of
Jesus; and this would indeed be a fitting interpretation. As
we all know, Joseph and Mary were in fact persecuted by evil
King Herod when Jesus was about two years old. It may have
been at that time, that they put the expensive gifts of the
three magi to good use by fleeing into Egypt until Herod was

"And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord
appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the
young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou
there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young
child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child
and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was
there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of
Egypt have I called my son...But when Herod was dead,
behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph
in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his
mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead
which sought the young child's life."
(Matthew 2:13-15, 19-20)

It is also interesting to note that, just as we see this
woman being persecuted by the Red Dragon, in His Word, the
Lord does refer to worldly leaders as dragons in the rivers
and seas of people. This is because they are merely puppets
of the great Red Dragon himself; that is, Satan, the Prince
of the Power of the Air, and the god of this world, who has
blinded the eyes of them that believe not. Thus, Herod was
indeed a dragon in Israel who persecuted the seed of the
Lord's fledgling Church. Consider the following verses:

"Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am
against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that
lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river
is mine own, and I have made it for myself."
(Ezekiel 29:3)

"And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where
the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations,
and tongues." (Revelation 17:15)

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called
the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he
was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out
with him." (Revelation 12:9)

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is
the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,"
(Revelation 20:2)

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of
this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh in the children of
disobedience:" (Ephesians 2:2)

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of
them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious
gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto
them." (2 Corinthians 4:4)

While the previous interpretation is valid, in an Endtime
prophetic sense, I believe that it is more in agreement with
Joseph's dream to suggest that the woman in John's vision
represents the spiritual nation of Israel; that is to say,
the Israel of faith, which was born of the seed of Isaac.
This is the Israel which brought forth the Saviour; of which
Mary was indeed a member. As we have already seen, if we
consider that most Endtime events focus upon the land of
Israel, this seed of faith is probably best represented in
Israel by the 144,000; that is, the flesh Jews who already
have, or who will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and
Saviour in the coming days; and thus be persecuted by the
Beast. These are the true Jews of the Spirit, who I also
discuss in 'Is God A Racist?' and 'Once Upon A Time: A True
Story'. Remember, as the Apostle Paul stated quite clearly,
not all Israel is the true Israel, but only those who are of
the seed of faith; those who trust in the name of Jesus:

"Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For
they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither,
because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children:
but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which
are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of
God: but the children of the promise are counted for the
seed." (Romans 9:6-8)

There is a very startling truth concealed in the previous
verses which I had never noticed before. Like myself, some
of you are no doubt familiar with Old Testament history; and
are thus aware of the stories of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and
Keturah. It is from the offspring of these three women, that
the nation of Israel and some of the Arab nations came into
being. Israel came forth from Sarah's son, Isaac; twelve of
the Arab nations came forth from Ishmael who was the son of
Hagar, and other Arab nations came forth from the six sons
of Keturah. Consider the following verses:

"Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian,
and Ishbak, and Shuah. And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan.
And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and
Leummim. And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and
Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children
of Keturah." (Genesis 25:1-4)

"Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son,
whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto
Abraham: And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by
their names, according to their generations: the firstborn
of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, And
Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, Hadar, and Tema, Jetur,
Naphish, and Kedemah: These are the sons of Ishmael, and
these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles;
twelve princes according to their nations. And these are the
years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and
seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was
gathered unto his people. And they dwelt from Havilah unto
Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria:
and he died in the presence of all his brethren."
(Genesis 25:12-18)

While the Arabs claim that they are the true children of God
who submit themselves to the will of God, which is exactly
what 'Muslim' means, the previous verses from Paul's Epistle
to the Romans are a clear New Testament indication of the
depth of deception into which they have fallen. What Paul
states not only applies to the flesh Jews who reject Jesus
Christ, but it also applies to all of Abraham's other flesh
descendants through his wives Hagar and Keturah as well. In
other words, the Arabs are no more the children of God, than
are the flesh Jews who reject Christ, because they are all
the children of the flesh, that is, of Abraham's flesh, and
not the children of promise, by faith, through Isaac. This
is why in his old age, Abraham sent away his concubines and
all of their children. Isaac was the seed of promise; and he
was the one who would be taught to place his faith in the
God of his father, as well as inherit the bulk of Abraham's

"And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the
sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave
gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet
lived, eastward, unto the east country." (Genesis 25:5-6)

Returning to the opening verses of the twelfth chapter of
the Book of Revelation, it should be obvious that the man
child who was born to the woman, and who 'was caught up unto
God, and to His Throne', can be none other than Jesus Christ
Himself, who now sits at the Right Hand of His Father. This
is made perfectly clear by the following verses taken from
the writings of the Apostles Peter and Paul:

"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea
rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand
of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
(Romans 8:34)

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the
dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly
places," (Ephesians 1:20)

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which
are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
(Colossians 3:1)

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express
image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of
his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down
on the right hand of the Majesty on high;...But to which of
the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until
I make thine enemies thy footstool?" (Hebrews 1:3, 13)

"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We
have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of
the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;" (Hebrews 8:1)

