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a. 144,000 is Literal (as in)

b. 144,000 is Symbolical, but it is different from Great Multitude

c. 144,000 is Symbolical, and part of the Great Multitude

d. 144, 000 is the Symbolical number of the Great Multitude

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Not only the 144,000 will be alive when the little time of trouble starts but some will be laid to rest before probation closes.  There are those who are not physically, emotionally or spiritually able to go through the great time of trouble.  I believe that God in mercy will lay them to rest. 

The question I have is whether some who have not lived up to the light they were given will be part of that number that are put to rest but are still saved.  An example - we know cities will be destroyed before probation closes, yet many adventists have not heeded Ellen White's advice to leave the cities.  Will God allow those adventists to perish because He knows they aren't ready to go through the time of trouble or will all adventists get out in time?  And no, I am not saying anyone is sinning for staying in a city, just using an example.  I personally don't think it is a good idea to live in a city but each of us has to make that decision.  What I am asking is whether some are laid to rest that spiritually could have been part of the 144,000 but were physically infirm.  Or if God will lay to rest some who are spiritually not yet up to the struggle but still be saved.  I think more adventists will face death just prior to the close of probation than we are willing to accept.

The 144,000 are literal.. They are those who survive the tribulation in Christ.. This is why the number seems small.. We have to remember that the scripture in reference to the end times says that if Christ doesn't come when He does that no flesh will be left alive..

To address this rather deep subject further I would suggest a book called "144,000 the Great Multitude, and the Return of Jesus". It's packed with scripture and SOP that backs this up..

Can someone please tell me which group of people are being talked about in the passage below Rev 7:9-17.

Is it 144k or the GM?

 

9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”

14 And I said to him, “Sir,[b] you know.”

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.[c] And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

@Charlie

Both.. If you read on is states that the 144,000 will stand in the midst of the great multitude..

I think what Charlie is asking is if the above verse implies that the great multitude also came through the time of tribulation.  Or if it is only the 144,000.  I have heard some state that they believe the 144,000 are the leaders of the great multitude and that both groups go through the time of trouble with the 144,000 acting as priests. 

Right now, I stand on the side of confused...  I really don't know which is the correct view but am leaning towards the belief that before the close of probation, the world population will be so decimated that the possibility of only 144,000 righteous being alive is not an unreasonable number.  Something has to trigger a change in people's atitudes towards their religious standing and catastrophes are ususally what cause people to be willing to join together in prayer.  Even if they are not truly worshipping God.  If Ellen White's visions of cities being destroyed happens prior to the close of probation then the population of the world will be dramatically reduced.  About half of the world population lives in cities according to the Population Reference Bureau and those numbers are increasing rapidly.  Decimate the cities and people will chose sides rapidly.

There are those who came through ti and those who survived it.. There is a difference..

The Shepherd's Rod believe that they will be the 144.000, and they will go to palestina and from there they will go in the world and gather to gather the Great Multitude. And that is why they thinkl that they will be the leader of the Great multitude. Which is false teaching, false theory! Dorothy

I do not share Doug Bachelor view sorry. I take the word of the Bible and the SOP.

@ KP if I read on where??? where does it say that 144,000 will stand in the midst of the GM?

So I ask again what group is being talked about in Rev 7:14?  If it is the GM then the idea that the GM represents dead saints from Adam upwards is thrown own because Adam and most of the dead saints did not go through great tribulation.  If its both 144k and great multitude then how do you distinguish form the text who went through great tribulation and who did not?  looking at the GM the elder proclaimed these are they that went through great tribulation.  So the text indicates that the GM went through great tribulation? 

 

KP can you also explain the difference between those who came through it and those who survive it?  Are you suggesting that those who came through it are does who died (GM) but those who survive it are those that are alive at Jesus coming hence the 144k?  That would be reading a lot into the passage that is not there don't you think?

@Charlie..

Honestly this is a pretty deep and complicated topic for a forum discussion.I can tell you that if I recall this is not the only text that refers to them.. Also to get a full explanation you have to look in to sister Whites work as well.. I'll say this is it s very difficult issue, that is equally as difficult to understand as it is to explain.. So I would just refer you back to the book I referenced in my earlier response.. It does a good job of explaining it from scripture and sister Whites writings to prove the case for a literal number, as I stated before..

As for any suggestions on the last point I made. I was not making a point, but rather being objective.. This is done to show that one can not take a vague and confusing verse expecting to get a strait answer.. If one is using only that peace of scripture it can be interpreted to many ways and becomes a guessing game.. This is what I was directing that statement to address.. Though I do apologize for not being more direct.. I hope you can forgive me for that,and will be understanding about odd communication in the future.. I'll do you the same courtesy I do most people here (in which case many here already know this about me.) I have asburgers (a.k.a. a mild form of autism) so my communication and social ques can be a bit difficult to work with.. I will try not to be to confusing in the future, but unfortunately I can't make to many promises. If it's any consolation my husband doesn't have the easiest time with it either..lol

Charlie, The GM  are of the nations, those who love the Father and keep His Laws, His statues, and His ways. They join all the tribes of Israel, they are not a separate group, with a different set of rules.

The Truth is in this video by Pastor Doug Batchelor

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