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WHO ARE THE 144,000?
REVELATION 7:1-9


This outline only gives basic information on the 144,000 and the sealing in the church.

PRAYER THOUGHT: CSW 25:1.
      
INTRODUCTION: The main focus of this study is the study of the 144,000, their relationship to us as Seventh-Day
Adventists, and how we may become a part of this great company.

    I.    Read: Rev.7:1-4

BRIEF OVERVIEW
    A.    Four symbolic winds are being held by four angels
    B.    An angel comes from the east with the seal of God
    C.    The winds cannot be let loose until the 144,000 are sealed
    D    . The 144,000 are a very special company


WHAT DO THE WINDS SYMBOLIZE?

    II.    Read: 5T 152:2
       
EXPLANATION
: Here we are told that the symbolic winds represent the “time of trouble
such as never was” (Dan. 12:1) -- the “mark of the beast” decree or the “Sunday-Blue Laws.”
Thus, the 144,000 have to be sealed before the mark of the beast. Since the “mark of the beast decree is just ahead of us, this indicates that the 144,000 are being sealed today. (See also 7A
Bible Commentary, p.
976:2).

NOTE: These winds in Revelation 7 could not symbolize war seeing that we have always had wars (for example, World War I and II) and yet the 144,000 are not yet sealed. The winds represent a special strife or trouble that is coming against the church. It does not indicate a clash of nation against nation. It must be held, lest it hurt the people of God. This shows that the winds are religio-political.


WHERE ARE THE 144,000 TO BE FOUND?

    II.    Read: verse 4

EXPLANATION: They are sealed from the tribes of Israel.
    A.     However, this could not be ancient Israel, seeing that we are dealing with the time just prior to the mark of the beast -- our time.
    B.     The 144,000 must therefore be found in modern Israel. 9T 164, 5T 94, PK 713-714.


WHO IS MODERN ISRAEL TODAY?

    A. Read: Rev. 14:1,4

EXPLANATION: Here the 144,000 are said not to be defiled with women (churches of the world) because they are virgins (professing a pure faith -- See COL. 406). In other words, the 144,000 are found in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Further proof: See EW 14, 42-3-- the only church teaching the “Midnight Cry” is the S.D.A. church.

FURTHER PROOF FOR WOMEN SYMBOLIZING CHURCHES: Jer. 6:2 , 3:14; GC 381:1 ;
Jer. 31:4; Eph. 5:24,25.


IS THIS NUMBER (144,000) SYMBOLIC OR COULD IT MEAN MORE?

    VI.     Read: verse 4.
EXPLANATION: John clearly heard the number.

    A.    Read: EW 15
    
    B..    Read: verses 5-9
EXPLANATION: God delineates specifically 12,000 from each tribe. But in verse 9, John saw an innumerable company. The comparison shows that one is a numbered company (144,000), the other unnumbered. Hence, the number of the 144,000 has to be literal, not symbolic.


HOW ARE THEY SEALED?

    V11.    Read: TM 445:2
   
EXPLANATION: Here we see that the sealing of the 144,000 is also to be found somewhere in the book of Ezekiel. The only such chapter where this prophet gives an account of a
sealing, is the NINTH. Therefore, John the Revelator and Ezekiel saw the
sealing of the 144,000.

    VIII.    Read: Ezekiel 9
EXPLANATION:
    A.     Six men or angels came from Heaven (higher gate towards the north). See Isa. 14:13; Ps. 48 1,2.
    Note: Angels are sometimes called men. (See Dan. 9:21; DA 99)
    B.     One was a marking angel.
    C.     God told the marking angel to seal or mark only those who sigh and cry for the evils
in Jerusalem--the     church.
    D.     God then commanded the other five angels to follow the marking angel and slay.
    E.     He also instructed them to begin the destruction with the church (sanctuary 1 Pet. 4:17) and with the ancient men (leaders).
    F.    God is not to have mercy because of the general attitude of the leaders and members. They are acting as if “the Lord will not do good or evil”-- not concerned.
    Note: There is no such thing as a spiritual slaughter. (See 5 T 211, 505; 1 MR 260)


      IX.     Read 3T 266,267
    
EXPLANATION:
    A.    That the true people of God are those who recognize sin in the church, stay aloof from it, but speak out against the sins.
    B.    Closing work for the church is the sealing of the 144,000.
    C.     This work of the sealing of the 144,000 is forcibly set forth by the prophet (Ezekiel) when in vision.He saw five men (angels) with slaughter weapons and the sixth with a writer’s inkhorn.
    D.    Only those who sigh and cry for the wrongs in the church receive the seal.
    E.    The servant of the Lord under Inspiration tells us to read Ezekiel Chapter Nine.
   
