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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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Amen.. no one knows who they will be, because no one knows their true weakness, or if they will even survive the great tribulation, assuming they are around for it in the first place.

Though it is ok to try and understand these things, no man or woman should ever presume it applies to them.. 

Besides.. IDK about everyone else, but I'll be happy just to be in the heavenly courts of my Father, and to have one the race in Christ. I don't need an honored position.. I would happily be a janitor in the kingdom of God.. lol

You will find your answer in this document.

Yes Glen, worse than any calamity ever imagined -- "The persecutions of Protestants by Romanism, by which the religion of Jesus Christ was almost annihilated [during the 1260 years], will be more than rivaled when Protestantism and popery are combined." (3Selected Messages p.387)

And yes, I agree, the setting for the "Great Multitude" is in heaven, and refers to all the Christians that have ever lived.

John, "the seer of Patmos, looking down through the ages to the time of this restoration of Israel in the earth made new, testified:

“I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." (Prophets and Kings p.720)

So when John saw the great multitude in vision, he saw them in the new earth. This seems to be clear.

 Good post, Steward.

Hello Stewart.
If you click on the link above it will take you to a download on a short study of the 4 classes of redeemed... you will find that the great multitude cannot refer to the redeemed of all ages. I hope you enjoy.
Blessings.
Glenn... The idea that the great multitude are those that died is not supported by the SOP according to her statements concerning the classes of redeemed. I hope you have time to download the short PDF and see for yourself. Good evening Sir. : )
Sorry Stewart... here is the link.
The Four Classes Of The Redeemed

The ensuing study is given to prove that the great multitude of Rev. 7:9, are living saints, who, with the 144,000, are to be translated at the second coming of Christ. All the saved in the history of the world, from righteous Abel to the close of probation, are divided into four great, separate, and distinct classes, as follows:

Class 1: The 144,000 of Rev. 7; namely, the twelve tribes of Israel of the promise; a special company with a special experience.

Class 2: The translated at the coming of Christ in the clouds (the great multitude of Rev. 7:9).

Class 3: The millions of all ages who were martyred for their faith.

Class 4: "Those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion." Great Controversy, page 665.

Earthly nations and governments glory in the splendid order of their armies, and their uniforms are made according to ranks, so that by the uniform, one can recognize the rank of a soldier, and to which division or regiment he belongs. We must not suppose the great God has less order for His redeemed than earthly nations for their armies. We know God has far better order than any earthly government can ever devise. An endeavor shall be made to prove that each one of the four classes mentioned above have their uniforms by which they can be discerned and classified.
Class 1

In Early Writings, pages 16, 17, we read: "Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns. And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet." The 144,000 are described as having this "glorious white mantle" as part of their garments.

Class 2

Class 2, are the translated (besides the 144,000). Rev. 7:9, says, "After this [the 144,000] I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. It will be noticed this company have palms in their hands.
Class 3

Early Writings, pages 18, 19: "As we were traveling along, we met a company who also were gazing at the glories of the place. I noticed red as a border on their garments; their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted them, I asked Jesus who they were. He said they were martyrs that had been slain for Him. With them was an innumerable company of little ones; they also had a hem of red on their garments." Thus class 3, (the martyrs) are described as having "red on their garments".
Class 4

Great sinners plucked as brands from the burning, but who died a natural death.
These have neither a mantle over their shoulders, palms in their hands, nor red as a border around their garments, but they do have crowns of gold. Their crowns differ from the crowns of the 144,000, the latter having "stars" in their crowns, as stated under heading "Class 1." Thus we have the description of these four classes, and the symbols of their garments, and can be summarized as follows:

Class 1--The 144,000 have the glorious white mantle, and stars in their crowns.

Class 2--The great multitude of Rev. 7:9, have palms in their hands.

Class 3--The millions of all ages who were martyred, have red around their garments as a border.

Class 4--Great sinners plucked as brands from the burning, but who died a natural death, who have white robes, and golden crowns, but no stars on their crowns. Same as those of Rev. 4:4.

There must have been a definite reason for describing the special uniforms which must have been for the purpose of disclosing this truth.

Types And Anti-Types

The Spirit of Prophecy says Elijah represents those who will be living when Christ comes, and
be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and be translated. Desire of Ages, page 421: "Elijah, who had been translated to heaven without seeing death, represented those who will be living upon the earth at Christ's second coming, and who will be 'changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump."

