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Strive to be among 144000
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Copyright © 2017 Jonathan Mukwiri 
 
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he description of the hundred and forty-four thousand appear in two places in Scripture; in Revelation 7 and 14. To this group of people, we are counselled: “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 Par 5}. You cannot with impunity neglect the counsel to strive with all the power that God has mercifully given you to be among 144,000 and still hope to enjoy eternity!

 

Winds held back until the sealing

John “saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth” (Revelation 7:1) until the hundred and forty-four thousand are sealed. To those four angels “holding the four winds,” the “angel ascending from the east” said, “Hurt not the earth” until “we have sealed the servants of our God” (Revelation 7:2-3).

The holding back of the four winds signify a probationary time in which the servants of God should be sealed in their foreheads. Winds, in the Bible, symbolise political commotion, strife, and war (see Daniel 7:2; Jeremiah 25:32-33). This political commotion is marked by that time of trouble when the authorities in the United States and in other countries will rise up in their pride and power and make laws to restrict religious liberty. As of yet the four winds are held until the servants of God shall be sealed in their foreheads. How carefully we should improve the little remaining period of our probation!

A time is coming when the law of God is to be made void in the world. A universal Sunday law will be enforced against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath. By a universal Sunday decree, “no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:17). The passing of a universal Sunday law marks the beginning of the time Daniel saw as a “time of trouble such as never was” (Daniel 12:1). The blowing of the four winds is symbolic of a time of trouble caused by a universal Sunday law.

Early 1888, Senator HW Blair, of New Hampshire, unsuccessfully introduced a Sunday Law Bill into the United States Congress to enforce Sunday worship; that failed Sunday law “was only the threatening of the blowing of the four winds” (5 Testimonies, 152).

Sunday Law confederacies have since then been formed, they will soon cause a unity of state and religion, leading to a violation of freedom of religious conscience, and to a demand of a universal decree for Sunday worship as a solution to world peace. Although these confederacies are mustering their forces for a universal Sunday decree that will cause persecution of God’s Sabbath-keeping people, the command to the angels is still in force, that they hold the four winds of strife until “the servants of our God” are sealed “in their foreheads” (Revelation 7:3).

Sealing the servants of God

The sealing implies protection and salvation. The winds are restrained till the sealing is accomplished such that when it takes effect, no further work of the gospel can be accomplished; hence with the sealing of the 144,000 completed, probation ends; the winds of destruction will sweep the world to desolation. “In a little while every one who is a child of God will have His seal placed upon him. O that it may be placed upon our foreheads!” {RH May 28, 1889}.

“Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads, – it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved, – just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already” (1 Manuscript Release, p. 249).

The sealing work refers only to the 144,000 as the only ones who receive the seal of the living God. Whoever then is sealed belongs to the 144,000. The sealing of the 144,000 in Revelation 7, being sealed as in “settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually,” must be understood in the context of the sealing message in Revelation 14. The message centres on worshiping one true God and keeping His Sabbath. Whoever settles into that message, “both intellectually and spiritually,” is sealed. The sealing started after 1844 when the third angel’s message was first proclaimed, all who die sealed since then till probation ends are part of 144,000 and are specially raised to mortal life shortly before Christ appears and changed to immortality when Christ appears.

Mark this carefully: “Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master’s will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works” {5T 213.2}. “Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement” {5T 214.2}.

Father’s name in their foreheads

There will be two groups of people living at the first appearance of Christ before the great multitude that died in Christ is raised. The first is the hundred forty-four thousand (including specially resurrected saints: Daniel 12:2), and the second is the living wicked (including the specially resurrected wicked: Revelation 1:7). The difference is what is written in the foreheads of the 144,000 and what is written on the forehead of the wicked represented by the harlot that rides the beast. The 144,000 have the “Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1). The wicked, represented by the harlot woman: “upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:5). For any worshipper, that which is placed at the centre of their thinking is who that they worship and serve. Corporately, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, from among whom the 144,000 are numbered, worships a “triune God.” Why do the 144,000 have the name of the Lamb’s Father written into their foreheads? Why is it not the trinity written into their foreheads? The 144,000 are sealed by who they worship; their God is not a trinity or a mystery.