    An Objection:
It is often stated that the slaughter of Ezekiel nine transpires during the plagues or at the second coming of Christ, based upon this statement found in 3 T 267 “They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked. . .” This, however, could not be so,because:

1
.    The plagues are described very differently from the destruction in Ezekiel nine.
    a.     In the plagues the angels use vials, and pour out the wrath of God upon Babylon (the world).
    b.    In Ezekiel’s description, the angels use weapons to slay those in Jerusalem (the church).
2.    When we quote the sentence in full it would read as follows: “They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons.” This tells us that this “general destruction” is that which destroys the wicked in the church (Jerusalem)
not the world.--They are cut down by the five men (angels) not the vials of the seven angels in Revelation 16.

    X.     Read: 5 T 211
EXPLANATION:
    A.     Those who do not mourn over their own sins (sigh) or warn others (cry) will not receive the seal.
    B.     The church is the first to feel God’s wrath (literally).
    C.     The ancient men are the leaders.
    D.     The leaders have been unfaithful--betrayed their trust. They do not warn the members of the  coming doom.
    E    . They do not believe God will bring judgment on His people. They think
that God is too merciful.
    F.     Because they have failed as faithful leaders, they will never preach again.
    G.     They are likened to dumb dogs (ministers are symbolized in scripture by dogs) because they are supposed to warn the members of danger. See Isa. 56:10. We can conclude that the
144,000 are to be sealed and spared because they sighed and cried. This destruction or slaughter is literal and takes place within the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
NOTE:    Four is used in Revelation 7 to show that the mark of the beast and the hurting by the angels are worldwide (four points of the compass) but it begins in the church.

WHERE DOES THE COMPANY IN VERSE NINE COME FROM?

    XI.    Read: Rev 14:4
EXPLANATION:
    A.     The 144,000 are called the “First-fruits” -- evidently they are the first ones to be spiritually    harvested -- saved from among the living. Note, that one cannot have a first without a second, one necessitates the other. (For an example, see Rev 20:5 -- “The first resurrection” or Rev.20:14 -- “The second death”). So, the Great Multitude in verse 9 must be the second fruits brought in by the 144,000, the first fruits.

    XII -- ISA 66:15-20
EXPLANATION:
    A.    Verse 15 shows us that the Lord comes to bring judgment upon many.
    B.    This could not be the second coming of Christ, as verse 16 says that He “pleads”. There is no pleading at the second coming.
(See 2T 691)
    C.    Verse 19 clearly shows that some escape the judgment and are sent as missionaries to preach the gospel worldwide. (This again shows that this coming was not the Second Advent,
as no one will escape to preach the gospel).
    D.    Therefore, the judgment of verse 15 must be the same as this slaughter of Ezekiel 9, and those who escape must be the 144,000 who in turn go out to finish the gospel and gather in the Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9.

SUMMARY:
Thus we see that Rev. clearly forecasts that the church must be purified before the Mark of the Beast Decree, and that the Gospel will be completed during the time of the Sunday Laws. Now is the time of the Sunday Laws. Now is the time to sigh (reform our own lives) and cry (sound the message of reform for others).