Reference is made of Enoch in Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 88, 89: "The godly character of this prophet represents the state of holiness which must be attained by those who shall be 'redeemed from the earth' at the time of Christ's second advent....But like Enoch, God's people will seek for purity of heart, and conformity to His will, until they shall reflect the likeness of Christ. Like Enoch they will warn the world of the Lord's second coming, and of the judgments to be visited upon transgression, and by their holy conversation and example they will condemn the sins of the ungodly. As Enoch was translated to heaven before the destruction of the world by water so the living righteous will be translated from the earth before its destruction by fire."

Though Elijah represents those who shall be translated at the second coming of Christ Enoch does, too. Both men were translated without seeing death. The question is, Why two types? Because there are two companies of people to be translated; the 144,000, and the great multitude of Rev. 7:9. The 144,000, are Israelites; the great multitude are not. Enoch is not an Israelite, therefore he can not represent Israel, the 144,000. (The name "Israel" did not come into existence until the time of Jacob, which was many centuries after Enoch was translated. A clearer explanation on the subject will be given in another section.) We shall determine which class Enoch represents by the uniform he wears. Early Writings, page 40, says: "There I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated. On his right arm he bore a glorious palm, and on each leaf was written 'Victory'." Here we see Enoch, too, has the "palm" in his hand, the same as the great multitude, class number 2.

Enoch is said to be the seventh from Adam. "Seven" means complete, finished; thus perfectly typifying the class represented by him in Rev. 7:9 (the great multitude). We shall endeavor to bring another proof that the great multitude with the "palms in their hands" are translated with the 144,000. In Great Controversy, page 665 we read about classes 2, 3, and 4. The part referring to class 4, reads as follows: "Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void." Here is included every possible sin to a sinner in all ages (who have taken their stand for God).

But of class 2 (the great multitude), there is no reference given as to what kind of sinners they are. Class 1 (the 144,000), are called Israel, a special company with a special experience.

After including every possible sin to a sinner in Class 4 (those who shall be resurrected), and the martyrs in class 3, Inspiration says, "And beyond is the 'great multitude'....with white robes, and palms in their hands." Therefore, this company could not be classed with the other two, or with the 144,000. If Class 2 (the great multitude), were the saved and resurrected from all ages, then all of the saved must have palms in their hands, but as it is plain that not all have the palms, then these are not all the saved in all ages, but are the translated ones only, besides the 144,000. The palm is a symbol of victory over death and the grave; that is, they never died.

Again, speaking of the same company, we read in Rev. 7:14, last part: "And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the
blood of the Lamb'." Thus this company went through the tribulation of Daniel 12, which is in the time of the seven last plagues. Rev. 7:16, last part: "neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat." They go through the fourth plague, so it is clear that this company lives in the time of the end, at the second advent of Christ,--to be translated.

An Explanation Of Early Writings, Page 15

Speaking of the announcement made of the coming of Christ (the day and the hour), which is before the general resurrection, and at the time of the special resurrection, we read: "Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses' did when he came down from Mount Sinai. The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground."

We are not to understand that all who were present at this time and heard the announcement made of the "day and the hour" were the 144,000 only. The language used makes it clear that there were more, for the pronouns "we", "us", "they", and "our" are used. In pointing to the 144,000, the definite article "the" is used. She does not put herself as one of the 144,000, but, instead, the pronoun "us" is used; therefore, there must be another company living besides the 144,000.
Elijah Represents The 144,000

If Enoch represents the great multitude of Rev. 7:9, then Elijah represents the 144,000, for only two in the world's history have been translated without seeing death. Further proof is not necessary; however, other reasons shall be given why Elijah typified the 144,000. Elijah saw the drought and the famine in Israel; so will the 144,000, for we read in Great Controversy, page 649: "They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat." Elijah had a mantle over his shoulders (2 Kings 2:8) likewise the 144,000 have a mantle. "And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet." Early Writings, page 17.

Quoting from Testimonies to Ministers, page 475: "Prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says: 'Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord'. Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah and when he appears, men may say: 'You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.' " Sister White does not mean to say that she is that prophet Elijah, but plainly says a prophet must come, and it is said to be a prophet with the "same spirit and power of Elijah." This prophet must come before Ezekiel 9 is fulfilled, for the prophecy of Ezekiel is similar to Elijah's experience with Israel in the days of Ahab. Elijah's work in the days of Ahab, king of Israel, was to prove to Israel that they had apostatized, and after doing so, he took the priests, or prophets, and cut their heads off, and threw them in the brook. Such was the spirit and power of Elijah.

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