WHO ARE THE 144,000 IN REVELATION?

144000

Revelation 14:3 – “And they (144,000) sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”

1. Who are the 144,000?

This group is so special because “they came out of the great tribulation” – (Rev 7:13-14). They did not worship the Beast and his Image nor receive the Mark of the Beast during the great tribulation period when Sunday law is enforced by America (Rev 13:11-17) till the second coming of Christ.

Mrs. Ellen G. White in reference to the 144,000 says, “These are they which came out of the great tribulation; they have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation…” The Great Controversy, p.649

They are the “righteous” sealed at the time when probation closes. And they will be “translated” amongst the living at the time when Christ returns.

2. Is the 144,000 a literal number of a symbolic number?

Not everything mentioned in Revelation is symbolic. The millennium in Revelation Chapter 20 (1,000 years) is literal. This special group, the 144,000 people, is a literal number. They are seen as standing in front of the throne of God in heaven singing the new song. Only the 144,000 out of those redeemed from the earth knew how to sing the new song – Rev 14:3. The rest of the saved which is “the great multitude” (Rev 7:9) do not know the new song. Those who will receive eternal life are more than 144,000; but the 144,000 is a special group.  She further says, “These, having been translated, from the earth, from among the living, are counted as the “first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. Rev 15:2,3; 14:1-5.” The Great Controversy, p.649.

She used the word “translated.” The 144,000 is the group that will be “translated” like Enoch and Elijah, when Christ returns. They will never see death. They are the righteous people of God that are ALIVE at the time when Christ returns.

3. The 144,000 Are Sealed at the Close of Probation amongst the LIVING

When probation closes, amongst those who are “living,” the righteous remain righteous, and the wicked remain wicked – Revelation22:11. The “righteous” that will be sealed amongst the living at the time when probation closes will be exactly 144,000 in number. God knows the future and He has foretold us of the number that will go through the time of Jacob’s trouble and be translated (taken alive) from amongst the “living” when Christ comes back the second time to take the righteous to heaven. God foretold of the number that will be saved from Sodom and Gomorrah to Abraham – Genesis 18:26-33. God could have told Noah that only eight people will be saved in the ARK before he preached for 120 years because He knows the future. On the night of the Passover, Jesus Christ foretold about Judas’ plan to sell Him – John 13. God knows the future – Isaiah 46:9-10.

4. Why the 144,000 are sealed as God’s Children at the Close of Probation?

The group 144,000 people will be sealed by God amongst the living when probation is closed because of their Christ-like character. They love God and by faith, keep His Commandments – Rev 12:17; 14:12; 22:14. They do not have the Mark of the Beast.

Mrs. White says,

“The seal of God will be placed on those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character.” The SDA Bible Commentary, vol.7, p.970.

“Everyone who by faith obeys God’s commandments, will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression.”   Maranatha, August 4, p.224  (Signs of the Times, July 23, 1902)

“Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin…” The Great Controversy, p.425.

“Exact obedience is required and those who say that it is not possible to live a perfect life throw upon God the imputation of injustice and untruth” MANUSCRIPT 148, 1899

“He who is not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that he can keep him from sinning has not the faith that will give him entrance to the kingdom of God” Review and Herald, March 10, 1904

“He (Jesus) had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.” The Great Controversy, p.623

“Everyone who by faith obeys God’s commandments, will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived beforehis transgression.”    Maranatha, August 4, p.224  (Signs of the Times, July 23, 1902)

The 144,000 are the remnant of God during the great tribulation period from the close of probation to the second coming of Christ because of their Christ-like character. The Christ-like character is the character of God’s children who lived beginning from Adam to the time of Christ’s return. Adam, Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Elijah, Daniel, Joseph, and many others lived a Christ-like character in their new life in Christ. All those who lived a Christ-like character will be either resurrected in the first resurrection or become part of the 144,000 to be translated if they are still alive at Christ’s coming.

5. What about those who do not receive the Mark of the Beast; those who lived a Christ-like character when Sunday law was enforced but died as a martyr before the close of Probation? … Will they not be part of the 144,000?

