How do we know the 144,000 aren't literal Jews from the 12 tribes?

How do we know the 144,000 aren't literal Jews from the 12 tribes? I believe they are not literal Jews but are symbolic. Many symbols are listed in Revelation and this is one.
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Caller:  Yes. I turned on the radio and you were talking about the 144,000.

Pastor Doug:  Yes ma'am.

Caller:  And it seems like you were saying - is this correct:  that they are the church?

Pastor Doug:  They're not the church entirely, but I believe the 144,000 are not literal Jews.

Caller:  Well if you take the Bible literally, it seems obvious, because there are 12 tribes.

Pastor Doug:  Well let me explain my reasons for that.  First of all when you read Revelation, there are very obvious Spiritual applications.

For instance, it talks in Revelation chapter 3, I think, about Jezebel.  Well there's no Jezebel that lived during that time.  They're referring back to a Jezebel in the Old Testament.

It talks in Revelation chapter 2, I believe, about Balaam the prophet.  It's talking about him like he's present.  Well it's talking about a character that lived back during the time of Moses.

Caller:  Right, right.

Pastor Doug:  It speaks of a dragon.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  And that dragon is not a big reptile.  It's a Spiritual word for the devil.  Matter of fact Charlene, if you look at most of the names in Revelation, they are Spiritual names.

Caller:  I realize that.  So much of Revelation is not literal it is figurative.  Correct?

Pastor Doug:  That's correct.

Caller:  But so much of the Bible seems to be both literal and figurative at the same time.

Pastor Doug:  Well let me share some history with you.  If you get your Bible and you go to the Old Testament and read during the time of King Hezekiah, you will read that the kingdom, the Northern kingdom, which is where the 10 tribes dwelt, the Northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians.  They were displaced, in other words, all the people were not just killed, they were carried away to Assyria.  All of them.

There they were inter-married, enslaved, absorbed, they lost their identity as a people.

Caller:  Are you saying that the Jews no longer exist as a people?

Pastor Doug:  No, no, no.  The Jews were the Southern kingdom of Judah.  Remember there were 12 tribes.  In the Southern kingdom, you had the three tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi.  Levi wasn't really thought as one of the tribes because they were the Priests.  You had Judah and Benjamin in the Southern kingdom.

The Northern kingdom had what they call the 10 tribes.  They were often called the kingdom of Israel.  They were conquered.  They were inter-married.  They disappeared as a distinct people.  The ones who were carried away captive to Babylon were the people of Judah, Benjamin and Levi.  They came back after 70 years, but the 10 Northern kingdoms never came back and you never see reference to those distinct tribes again all the way to the time of Jesus.

Caller:  Well but He brought us, you're Jewish too correct?

Pastor Doug:  Yes I am.

Caller:  He brought us from Abraham too.  He said I'll preserve you to the end.

Pastor Doug:  He did.  He preserved the line of David all the way to the time of Christ and beyond.

Caller:  He preserved the Jews as a nationality, which is an incredible miracle, considering the persecution of the Jews throughout the centuries.

Pastor Doug:  Right.  Now Charlene, do you know the word 'Jew' is deriven from the tribe of Judah?

Caller:  Right I know that.

Pastor Doug:  So when we talk about Jews, we're talking about Judah.  We're not talking about the other 10 tribes.

Caller:  Um, boy.  You know, um....

Pastor Doug:  Take a look at the Scriptures that I'm sharing with you, and please send for the article.  You'll find out, I think, that it's a very clear study.

You know, I do believe God has a special work for the Jews.  But I would like you to ask for two articles Charlene.  Ask for the article on Spiritual Israel, and we'll send it to you for free.

Caller:  But as a Jew, how can you deny your own people?

Pastor Doug:  Oh I don't think I'm denying my people.  I praise the Lord!

Caller:  Aren't you becoming a Gentile and turning your back on the unsaved Jews?

Pastor Doug:  No.  I'm becoming a complete Jew by accepting Christ.

Caller:  Right!

Pastor Doug:  Let me finish this thought.  One of the most powerfully clear messages in the New Testament is that God is no respecter of persons.  But whoever believes in Him, He receives.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  God has made all people of one blood.  Paul says now in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile.  We are all one in Christ.

But I hope that you'll be open-minded enough to at least look at the article because there's a lot I've not been able to share.  Ask for the article on the 144,000 and Spiritual Israel.  It's all free, and my invitation to you would be come and see.

Amazing Facts' Resource Number:  1-800-835-6747

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