PT: Document Selected Messages Book 3: Selected Messages, book 3, p. 388.1
Steps to Christ, p. 46.2 48.1
The One Hundred and Forty-four Thousand
“Christ says that there will be those in the church who will present fables and suppositions, when God has given grand, elevating, ennobling truths which should ever be kept in the treasure house of the mind. When men pick up this theory and that theory, when they are curious to know something it is not necessary for them to know, God is not leading them. It is not His plan that His people shall present something which they have to suppose, which is not taught in the Word. It is not His 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.”—Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 174.3
So we see that “this those” who are to form a part of the one hundred and forty-four thousand will know, therefore they are to be composed. How will they be composed?
“We are to copy no human being. There is no human being wise enough to be our criterion. We are to look to the man Christ Jesus, who is complete in the perfection of righteousness and holiness. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the pattern man. His experience is the measure of the experience that we are to gain. His character is our model. Let us, then, take our minds off the perplexities and the difficulties of this life, and fix them on Him, that by beholding we may be changed into His likeness. We may behold Christ to good purpose. We may safely look to Him; for He is all-wise. As we look to Him and think of Him, He will be formed within, the hope of glory.
“Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand (RH March 9, 1905).”—Bible Commentary 7A, p. 970.9,10
It is impossible to strive to achieve something we have no knowledge about therefore because this subject is very important to God and to His people and it is being presented to us at this time must be evident that the “know how” is finally available and we can intelligently fulfill our Lord’s request.
Revelation 7:1 4
When is this taking place?
For a fact we know that this is taking place in the latter days because we know that John wrote about 94AD, some time after the crucifixion of our Savior from the Island of Patmos and told us “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” Rev. 1:1.
So without a doubt we know that it is speaking for our time. But there is another reason we know this has not taken place.
Rev. 7:1—“ And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.”
Here we see that the angels from the Lord are doing their job. What is the meaning of the four corners.
North, South, East, West,
This is significant of a world wide event, universal in scope and effect.
What do Winds Symbolize in Scripture?
A common use of winds is for strife, nations fighting against nations. For example Dan. 7
Dan. 7:2,3—“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”
The Servant of our Lord in the book the Great Controversy, p. 440 Tells us:
“The great kingdoms that have ruled the world were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey, rising when “the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” Daniel 7:2. In Revelation 17 an angel explained that waters represent “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:15. Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.”
Can these winds in Revelation be the same?
Look closely: [»»»»»»»»»»»»»» They are being Held ««««««««««««««]
[»»»» They are the winds of Earth not from Heaven ««««]
[If allowed to blow they would interfere with the sealing]
What might these winds symbolize?
They are a symbol of a special kind of strife one that has not taken place thus the significance of them being held. Also they are from Earth not from Heaven.
Psalm 75:6,7—“ For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”
Dan. 2:21—“And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Jer. 17:7-10 Describes Gods ability to raise up and cast down kingdoms and so the rise and fall of nations that were to come upon the earth are a perfect symbol of the winds of Heaven. But the winds of Earth?
James 3:13-16 has the answer for us:
James 3:13-16—“ Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
This strife you see is designed with a special purpose in mind, to destroy if possible the church of God —particularly with the spiritually first born. As they are against the righteous in the church therefore they are being held for them. Once the servants of God are sealed these winds are released.
“The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast. We came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only the threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. That will be a decisive time for God's children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Now is our opportunity to work.”—Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 152.2
Who are sealed?
Rev 7:4—“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
Which Israel Ancient or Modern?
Must be Modern Israel because this prophecy is for the latter days. Also they are said “having his Father's name written in their foreheads.” (Rev. 14:1) Thus they must be Christians and not the hated Jews of today. Rev. 14:1-5 gives us their characteristics. They are seen following the Lamb withersoever He goeth.
They are called virgins because they profess “a pure faith.” COL, 406. The only such church on Earth that can claim these characteristic in the latter-days can only be the church that keep the commandments of God and have the Testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of Prophecy —the Seventh-Day Adventists church.
How many were Sealed?
“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.”—Early Writings, p. 15
Thus we see that it is a numbered company not figurative or symbolical.
How are they sealed?
They are sealed by the angel coming from the east having the seal of the living God.
Gods church see and keep the Sabbath yet this angel is coming to seal them. What has sealed Christians throughout time? Hasn’t it been the truth for their day? Eph. 4:30
Eph 4:30—“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445
“Those that overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God. Those whose hands are not clean, whose hearts are not pure, will not have the seal of the living God. Those who are planning sin and acting it will be passed by. Only those who, in their attitude before God, are filling the position of those who are repenting and confessing their sins in the great anti-typical day of atonement, will be recognized and marked as worthy of God's protection….This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision. John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation.”
