Who Are The 144,000?

21Jan2013

 

Let us look in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy (the inspired writings of Ellen G. White) to see who the 144,000 are:

 

There are only two places in the KJV Scripture in where the words “an hundred and forty and four thousand” or “an hundred forty and four thousand” are found. Revelation 7 and 14.

 

Revelation 7

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.

7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

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.

 

These verses begin by saying “And after these things”. After what things? Revelation 6 describes the events that happen in order as the first six seals of the sealed book held in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne were opened. After these events are presented, comes the presentation of the sealing of the 144,000. What is described as following the sealing in Revelation 7, is the opening of the 7th seal in Revelation 8. This would lead us to consider that it may be that the sealing of the 144,000 takes place in the context of events during the 6th and 7th seals. We know that the order of events shown us in the Bible does not prove that is the order chronologically that they will transpire in the future. But at least it is interesting that the sealing of the 144,000 is presented in the context of the events that happen when the book in the Hand of Him that sat on the throne was unsealed.

 

So the first thing we know from Scripture is that the 144,000 are sealed people. This sealing is described in the book of Ezekiel chapter 9:

 

9:1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man [with] his destroying weapon in his hand.

9:2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them [was] clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.

9:3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which [had] the writer's inkhorn by his side;

9:4 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.

9:5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

9:6 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.

9:7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.

 

What evidence is there that these two Scriptures are talking about the same event?

 

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 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." {3T 266.2}

 

From these verses we can see that the time of the sealing is just before the close of probation, while Jesus is in the Most Holy Place and before the falling of the plagues. That means that the 144,000 are the last generation of God's people to stand for Him in defense of the faith.

 

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. {3T 267.1}

 

Before going to Revelation 14, there is another group presented in Revelation 7 described as being so large a group that they cannot be numbered.

 

Revelation

7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

7:15 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.

7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

7:17 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.

 

“After this I beheld,” After what? After telling us that the 144,000 were sealed in their foreheads, another group, too large in number to number are described. The description of this group is recorded as follows:

1. They came out of great tribulation.

2. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

3. They are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in His temple.

4. He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

5. The Lamb shall feed them and dwell among them.

6. The Lamb will lead them to living fountains of water and wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Based on this description, could these two groups be made up of the same people? It may be appropriate to see what else we are told about the 144,000 in Revelation 14 before answering that question

 

Revelation

14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

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.

14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

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

 

So putting together who the 144,000 are from Revelation 7 and 14 we get a more complete description of the 144,000:

 

  1. They live in connection with the time in the world described in the seals of Revelation 6 and 8.

  2. They receive and mark in their foreheads described in Ezekiel 9 and the seal of God written in their foreheads described in Revelation 7 and 14.

  3. They sing a new song that no other man could learn Rev.14:3.

  4. They are described as virgins, not having been defiled with women Rev. 14:4.

  5. They are the group that follow the Lamb wherever He goes Rev. 14:4.

  6. They are redeemed from the earth, being the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb Rev. 14:4.

  7. They have no guile in their mouth and are faultless before the throne of God Rev. 14:5.

  8. They are described in the context of the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14:6-20.

 

Next let us look at what the Spirit of Prophecy has to say about the 144,000 and the “great multitude”.

 

While only 2 references in the KJV Bible on the 144,000 there are 93 “hits” in the EGW study CD.

 

Before listing these “hits” (leaving out the many duplicates), What is the importance of taking the time to look at this in that much depth?

 

  1. We are instructed to “Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the 144,000” 7BC970. That is a direct command given us by God. Will we do it? If we will, then reading what the Spirit of Prophecy has written on the subject will not be time lost.

  2. Believing something that is not true is never trivial or without detrimental fall out. So we cannot think that it does not matter if the 144,000 and the great multitude are the same group or not. What we believe does matter.

 

EW39.3 (AH543.2) ... 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."

 

CET58.1 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.

 

CET58.2 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.

 

CET59.1 Then Jesus' silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, "Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise." Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted "Alleluia!" as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.

 

(EW16,17, LS66,67) CET59.2 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.

