Last week, I proposed a twofold significance of the twenty-four Elders of the heavenly pattern of the Armies of Heaven, comprising Christ and His redeemed saints, that will establish and rule over the promised kingdom. First was their representation of the twenty-four-man “Supreme Governing Council,” under Christ, of the entire kingdom. And second was their representation of the twenty-four-man “Provincial Governing Council” of each of the constituting provinces, or nations, of the global kingdom. This latter perspective of the Elders raised the question of the full number of those represented in them, and by implication the full number of the nations that will constitute the kingdom. This article will attempt to answer that question by tracing the promise of the kingdom back to the promise God made to “Father Abraham.”
God said to Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families [or nations] of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). To be sure that the “families” in this verse implies “nations,” as I have suggested, we’ll consider a Scripture passage that touches on the Millennium: “And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of Hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not that have no rain, there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:17,18). As we can see, the nation of Egypt is considered a family, and it also speaks of all the “families of the earth,” the exact expression that God used in His covenant with Abraham.
We must realize, however, that these nations that the Lord spoke of to Abraham were unlike modern nations, but comparatively small entities, families of people separated on the basis of a common heritage. Hence the Scriptures speak of the “Israelites,” the “Moabites,” the “Edomites,” the “Amalekites,” the “Ammonites,” the “Canaanites,” and so on and so forth; who were otherwise called the “children of Israel,” the “children of Moab,” the “children of Edom,” the “children of Amalek,” the “children of Ammon,” etcetera. The earliest origins of these nations of the earth dates back to when the Almighty disrupted the infamous Tower of Babel project and scattered the people by confusing their language: “And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth (see Genesis 11:5-9).”
So we see that the original method of separation of the peoples of the earth was by language, their primary heritage. This divine identification of each nation with a common language is expressed in other Scripture passages. An example: “Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 5:15).
Now, if each of these kinds of language nations that the Abrahamaic Covenant foresees for the millennial kingdom is overseen by a council of twenty-four Elders, or “kings” (that is, the “Provincial Governing Council”), and we admit the United Nations’ observation of 6,000 languages* in the world today – indicating 6,000 language nations, or provinces – we’ll have a total of 144,000 provincial kings. Is it a coincidence that this is the exact revealed number of the “firstfruits” of the redeemed (Revelation 14:1-5)?
Yes, that is my revelation of the full number of those represented in the noted secondary significance of the twenty-four Elders of the heavenly pattern of the Armies of Heaven – 144,000. Operating in councils of twenty-four, they will be the group commanders of the 6,000 formations of these "armies" (plural) that will be dispersed through the 6,000 provinces of the millennial kingdom to enforce the global dominion of Christ and His “Supreme Governing Council.” In other words, a council of twenty-four commanders will oversee one formation, and 6,000 such formations will be dispersed through the 6,000 provinces.
Let’s read the Revelation’s capture of these 144,000 provincial kings: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand...and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and before the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth [notice the consistency with the testimony of the Elders and Beasts]... These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb (see Revelation 14:1-5).” Just as we symbolically saw Christ the “King of kings” surrounded by the twenty-four global kings, so also has our close-up on the scene shown Him with the 144,000 provincial kings.
Now, I must admit that the way I have established these full numbers of the provincial kings and the envisioned language nations of the kingdom is “theologically” subjective, considering that I admitted an extra-biblical witness. There is, however, a more convincing and purely biblical explanation of the idea, which the said witness only remarkably substantiates. This would require an article of its own. ** Indeed, such an explanation would be necessary considering that the 6,000 number of the world’s languages given by the United Nations is obviously a round-off. Meanwhile, in my next article I will express some of my further thoughts about these envisioned 6,000 language nations of the kingdom. So keep the faith, and remain posted.
God bless you always.
In the King’s Service,
David Olagoke Olawoyin.
* Also documented in the Encarta Encyclopedia under “Language.”
** Since this article was first published, I have written a series of articles that further explain this thought.