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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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"And let everybody say, AMEN!'


Therefore let us all strive to be in the 144 000;

and if for some reason a particular sin as

cause any to be disqualified from proclaiming

the Love of Jesus, and the true of the Sabbath,

that Jesus will mark such person grave, that he/she

will come up in the Special Resurrection to

see Jesus coming.
I will have to disagree with your reasoning that the 144,000 is literal... If this number is literal, then it means it could only be Jews (Literal) who will form the 144,000. We must be careful on how we jump to conclusions without making a step by step study concerning the 144,000... the number is symbolic relating to God's people who will pass through the time of trouble and will not see death. The 144,000 is a three dimensional number symbolizing God's people who will be Physically, mentally and Spiritually complete in the Lord... who will stand before the Lord perfect.

Again, if we say the number is literal, then it can only be the literal Jews... this we know is clearly not the case. God bless us as we keep in mind that God is a Spirit... we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The beginning of Revelation gives us the key on how to read the book... it was given in signs and symbols... Like Jesus spoke in parables, the book of Revelation is of spiritual meaning and the signs and symbols are for us to search and understand the truth of it through the holy spirit, understanding the spiritual meaning... we are spiritual Israel.
God bless
_________________


Amen Kevin H. Well said.

This is what I have believed for many years now.

How refreshing to see eye to eye. :)

sky
Early Writings page 17-18

"We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. 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. Angels were all about us as we marched over the sea of glass to the gate of the city. Jesus raised His mighty, glorious arm, laid hold of the pearly gate, swung it back on its glittering hinges, and said to us, "You have washed your robes in My blood, stood stiffly for My truth, enter in." We all marched in and felt that we had a perfect right in the city."

Sis.white saw in her vision the 144,000 standing in perfect square means not less than or more than the 144,000. So , they are literal count of the saints for there is no symbolical number in the Bible pertaining to the number of group of people. It is always literal.
Dear JHonalyn,

The text you quote does not say that it is literal or symbolic.
It is up to you to find out or guess.
When ever EGW quotes from the Bible she has a very good basic understanding of what is literal and what is symbolic.
My advice to you is to understand what the Bible says first before quoting EGW on the subject.
EGW says in Ms 26, 1901, "It is not His (God´s) will that they shall get into controversy over questions which will not help them spiritually, such as, Who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand. This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question."

"Then let no man attempt to number Israel to-day." PK, Page 188, 189.
Dear JHonalyn,
If you like using EGW texts there are an abundant of them on the subject. With the multitude on the sea of glass. Try this PP page 289.
The prophet of Patmos beholds the white robed multitude that have "gotten victory," standing on the sea of glass mingled with fire, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. Rev. 15:2,3.
Now who are the white robed multitude?
The answer is in Rev. 7:9,13.
In other words they are the people of God who were delivered from the great tribulation. They are the 144,000 symbolically. The whole chapter of Rev. 7 is talking about the 144,000. Rev. 15:1-4 is talking about the 144,000 also. We should not worry about who the 144,000 are. We should make sure trhat we are washed in in the Lambs blood daily and He will lead us through the great tribulation to come.
i am really blessed upon reading al your discussions here. i pray that every responsible member of the church will work hand in hand to spread this alarming yet blissful message especially to our church! i'm inspired to know that we have meet at the same views. honestly speaking, i have known many SDA's (ministers) who have a different view about this issue. sad but true. they are the ones who should be at first united when it comes to sensitive issues like this. it is indeed a serious revelation to us Adventists. We need to pray for each other and continue to search the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy diligently.

God will lead us to the truth.


Faith on fire,
KarL- Medical Missionary
Dear Karl, If you really want to know the truth, you must study the subject well and not get off onto sidetracks, which unfortunately happens when there are many to a discussion. I have studied the 144,000 for many years and from the information all together, I believe it is a symbolic number of all the saved. This means we can all be a part or the 144,000. Praise God you are a medical missionary, helping the people through the right arm of the message. God bless you. Margaretha
I can see we have a basic problem here of interpretation.
The Bible says one thing about the 144,000 and Ellen G. White my favourite author says another thing.
Who is right?
I will ask you all. E.G. White wrote, we should not buy a bike or bicycle.
How many of you out there have broken that advice?
Even better, she writes many times in the book Counsels and Diet: it is not recommended to eat sugar.
Does that mean we have to throw my bike on the rubbish heap?
Does that mean I can not have any sweets and cake anymore?
There goes my next birthday party. Why do I not keep my mouth shut?
She wrote it just like she commented on the 144,000 in number.
Now what shall we do with the 144,000 in number?
How shall we interpret this passage?
What do the strong willed Bible students out there have to say on this passage?
Come now do not be shy, give us you opinion.
Dear Keven,
Thank you for your opinion and clarification that we should read all things in context.
Let us look at Rev. 7:1-4.
Verse 1. I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. Is four corners to be taken literally or symbolic. The earth is round and does not have four corners like they thought in the Middle Ages. Therefor this is a symbolic statement in its context. The angels prevent the wind from blowing on the earth, sea and trees. Is this literal or symbolic?
If we take this literally then no one has felt the wind for many years. But we have felt the wind. Therefor it is symbolic language. The earth, sea and trees are also symbolic language.
Now if the chapter begins with symbolic language then this is forming the context for what comes after and that is verse 5-8 speaking about the 144,000. This is reasonable and clear is it not?
As for the sugar in E.G. White writings. What is your context?
Dear Kelvin,
You are using speculative context.
People use this to avoid giving the correct meaning.
Collins dictionary explains the word context.
Words before and after a word or a passage that contribute to the meaning.
This is the method one uses in Rev. 7: and sugar quotations in E.G.White writings.
Tony,

If I tell you therefore the exact number of a thing can you refer it to another number? for example I will say 12 dogs.. is that mean symbolical for you? The lord numbered the 144000.. that number is literal indeed..regarding the winds, four corners, trees and sea in rev.7:1-4 are the only symbolical.. the angels there are literal, and the earth.. what are you trying to say is all is symbolical,didn't you?
Dear Roberto,
When God gave us the Bible. He gave it to us so we can study it and not take a guess over every passage that we do not understand. When we study the Bible we recieve a blessing. When we take a guess of what is written then we may become confused.
Much of the book of Revelation is written in symbolic language combined with narrative.
It is up to us to find out what is symbolic and what is narrative.
That is why the Bible is a very interesting study book unto eternity.

But let us not miss the spiritual side to our study in the book of Revelation.
That is where does God and Jesus Christ enter the text and into my heart and renew it.

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