 

CET63.2 Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies. And I saw the little ones climb, or, if they chose, use their little wings and fly to the top of the mountains, and pluck the never-fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place; the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate, and the fig-tree bowed down with the weight of its timely figs,--these made the place all over glorious. 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."

 

CET63.3 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.

 

EW36.2 I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus' work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob's trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God. Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters, "Thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting." I asked who this company were. The angel said, "These are they who have once kept the Sabbath and have given it up." I heard them cry with a loud voice, "We have believed in Thy coming, and taught it with energy." And while they were speaking, their eyes would fall upon their garments and see the writing, and then they would wail aloud. I saw that they had drunk of the deep waters, and fouled the residue with their feet--trodden the Sabbath underfoot-- and that was why they were weighed in the balance and found wanting.

 

FLB173.2-3 I hardly know what to say to you. [WORDS TO A HUSBAND AND CHILDREN ON THE LOSS OF A WIFE AND MOTHER.] The news of your wife's death was to me overwhelming. I could hardly believe it and can hardly believe it now. God gave me a view last Sabbath night which I will write. . . . {FLB 173.2}

I saw that she 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, and all that we could mourn for was our loss in being deprived of her company. I saw her death would result in good. (Mrs Hastings)

LDE268.4 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.--GC 648, 649 (1911).

 

EW14.1 While I was praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell upon me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me, "Look again, and look a little higher." At this I raised my eyes, and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the city, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the beginning of the path, which an angel told me was the midnight cry. This light shone all along the path and gave light for their feet so that they might not stumble. If they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the city, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and said the city was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising His glorious right arm, and from His arm came a light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted, "Alleluia!" Others rashly denied the light behind them and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out, leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and lost sight of the mark and of Jesus, and fell off the path down into the dark and wicked world below. Soon we [SEE APPENDIX.] 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.

 

3SM51.2 When There Was No Light: I have no light on the subject [as to just who would constitute the 144,000]. . . . Please tell my brethren that I have nothing presented before me regarding the circumstances concerning which they write, and I can set before them only that which has been presented to me.--Quoted in a letter by C. C. Crisler to E. E. Andross, Dec. 8, 1914. (In White Estate Document File, Number 164.) {3SM 51.2}

 

3SM424.2 One of the marked features in the representation of the 144,000 is that in their mouth there was found no guile. The Lord has said, "Blessed is the man . . . in whose spirit there is no guile." They profess to be children of God, and are represented as following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They are prefigured before us as standing on Mount Zion, girt for holy service, clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. But all who follow the Lamb in heaven will first have followed Him on earth, in trustful, loving, willing obedience, followed Him not fretfully and capriciously, but confidently, truthfully, as the flock follows the shepherd. . . .

 

7BC970.10 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).

 

7BC978.1 John saw a Lamb on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 having His Father's name written in their foreheads. They bore the signet of heaven. They reflected the image of God. They were full of the light and the glory of the Holy One. If we would have the image and superscription of God upon us, we must separate ourselves from all iniquity. We must forsake every evil way, and then we must trust our cases in the hands of Christ. While we are working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, God will work in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure (RH March 19, 1889). {7BC 978.1}

 

7BC978.4 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.

 

2SG97.2 Our first conference was at Volney in Bro. Arnold's barn. There were about thirty-five present, all that could be collected in that part of the State. There were hardly two agreed. Each was strenuous for his views, declaring that they were according to the Bible. All were anxious for an opportunity to advance their sentiments or to preach to us. They were told that we had not come so great a distance to hear them, but had come to teach them the truth. Bro. Arnold held that the 1000 years of Revelation 20 were in the past; and that the 144,000 were those raised at Christ's resurrection. And as we had the emblem of our dying Lord before us, and was about to commemorate his sufferings, Bro. A. arose and said he had no faith in what we were about to do; that the Sacrament was a continuation of the Passover, to be observed but once a year. {2SG 97.2}

