The 144,000 Identity

Disclaimer from EGW

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 . <Tell them this question Christ would have told us if it were essential for our soul’s salvation to know.> This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question. {Ms26-1901}

 

Persons, in writing or speaking to me, often ask me questions that I have not liberty to answer. One says, “I want you to tell me, Sister White, Who are the one hundred and forty-four  thousand , that are spoken of in Revelation? I answer, “You have the Word; have you found out? If the Lord wanted you to know, He would have put it in His Word, and you would not need to ask me. When we get to heaven, then we shall learn exactly who compose the hundred and forty-four  thousand . Let us take that which the Lord has given us; it is sufficient to tax our mind to its utmost capacity, and if we will study the Scriptures prayerfully, the Holy Spirit will make the correct application to our hearts.” {Ms179-1907}

 

EGW View

I saw that she [Mrs. Hastings] was sealed and would come up at the voice of God and stand upon the earth, and would be with the 144,000. I saw we need not mourn for her; she would rest in the time of trouble. –2SM 263 (1850).

 

There are living upon our earth men who have passed the age of fourscore and ten. The natural results of old age are seen in their feebleness. But they believe God, and God loves them. The seal of God is upon them, and they will be among the number of whom the Lord has said, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”–7BC 982 (1899).

 

Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. 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.” Around his head was a dazzling white wreath, and leaves on the wreath, and in the middle of each leaf was written “Purity,” and around the wreath were stones of various colors, that shone brighter than the stars, and cast a reflection upon the letters and magnified them. On the back part of his head was a bow that confined the wreath, and upon the bow was written “Holiness.” Above the wreath was a lovely crown that shone brighter than the sun. I asked him if this was the place he was taken to from the earth. He said, “It is not; the city is my home, and I have come to visit this place.” He moved about the place as if perfectly at home. I begged of my attending angel to let me remain in that place. I could not bear the thought of coming back to this dark world again. Then the angel said, “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.” {EW 39.3}

 

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.” {EW 18.2}

 

This temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls most glorious. The wonderful things I there saw I cannot describe. Oh, that I could talk in the language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the better world. I saw there tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold. After we beheld the glory of the temple, we went out, and Jesus left us and went to the city. Soon we heard His lovely voice again, saying, “Come, My people, you have come out of great tribulation, and done My will; suffered for Me; come in to supper, for I will gird Myself, and serve you.” We shouted, “Alleluia! glory!” and entered into the city. And I saw a table of pure silver; it was many miles in length, yet our eyes could extend over it. I saw the fruit of the tree of life, the manna, almonds, figs, pomegranates, grapes, and many other kinds of fruit. I asked Jesus to let me eat of the fruit. He said, “Not now. Those who eat of the fruit of this land go back to earth no more. But in a little while, if faithful, you shall both eat of the fruit of the tree of life and drink of the water of the fountain.” And He said, “You must go back to the earth again and relate to others what I have revealed to you.” Then an angel bore me gently down to this dark world. Sometimes I think I can stay here no longer; all things of earth look so dreary. I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land. Oh, that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away and be at rest! {EW 19.1}

 

Pioneer Belief

 Revelation 7 by SN Haskell

“Once more the prophet John was shown the end of the sixth seal. The creatures of God’s love were gathered from all ages. An innumerable company of the redeemed were seen standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed with the robes of Christ’s righteousness; but throughout eternity, they will remember that both robes and palms are the result of the sacrifice of the Son of God. With one voice the song rings through heaven, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” The redeemed host sing the song of their experience; and the angels who are acquainted with each individual, the four and twenty elders, and the four beasts who have had a similar experience, respond to the mighty chorus.”

 

Take notice in the shift of scene

“*Then*, as if again to call attention to the little company who have suffered most, one elder, pointing to the one hundred and forty-four thousand , said, “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?” He answers his own question, saying, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white Margin in the blood of the Lamb.” The Saviour Himself was made perfect through suffering, and, as a man, gained the place on the throne beside the Father; because He overcame. The life of the one hundred and forty-four thousand is pictured in the experiences of the apostles who lived nearest to the Saviour when He was upon earth. Because they have lived as He lived, and passed through the trials which He endured, and Satan has been forced to acknowledge that he found none of his own nature in them, “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 SSP 139.1 – SSP 139.2”

 

We can think together this

  1. John hears the number

 

  1. He sees the multitude which he can identify and precisely say where they come from

 

  1. The elder asks a question about those arrayed in white robes. John says he doesn’t know. If these are the great multitude, how can John say he does not know when he has said he knows previously! Seemingly, scenes shift to the special group he heard the number and had not seen.