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There are other ways to see the 144,000 than normally seen, when comparing Spirit of Prophecy statements. One way is that the 144,000 are all the redeemed (12 x 12 x 1000, 12 being the kingdom number), but when speaking of them in the Bible, the Spirit refers to those who are living and going through the time of trouble. This means every Christian can become one of the 144,000, the redeemed, the saved.
Dear Rob, Because I believe the number 144,000 is symbolic and represents those saved in the kingdom, it is not telling us whether it is a small or large number. As I said elsewhere, the 144,000 (all the saved in symbol) of Revelation 7 must be the great multitude (all the saved in reality), because both are said to enter the temple of God in the kingdom. Please consider that John heard the number and then saw the same people as a multitude. Add this to the thought of 12 representing the kingdom, as you agree it does. If the 144,000 represents all the redeemed, then striving to be one of this group is obviously for all, and not just for a select group, who many Adventists believe they could never be a part of. We either strive to enter the strait gate (and be one of the 144,000) or be lost. Blessings. Margaretha
just a small question to this.... how can John see the number of them that were sealed were 144,000, and then later in the same chapter he describes the great multitude as a number that NO MAN could number. 144,000 = countable...the great multitude = uncountable. Sounds like two distinct sets of people. I liken it to the 12 disciples at pentecost who then baptized 3000 in a day etc, except the Latter Rain will be in greater magnitude, thus the great multitude that will not be numbered.

God bless

Margaret you make a point there with a twist with john hearing the number and then seeing them as a multitude. I never saw it so before I would have to check it again.

The great multitude are those who are faithful from Adam to
the last person who will accept Christ.
Dear Desmond, Yes, I agree with you that the great multitude is all the saved from Adam to the last person to be saved, however, consider that they are represented by the symbolic number 144,000. Blessings. Margaretha
Here is Ellen G. White's basic statement on the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14:

Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were mingled with fire,--so resplendent is it with the glory of God,--are gathered the company that have "gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name." With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, "having the harps of God," they stand, the hundred and forty and four thousand that were redeemed from among men; and there is heard, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of a great thunder, "the voice of harpers harping with their harps." And they sing "a new song" before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb--a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song; for it is the song of their experience--an experience such as no other company have ever had. "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." These, having been translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as "the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb." Revelation 15:2, 3; 14:1-5. "These are they which came out of great tribulation;" they have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob's trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." "In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault" before God. "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured suffering, hunger, and thirst. But "they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Revelation 7:14-17. (The Great Controversy, pp. 648, 649)

No, they are not the saved from Adam to the end. In chapter 1 of Revelation John is prepared for the 'hearing" and then the "viewing" just as here in chapter 7. He first hears the number, but when he looks, there is a great multitude. This great multitude goes through the great tribulation, but Ellen White says that it will be the 144,000, thus indicating that for her, there are one and the same. Please google the complete analysis of the subject. Look for the study called "God's Mathematics; the 144,000 and the Great Multitude." The study compares the "two" groups and analyses the writings of Ellen White. You will see how they harmonize with the Bible.

Hi Mercy, As I studied Revelation 7, I began to see that the number (144,000) is what John heard, but then he saw the great multitude. So to me, he was then seeing the 144,000 as a great multitude. It says in Revelation 7:13.14 that the multitude is in white robes and that they came out of great tribulation. At first I thought they must have gone through the time of trouble, but Sr White speaks of all going through great tribulation. All must 'wash their robes' and be made 'white in the blood of the lamb'. To me the 144,000 is symbolic, representing the fullness of the redeemed -- those who enter the kingdom. If John was shown the multitude first, he would have no idea how many, but being told the number first, he would equate the multitude with the number he heard. In verse 15, it says the great multitude would 'serve him day and night in his temple', but in Early Writings p19, it says only the 144,000 are allowed to enter the temple. Either the great multitude is the 144,000, or there is a contradiction. I prefer the former answer. Blessings as you study. Margaretha

Margaret how come you saying the number is symbolic in one instance and in another you saying it literal??

(Strive to be in the 144 000) No not all Christian, but any Christian (Adventist)
The 144 000 is to do a special work, they are untouchable.
I thank the Lord for your decision to venture into this matter of the 144000. Many have claimed that only 144000 people shall go to heaven but Rev 7:9 tells us otherwise, a great multitude of nations, tribes, peoples and tongues is seen standing before the throne. Today I ask you this question: where else are people of various tribes found if not on the earth? Indeed, this should debunk the theory of only 144000 being saved from the earth. However, the 144000 are such a special group of people that we must learn about. This article covers pretty much everything on this issue. They are a group that comes out of the great tribulation just before the second coming and they are given a great commission that should wind up the preaching of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Thyre shall be a second pentecost, a latter rain of the Spirit that should finish up this work. God bless you as continue to study His word.

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