What is an overview of the Anglican understandings of who/what are the 144000 of Revelation 7?

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. (Revelation 7, NIV)

  • I checked 'The Mystery of Salvation' by the Church of England Doctrine Commission but the passage does not seem to be referenced. – EleventhDoctor Jan 24 '17 at 13:42
  • @EleventhDoctor thanks for researching it for me. seems to have stumped everyone this question. :) – David Jan 24 '17 at 21:45
  • Your title seems to say that the great crowd and the 144k are same group however if one group is innumerable and another is a set figure they are 2 separate groups – Kris Mar 16 '18 at 16:09
  • @David The 144000are distinct from the great crowd. As for the Church of England, they appear to have a postmillennial view. Is your question aimed at the worldwide Anglican community in general or at the English Anglican Church? – Lesley May 22 '18 at 16:14

My thoughts are:

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

There are 12 tribes of Israel which means 12 000 from each tribe (Rev 7:5-8). The actual number is not important (but see Num 31:5;Jos 8:25;2Sa 10:6;1Ki 10:26), the meaning is that the descendants of Jacob (Israel) are to be protected during the time of Jacob's trouble (Jer 30:7; Isa 12:2-22). They are not neccessarily Jewish by religion, but Isaelite by genology. They both appear again in Rev 14:1,2.

There are two simultaneous programmes operating in Revelations, one for the physical nation Israel, and the other for the spiritual Gentiles. Thus the cloud of many peoples (Rev 7:9,10) refers to Christians (Joh 12:12,13; Zac 2:11), while those of the 144 000 are Isaelites.

The cloud of people is usually associated with the rapture (Mat 24:31;Mar 13:27;Joh 10:16;1Th 4:14-17;Phi 3:20,21;1Co 15:51-56). The idea is that Christains are not subjected to God's wrath on Israel and the world, and therefore beamed up to heaven to assist from there, without actually experiencing a physical death.

Hope that helps

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  • 1
    Welcome to the site. This answer is well written but the first sentence tells the story it is your thoughts or opinions. This site requires that an answer be given with references showing that it is the viewpoint of the denomination asked about in the question. In this case that would be the Anglican Church. I hope you stick around and continue to contribute. – Kris Oct 19 '18 at 3:40
  • When you get a minute please take the tour. christianity.stackexchange.com/tour. And see christianity.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1808/23657 to find out how this site is a bit different – Kris Oct 19 '18 at 3:47
  • Thank you. Good point, I'll keep that in mind. I'm more leaning toward Methodist, which admitedly isn't Anglican. – Peter Gostelow Oct 19 '18 at 4:11

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