 

The questions proposed by one of the elders to John, “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?” taken in connection with John’s answer, “Sir, thou knowest,” implying that John did not know, would seem to be devoid of all point, if they had reference to the whole of the great multitude now before him. For John did know who they were, and from whence they came; inasmuch as he had just said that they were people — redeemed of course — out of all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues; and John could have answered, These are the redeemed ones from all the nations of the earth. But if a special company in this vast throng were referred to, distinguished by some special mark or position, then it might not be so evident who they were, and what had given them their peculiarity; and the questions, as applied to them, would be appropriate and pertinent. We therefore incline to the view that attention is called to a special company by the questions which were proposed by one of the elders; and no company is brought to view to which special allusion would more naturally be made than to the company spoken of in the first part of the chapter; namely, the 144,000. John had indeed seen this company in their mortal state, as they were receiving the seal of the living God amid the troublous scenes of the last days; but as they here stand among the redeemed throng, the transition is so great, and the condition in which they now appear so different, that he does not recognize them as the special company which he saw sealed upon the earth. And to this company, the specifications that follow seem to be specially applicable. DAR 449.1 – DAR 449.2

 

They Came out of Great Tribulation. — While it is true in some degree of all Christians that they must “through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God,” it is true in a very emphatic sense of the 144,000. They pass through the great time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Daniel 12:1. They experience the mental anguish of the time of Jacob’s trouble. Jeremiah 30:4-7. They stand without a mediator through the terrific scenes of the seven last plagues, those exhibitions of God’s unmingled wrath in the earth. Revelation, chapters 15, 16. They pass through the severest time of trouble the world has ever known, although they are delivered out of it.

 

White Robes. — They wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. To the last generation the testimony is very emphatic on the subject of obtaining the white raiment. Revelation 3:5, 18. And though the 144,000 are accused of rejecting Christ, and trusting to their own works for salvation, because they refuse to violate the commandments of God (Revelation 14:1, 12), in the great day that calumny will be wiped off. It will be seen that they have rested their hope of life on the merits of the shed blood of their divine Redeemer, making him their source of righteousness. There is peculiar force in saying of these that they have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. DAR 450.1 – DAR 450.2

 

They Shall Hunger No More. — In verse 16 it is said, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more.” This shows that they have once suffered hunger and thirst. To what can this refer? As it doubtless has reference to some special experience, may it not refer to their trials in the time of trouble, more especially during the last plagues? In this time the righteous will be reduced to bread and water; and though that “will be sure” (Isaiah 33:16), enough for sustenance, yet may it not be that when the pastures, with all fruits and vegetation, are dried up (Joel 1:18-20), and the rivers and fountains are turned to blood (Revelation 16:4-9), to reduce their connection with earth and earthly things to the lowest limit, the saints who pass through that time will be brought occasionally to the extreme degrees of hunger and thirst? But the kingdom once gained, “they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more.” And the prophet continues, in reference to this company, “Neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.” We remember that the 144,000 live through the time when power is given unto the sun “to scorch men with fire.” Revelation 16:8, 9. And though they are shielded from the deadly effect which it has upon the wicked around them, we cannot suppose that their sensibilities will be so deadened that they will feel no unpleasant sensations from the terrific heat. No; as they enter the fields of the heavenly Canaan, they will be prepared to appreciate the divine assurance that the sun shall not light upon or injure them, nor any heat.

 

And the Lamb Shall Lead Them. — Another testimony concerning the same company, and applying at the same time, says, “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” Revelation 14:4. Both expressions denote the state of intimate and divine companionship to which the blessed Redeemer admits them in reference to himself. The psalmist, in the following beautiful passage, seems to allude to the same promise: “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” Psalms 36:8. The phraseology of this promise to the 144,000 is also partially found in the following glowing prophecy from the pen of Isaiah: “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall be taken away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 25:8. DAR 450.4 – DAR 451.2

 

I don’t engage in 144,000 discussion unless it has to do with their character but I just thought maybe you should re-visit.

 

God bless you

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