These strange differences of opinion rolled a heavy weight upon me, especially as Bro. A. spoke of the 1000 years being in the past. I knew that he was in error, and great grief pressed my spirits; for it seemed to me that God was dishonored. I fainted under the burden. Brethren Bates, Chamberlain, Gurney, Edson, and my husband, prayed for me. Some feared I was dying. But the Lord heard the prayers of his servants, and I revived. The light of Heaven rested upon me. I was soon lost to earthly things. My accompanying angel presented before me some of the errors of those present, and also the truth in contrast with their errors. That these discordant views, which they claimed to be according to the Bible, were only according to their opinion of the Bible, and that their errors must be yielded, and they unite upon the third angel's message. Our meeting ended victoriously. Truth gained the victory. {2SG 98.1}

 

Broadside 1 April 6, 1846.8 About four months since I had a vision of events all in the future. I saw the time of trouble, such as never was. Jesus told me it was the time of Jacob's trouble, and that we should be delivered out of it by the voice of God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine, pestilence and sword--nation rose against nation, and the whole world was in confusion. Then we cried to God day and night for deliverance, until we began to hear the bells on Jesus' garment. And I saw Jesus rise up in the Holiest, and as he came out we heard the tinkling of the bells and knew that our High Priest was coming out. Then we heard the voice of God which shook the heavens and the earth, and gave the 144,000 the day and hour of Jesus coming. Then the saints were free, united, and full of the glory of God, for he has turned their captivity. And I saw a flaming cloud come where Jesus' stood. Then Jesus laid off his priestly garment and put on his Kingly robe, and took his place on the cloud which carried him to the East, where it first appeared to the saints on earth--a small black cloud which was the sign of the Son of Man. While the cloud was passing from the Holiest to the East, which took a number of days, the synagogue of Satan worshipped at the saint's feet.

Ellen G. Harmon.

 

14MR175.1-2 (Written to Brother Chapman from Petoskey, Michigan, June 11, 1891.)

I have received yours dated June 3. In this letter you speak in these words: "Elder Robinson does not wish me to leave, but urges that I enter the canvassing field until such time as the conference can afford to employ me in some other capacity, but states positively that I cannot be sent out to present the truth to others until some points held by me are changed or modified in order that the views regarded by us as a people should be properly set forth. He quotes as a sample, 'My idea in reference to the Holy Ghost's not being the Spirit of God, which is Christ, but the angel Gabriel, and my belief that the 144,000 will be Jews who will acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. On all fundamental points I am in perfect harmony with our people; but when I try to show what seems to me to be new light on the truth, those in authority, none of whom have seemingly ever made a personal investigation of the matter, refuse to look into the Bible, but brand me as a fellow with queer ideas of the Bible.'" {14MR 175.1}

My brother, you have asked me candidly for advice. Please read with attention John 17:17-27. I quote verses 20 to 23: [verses 20-23, quoted]. {14MR 175.2}

It is your privilege and your duty to seek for this oneness, this unity, and thus answer the prayer of Christ. This prayer is full of instruction and consolation. As our intercessor in heaven, Christ is ever working for the unity of His people. In order to be in harmony with heaven, we must seek to be one in faith and in practice. {14MR 175.3}

Our Lord especially prayed that His disciples might be united in the closest bonds of Christian fellowship and love; as one body, under one supreme Head. This will exist only in proportion to the degree of their illumination and sanctification. The more fully they receive the enlightenment of the living Spirit, the more nearly will they harmonize in their understanding of what is truth. The more closely they are united in judgment, the more confidence they have in one another. They are blessed with peace and harmony, believing and speaking the same things, "with one heart and one mouth glorifying God." Their love, their Christian unity, is an evidence to the world that God has sent Jesus to save sinners, and with convicting power it testifies that the Word of God is the safe rule of life. {14MR 176.1}

The differences that now exist among Christians did not exist in the days of Christ or His apostles. When the gospel was preached after the resurrection and ascension of Christ, union prevailed; the believers were all of one heart and one mind. For a short time there was a difference of understanding in regard to circumcision, as to whether admission to the church should be granted to the uncircumcised Gentiles; but this matter was soon settled, and through the divine illumination and sanctification of the Spirit the believers were perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. This was and always will be the fruit that is borne under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

 

