SEALED 144,000 SAINTS: LITERAL and SYMBOLIC.
Jacob’s NATURAL ISRAEL is an Ethnic Nation excluding other nations but Jesus’ SPIRITUAL ISRAEL is the Universal Church including Israel and all nations. The Natural is the symbolic shadow and the Spiritual is the substance and fulfilment.
Before Christ (PRE-MESSIANIC AGE), nationalities mattered but since the coming of Christ (MESSIANIC AGE), God no longer deals with us according to the nations we belong to, whether we are Israelites or Gentiles. What matters to God eschatologically, is whether we are in Christ or against Christ. That is why the Gospel and End Times prophecy is NOT about Nationalities (Israelites versus Gentiles) BUT about global Personages – Christ versus Antichrist. Again the reality and facts of history is that the full Twelve Tribes of Israel no longer exist except the Jews who are from the southern Two Tribes of Israel, so also is ancient political geography no more extant.
There are about 14 million Jews in the world today with half of these residing in the State of Israel, and there may be more or less at the Tribulation when the 144,000 restored remnant shall be sealed. The elect “144,000 of Israel” is NOT MERELY a “literal number” of “all the Tribulation-Saints OF JACOB’S NATURAL ISRAEL” who may be alive during the final tribulation just before Christ’s second coming (Rev 7:1-4), BUT ALSO the “symbolic number” of “all the Redeemed-Saints OF JESUS’ SPIRITUAL ISRAEL=the Church” of both Jacob and all Gentiles, non-partitioned and reconciled by One Spirit into the ONE BODY IN CHRIST (Eph 2:13-18; Rev 7:14), who are being redeemed with Christ’s Blood and sealed with the Holy Spirit since Calvary till the end of the Great Tribulation (2Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:13-14).
Therefore, the sealed “144,000 Tribulation Saints of all Israel” (Rev 7:1-8) also symbolically represents the REMNANT “all Israel that are children of promise” (Rom 11:26-28) i.e. ALL elect Israel who truly believe (Rom 9:6-9) as well as the “inwardly Jews of heart and spirit” (Rom 2:28-29). Conversely the REDEEMED “complete number of the Gentiles” (Rom 11:25-26) i.e. complete number of ALL nations who truly believe (John 12:32; Rom 11:32) or “the innumerable Saints of every Nation” (Rev 7:9-12; 14:2-3) “cleansed and redeemed with Christ’s Blood from all Humanity” since the beginning of creation till the end of the Great Tribulation (Rev 7:13-17; 14:1-4). ALL remnant Israel and ALL redeemed People do not literarily mean EVERY SINGLE Israelite and EVERY SINGLE Person. National Israel and National Gentiles are not replaced by Christ’s Spiritual Israel (The Church); rather, Christ’s Spiritual Israel (The Church) is redeemed from National Israel and National Gentiles.
(15) This agrees with the words of the prophets. As it is written,
(16) ‘After this, I will come back and set up David’s fallen tent again. I will restore its ruined places and set it up again
(17) so that the rest of the people may search for the Lord, including all the gentiles who are called by my name, declares the Lord. He is the one who has been doing these things
(18) that have always been known.’
Everyone knows (or should know) that pure blooded descendants of Ten out of the Twelve Tribes of Israel can no longer be distinguished from the Middle Eastern peoples. The northern Ten Tribes of Israel carried away by Assyria in 722 BC were scattered and got lost by assimilation among the Middle Eastern nations and never returned nor retained their Israelite identity. They were replaced by the Samaritans brought from other Middle Eastern nations by the Assyrians (2Kings 17:21-24).
The JEWS are not the 12 Tribes of Israel but the southern Israelites from JUDEA (made up of the southern Tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi) who maintained their pure blood and identity. These were mostly carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 582 BC (2Kings 25:8-12) while the rest of them took Prophet Jeremiah along and migrated to Egypt (2Kings 25:25-26). Some of those Jews (southern Israelites) carried to Babylon returned later to Judea with Zerubbabel in 538 BC, with Ezra in 458 BC, and with Nehemiah in 444 BC.
After the time of Christ, the Jews were again sacked from Judea by the Romans and replaced by the Palestinians in 70 AD as prophesied by Daniel and Christ in Dan 9:27b and Matt 24:2,15,16. Since then, in fulfilment of Christ’s prophecy in Luke 21:24, Jews have suffered anti-Semitism as sojourners in all nations while Jerusalem remained “trodden by the Gentiles”– ruled in turns by Romans, Syrians, Arabs, Crusaders, Egyptians, Turks, and Britons, till the Jews returned eventually to found the modern State of Israel (Medinat Yisrael) in 1948 after the Second World War. Today, the Jews still share Jerusalem with the Palestinians (Rev 11:2).