The great tribulation will begin when Sunday law becomes enforced by America, and it stretches pass the close of probation time till the second coming of Christ. Many of God’s faithful people will become martyrs when Sunday law is enforced before the close of probation; and should they die in the LORD before probation closes, these faithful ones who do not receive the Mark of the Beast will be resurrected from the grave when Christ returns – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Anyone who died in Christbefore the close of probation will not make up the group 144,000, though they will receive eternal life. These martyrs will become part of the great multitude in heaven – Rev 7:9.

6. Will any of the 144,000 people die during the time of Jacob’s trouble which is between the close of probation and the second coming of Jesus Christ?

No!  Those who are sealed by God amongst the “living” at the time when probation closes, they will make up the number 144,000.  This group (144,000) will never experience the first death during the time of Jacob’s trouble even though they may suffer and become persecuted severely. Many will face the death penalty but they will not die. After probation is closed, God will not allow anyone from the 144,000 to die because the death of the righteous at this time will not bring about a witness to the wicked to cause him or her to repent and be saved.  Mrs. White comments, “If the blood of Christ’s faithful witnesses were shed at this time, it would not, like the blood of the martyrs, be as seed sown to yield a harvest for God. Their fidelity would not be a testimony to convince others of the truth; for the obdurate heart has beaten back the waves of mercy until they return no more. If the righteous were now left to fall a prey to their enemies, it would be a triumph for the prince of darkness.” Great Controversy, p.634

The 144,000 will be preserved by God throughout “the time of Jacob’s trouble” and be taken alive at Jesus Christ’s second coming.

7. Will the 144,000 people suffer for lack of Food during the time of Jacob’s trouble?

No! God will provide for their needs. Remember none of them will die. Mrs. White says, “Bread and water is all that is promised to the remnant in the time of trouble.” The Story of Redemption, p.129

She further says, “The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish.… While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants.”   The Great Controversy, p.628

8. Will God reveal the day and hour of Jesus Christ’s coming to the 144,000?

Yes! Since probation is already closed, God in His mercy to the righteous, He will reveal it to them. Listen to what Mrs. White says, “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.” {Early Writings p.14.1}

Conclusion:

Since the sealing of God’s people is based on Christ-like character and not on any other reason, therefore, the rest of the billions of people on earth at that time when probation is closed will not be sealed because of their ungodly character. They have the Mark of the Beast.  God is gracious but His grace has to come to an end to destroy the wicked because they rejected His offer of salvation. As it was in the time of Noah, so shall it be with those who live at the end.

We should strive to live a Christ-like character every day, so should we die before the close of probation, it does not matter because we can be still found in God’s kingdom though me may not be alive to make up the special group 144,000 in number. The 144,000 are not the only ones to receive eternal life. Those who will be resurrected at the first resurrection when Christ returns will make up the great multitude in heaven – Rev 7:9. Amen!

The characteristics of the 144,000

 

A. no guile

Christ: 1 Peter  2:21-22 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

144,000:  Revelation 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. 

 

B. Obedient

Revelation 14:4 These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

John  10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

 

C. not connected to any apostate church

Revelation  14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. 

D. they came out of the great tribulation

“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; .– {LDE 268.4}

E. They have stood without intercessor

they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God’s judgments.– {LDE 268.4}

F. They have stood for the Word, received opposition

Why were they [the 144,000] so specially singled out? Because they had to stand with a wonderful truth right before the whole world, and receive their opposition, and while receiving this opposition they were to remember that they were sons and daughters of God, that they must have Christ formed within them the hope of glory. They were ever keeping in view the great and blessed hope that is before them. What is it? It is an eternal weight of glory. Nothing could surpass it.  {1SAT 72.3} 

Privilege of the 144,000:

1.     they will know the hour of Jesus’ coming

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. {CET 58.1}  

2.     to visit other worlds

“You must go back, and if you are faithful, you, with the 144,000, shall have the privilege of visiting all the worlds and viewing the handiwork of God.”  AH 543.2

3.     no human weapons can hurt them

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. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet, and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet. {CET 58.2}     

4.     they can enter into the temple of God

And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, “Only the 144,000 enter this place,” and we shouted, “Alleluia.” {CET 63.2}

5.     their names are engraved in the table of stones in the temple

I saw there tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold. {CET 63.3}

6.     they sing a special song                                                                       

Revelation 14:3    And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

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