"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins
for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;"
(Hebrews 10:12)

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of
the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

"Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God;
angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto
him." (1 Peter 3:22)

It is at this point that we find an interesting link between
the words of the Prophet Daniel, who said that the Saints
would be 'holpen with a little help', and John's description
of the 144,000 sealed servants of the Lord. You will recall
that I stated that it is possible that these servants will
remain untouched by the wrath of the demonic Beast and his
Muslim hordes; just as Daniel's three companions came out of
the Babylonian furnace without even the smell of smoke on
their clothes. Consider now the following verses:

"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a
place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a
thousand two hundred and threescore days...And to the woman
were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly
into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished
for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the
serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a
flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried
away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the
earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the
dragon cast out of his mouth." (Revelation 12:6, 14-16)

Notice that in describing the flight of the woman into the
wilderness, John specifically states that 'she hath a place
prepared of God, that they should feed her...'; and then a
few verses later he says that she will fly 'into her place'.
In His Divine Wisdom, the Lord knew that these Christianized
Jews would be saved in the final hour; so in His mercy, He
has prepared a special place for their protection. This may
be directly related to Daniel's 'holpen with a little help'.
It is interesting to note that throughout the Bible, wings
are associated with God's protection. Some of my favorite
verses on this topic are found in Psalm Ninety-One:

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall
abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the
LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I
trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the
fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee
with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his
truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be
afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that
flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in
darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A
thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy
right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine
eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even
the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall
thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For
he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in
all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest
thou dash thy foot against a stone." (Psalms 91:1-12)

Notice how the Psalmist writes 'He shall cover thee with his
feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust'; and then we
are told a few verses later that His Angels 'shall bear thee
up in their hands'. What a wonderful promise of God's Divine
Protection! In a modern sense, we can speculate that the
'two wings of a great eagle' might symbolize being airlifted
to an undisclosed remote location, or wilderness, where the
woman will be protected for three and a half years from the
wrath of the Islamic Beast. I was also just reminded of the
following prophetic verse which I share in the series 'The
Great Tribulation And The Rapture'; which shows how some day
soon, we too shall be born up as on eagle's, or Angel's,
wings, in order to be delivered from the Great Slaughter of
the Great Tribulation:

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their
strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they
shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not
faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

The previous verse is directly related to the following
verses found in Jesus's Endtime sermon in Matthew chapter
twenty-four. Collectively, these verses show us that, when
all appears lost for God's children, the Lord's Elect will
be miraculously rescued from this world, and thus from the
persecution by the same, at the time of the coming Rapture;
when the Lord, our Prince of Peace, returns in the clouds of
Heaven for His faithful Bride-To-Be. We shall truly mount up
with wings as eagles!:

"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth
even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of
man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the
eagles be gathered together...And then shall appear the sign
of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes
of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming
in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he
shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and
they shall gather together his elect from the four winds,
from one end of heaven to the other."
(Matthew 24:27-28, 30-31)

Personally, I am convinced that in these verses, the Lord is
referring to Himself as the Carcase which was hung on the
Cross, and to ourselves, His dearly beloved children, as the
rising eagles who will be gathered unto Him in the clouds of
Heaven. This is because we have symbolically fed upon His
Flesh, and drank His Blood, through our belief in His name;
precisely as He commanded us to do in the following verses
found in John chapter six and Matthew chapter twenty-six:

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his
blood, ye have no life in you." (John 6:53)

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it,
and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take,
eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks,
and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is
my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for
the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)

One important point which I feel I must clarify for you, is
that the woman being given 'two wings of a great eagle', so
that she can fly safely into the wilderness, and the Endtime
Saints mounting 'up with wings as eagles' at the time of the
Lord's Coming, are not one and the same event. It is very
important that you understand this difference. In short, the
woman will flee into the wilderness at the beginning of the
three and a half years of Great Tribulation; and it is three
and a half years later, at the time of the Rapture, that all
of the Saints will 'mount up with wings as eagles' to meet
the Lord in the air, in our new transformed bodies. This
will of course include the 144,000 saved Christianized Jews
who have fled to their place of refuge prepared for them by
the Lord.

If this woman does represent 144,000 sealed Christian Jews
who will flee from the wrath of the invading Muslim armies,
as I believe it does, then this hidden location might be a
place in Israel itself, somewhere outside of Jerusalem. It
might also be a reference to the United States of America,
where there are currently quite a number of Christians who
support the state of Israel. However, there is yet another
very interesting possibility which was first suggested to me
some twenty-eight years ago. In part two of this series, I
will be discussing Jacob, Esau and the Edomites, Lot and the
Moabites and the Ammonites, the pagansim of the Edomites,
Moabites and Ammonites, the backslidden Jews, origins of the
Jewish-Arab conflict, forsaking the God of their fathers and
the false religion of Islam, the three horns, the question
about Libya, Jordan's King Hussein and the Middle East War,
the mystery of Petra, and the prophetic destruction at
noonday. I trust that you will join me.

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