How important is this subject? God showed it to at least 0three prophets:
Chap. 48 - The Bible Prophets Wrote for Our Time
“Never are we absent from the mind of God. God is our joy and our salvation. Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Cor. 10:11).”—Selected Messages, Book 3, p. 338.1
Ezekiel, John, Sis. White.
Where in the book of Ezekiel can we find the sealing of the servants of God? We consult the Spirit of Prophecy for guidance:
“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for [not of] the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”
“Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.”—Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266.2 267.1
Lets us read the Ninth Chapter of Ezekiel
We need not be surprised as to what is God about to do? Testimonies to Ministers says:
“There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 46.1
“The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not committed into the hands of any man.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 47.2
“I tell you the things which I have seen, and which are true, that by well-directed, persevering effort there might be many, very many, more souls brought to a knowledge of the truth. Oh, the end is near! Who is ready for Christ to rise from His throne to put on the garments of vengeance? Whose names are registered in the Lamb's book of life? The names of those only will be there who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Your erroneous ideas, your objectionable phases of character, must be given up, and you must be clothed with the garments of Christ's righteousness. Faith and love--how destitute are the churches of these!”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 149.1
At Jesus’ Second Coming He will be dressed not with garments of vengeance but rather with kingly attire. This cannot represent his Second Coming but a separate and distinct coming in time and in purpose. At this coming the wicked are removed and the righteous are left behind to do a work of saving souls. At the Second Coming the righteous are removed leaving the wicked behind in their graves during the millennium.
“If you have become estranged and have failed to be Bible Christians, be converted; for the character you bear in probationary time will be the character you will have at the coming of Christ. If you would be a saint in heaven, you must first be a saint on earth. The traits of character you cherish in life will not be changed by death or by the resurrection. You will come up from the grave with the same disposition you manifested in your home and in society. Jesus does not change the character at His coming. The work of transformation must be done now. Our daily lives are determining our destiny.”—Adventist Home, p. 16.2
“Jesus is about to leave the mercy seat of the heavenly sanctuary to put on garments of vengeance and pour out His wrath in judgments upon those who have not responded to the light God has given them. “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Instead of being softened by the patience and long forbearance that the Lord has exercised toward them, those who fear not God and love not the truth strengthen their hearts in their evil course. But there are limits even to the forbearance of God, and many are exceeding these boundaries. They have overrun the limits of grace, and therefore God must interfere and vindicate His own honor.”—Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 207.4
This means that there will be 144,000 that will respond to the light God has given for they are sealed and have God’s special protection like the blood on the door post in ancient Egypt.
“Oh, that the people might know the time of their visitation! There are many who have not yet heard the testing truth for this time. There are many with whom the Spirit of God is striving. The time of God's destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have had no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter.”—Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 97.2
While God’s destructive judgments go forth we see that probation has closed for some and not all. It has closed for those who are especially enlightened in the eternal gospel and open for those who are not.
“If these persons do not humble their hearts before God, if they harbor the suggestions of Satan, doubt and infidelity will take possession of the soul, and they will see everything in a false light. Let the seeds of doubt once be sown in their hearts and they will have an abundant harvest to reap. They will come to mistrust and disbelieve truths which are plain and full of beauty to others who have not educated themselves in unbelief. Those who train the mind to seize upon everything which they can use as a peg to hang a doubt upon, and suggest these thoughts to other minds, will always find occasion to doubt. They will question and criticize everything that arises in the unfolding of truth, criticize the work and position of others, criticize every branch of the work in which they have not themselves a part. They will feed upon the errors and mistakes and faults of others, “until,” said the angel, the Lord Jesus shall rise up from His mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary and shall clothe Himself with the garments of vengeance and surprise them at their unholy feast, and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Their taste has been so perverted that they would be inclined to criticize even the table of the Lord in His kingdom.”—Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 689.2
“The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.”
“Here we see that the church—the Lord's sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus “Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.
“The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed.”—Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211
“When God was about to smite the first-born of Egypt, He commanded the Israelites to gather their children from among the Egyptians into their own dwellings and strike their door posts with blood, that the destroying angel might see it and pass over their homes. It was the work of parents to gather in their children. This is your work, this is my work, and the work of every mother who believes the truth. The angel is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel will follow, to slay utterly both old and young.”—Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 505.2
“Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience. The time is short. God is calling; will you hear? Will you receive His message? Will you be converted before it is too late? Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity.”—Manuscript Releases, p. 260.2
Being that the subject matter is literal, a description of the destruction of the wicked in the Seventh-Day Adventist church, slain because they failed to receive the Mark of God’s seal even sighing and crying therefore one can only conclude if he is to be in harmony with the word of God that the seal of God found in Ezek. 9 verse 4 seals and saves 144,000 at the time of the slaughter or the purification of the church —the commencement of the cleansing of the Sanctuary for the living.
1 Peter 4:17,18—“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
Isaiah 66:15 20