1SAT72.3 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}

 

great multitude” quotations in Spirit of Prophecy:

 

Then, in the results of His work, Christ will behold its recompense. In that great multitude which no man could number, presented "faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" Jude 24, He whose blood has redeemed and whose life has taught us, "shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied." Isaiah 53:11. 628 {CCh 359.2}

 

Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the "great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, . . . before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." Revelation 7:9. Their warfare is ended, their victory won. They have run the race and reached the prize. The palm branch in their hands is a symbol of their triumph, the white robe an emblem of the spotless righteousness of Christ which now is theirs. {DD 54.3}

 

Satan's work of ruin is forever ended. For six thousand years he has wrought his will, filling the earth with woe and causing grief throughout the universe. The whole creation has groaned and travailed together in pain. Now God's creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations. "The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they [the righteous] break forth into singing." Isaiah 14:7. And a shout of praise and triumph ascends from the whole loyal universe. "The voice of a great multitude," "as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings," is heard, saying: "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Revelation 19:6. {DD 60.1}

 

"Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, good will toward men." {DA 47.5}

Oh that today the human family could recognize that song! The declaration then made, the note then struck, will swell to the close of time, and resound to the ends of the earth. When the Sun of Righteousness shall arise, with healing in His wings, that song will be re-echoed by the voice of a great multitude, as the voice of many waters, saying, "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Revelation 19:6. {DA 48.1}

 

The grain of wheat that preserves its own life can produce no fruit. It abides alone. Christ could, if He chose, save Himself from death. But should He do this, He must abide alone. He could bring no sons and daughters to God. Only by yielding up His life could He impart life to humanity. Only by falling into the ground to die could He become the seed of that vast harvest,--the great multitude that out of every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, are redeemed to God. {DA 623.4}

 

But He waves them back. Not yet; He cannot now receive the coronet of glory and the royal robe. He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. He points to the tokens of His triumph; He presents to God the wave sheaf, those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming. He approaches the Father, with whom there is joy over one sinner that repents; who rejoices over one with singing. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped Their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled. When upon the cross He cried out, "It is finished," He addressed the Father. The compact had been fully carried out. Now He declares: Father, it is finished. I have done Thy will, O My God. I have completed the work of redemption. If Thy justice is satisfied, "I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am." John 19:30; 17:24. {DA 834.2}

The voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. Satan is vanquished. Christ's toiling, struggling ones on earth are "accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:6. Before the heavenly angels and the representatives of unfallen worlds, they are declared justified. Where He is, there His church shall be. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10. The Father's arms encircle His Son, and the word is given, "Let all the angels of God worship Him." Hebrews 1:6. {DA 834.3}

With joy unutterable, rulers and principalities and powers acknowledge the supremacy of the Prince of life. The angel host prostrate themselves before Him, while the glad shout fills all the courts of heaven, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." Revelation 5:12. {DA 834.4}

Songs of triumph mingle with the music from angel harps, till heaven seems to overflow with joy and praise. Love has conquered. The lost is found. Heaven rings with voices in lofty strains proclaiming, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever." Revelation 5:13.

 

And a shout of praise and triumph ascends from the whole loyal universe. "The voice of a great multitude," "as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings," is heard, saying, "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Revelation 19:6. . . . {FLB 358.5}

 

The seer of Patmos, looking down through the ages to the time of this restoration of Israel in the earth made new, testified: {PK 720.4}

"I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. {PK 720.5}

 

Conclusions

 

  1. The 144,000 are those who live on the earth at and after the close of probation, who are marked and sealed by God in their foreheads and live in the sight of a Holy God without an intercessor. They prove to the universe that the indwelling Spirit of God can indeed keep us from falling and present us faultless before the throne of God at His second coming with the whole world against them. No other group has lived on earth without an intercessor.

  2. The great multitude of Revelation 7 are the resurrected saved of all past ages.

  3. Those positioned around the throne of God reflect the depth of gratitude by their nearness to the throne:

    a) Those who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion.

    b) Those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void – the 144,000.

    c) the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith.

    d) And beyond is the "great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.