The woman who rides the beast has her mind filled with a mystery and with Babylon or confusion. The trinity god she serves is a mystery. In contrast to the God who is known through the creation, the harlot’s god is a confusing mystery. Whenever we stray from the worship of the true God, the mind is filled with a mystery, a false system of worship that is an abomination to God. A failure to recognise the true God breaks our connection to the source of life and it prevents the latter rain from occurring.

No latter rain and no sealing for those who refuse to repent worshiping trinity gods. The procedure by which we receive the Spirit of God is illustrated as: “Those who were bowed before the throne would offer up their prayers and look to Jesus; then He would look to His Father, and appear to be pleading with Him. A light would come from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the praying company. Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from the Father to the Son, and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne” {EW 54.2}. The light came to God’s people from the Father to the Son to the believers. If we do not truly believe that God is the Father and He has a Son, but rather believe in a trinity, then if He poured out His power to such professed Adventists, God would confirm their belief in a false god. This will never happen! The latter rain can only come when we know the only true God and His Son (John 17:3). The mystery of the trinity is a false god that causes God’s people to be charged with having “a whore’s forehead” (Jeremiah 3:3).

There was a time in the history of our Seventh-day Adventist Church when we worshipped the true God. After the death of the prophetess Ellen G White (1827-1915) and of the Adventist pioneers, a generation of new Adventist theologians fulfilled the prophecy that: “The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed” {1SM 204.2}. They caused our church to adopt the trinity. Some acknowledge that Adventist pioneers rejected the trinity: “Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination’s Fundamental Beliefs. More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the trinity” (George Raymond Knight, Ministry, October 1993, p. 10 – emeritus professor of church history at Andrews University).

God in His mercy allowed Adventist pioneers who were sealed and hence part of 144,000 to sleep for a time in their graves while He deals with His “feeble and defective” {ULe 7.6} church to complete the number that will have His name in their foreheads. Very few Adventists are rediscovering truth held by our pioneers, and are being sealed: “settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved” {FLB 287.7}. Counting from “all who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message [who] come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace” {GC 637.1}, when the 144,000 number is complete, the voice of God (Revelation 16:17) will shake the earth and open the graves for the saints to come out in a special resurrection (Daniel 12:2) to join the living saints at the seventh vial. Thus John saw 144,000 having the Father’s name in their foreheads (Revelation 14:1).

They are a literal number

Many Seventh-day Adventists think the number is symbolic because 144,000 is too small a fraction of the over 19 million membership of our church. The 144,000 fit well the title of a “little flock” (Luke 12:32). They are a people who have been subject to a very rigid test. The prophet Daniel speaks of them: “Many shall be purified, and made white and tried” (Daniel 12:10). The Lord says, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). In Testimonies to the Church, Ellen White says, “Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy, will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat” {5T 81.1}; “Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal” {5T 136.1}; “Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed” {5T 213.2}. At Sunday law, many will fall, for “a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, [will] abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition” (The Great Controversy, p. 608).

This number, 144,000, that John saw, depicts real value. The Bible explains symbolism. For example, when the Bible refers to a “man” symbolising an “angel,” the Bible explains: “And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel” (Revelation 21:17). When something is real, not symbolic, we take it to mean exactly, literally. The number John describes of those who are sealed is literal and not symbolic. An example of use of symbolism is in Revelation 17, where there is ‘the great whore that sitteth upon many’ “waters” (verse 1) and this whore is “the woman” ‘arrayed in purple and scarlet colour’ (verse 4) who is called “Babylon the great” (verse 5); and the angel explains that the “waters” are symbolic of “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (verse 15) and the “woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (verse 18).

As to numbers having real value, an example is in Revelation 21, where John was shown the holy city, with its literal “twelve gates” (verse 12) divided into three gates on each of the four sides: “On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates” (verse 13).

The hundred and forty-four thousand must mean a literal number, composed of just the 144,000 individuals. It cannot stand for a larger symbolic but indefinite number, for in Revelation 7:9 another company is introduced which is indefinite in its proportions, and hence is spoken of as “a great multitude, which no man could number.” If the 144,000 were designed to represent a symbolic and an indefinite number, then John would have said, in verse 4, ‘And there were sealed a great multitude, which no man could number, out of all the tribes of the children of Israel.’ But instead of this, he says, the 144,000, twelve thousand from each tribe, a number, which number can be easily enumerated.

The reason for this distinction is apparent if we take the innumerable multitude of verse 9 to be the whole host of the redeemed, who will have part in the first resurrection (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and the 144,000 to be those who will be alive on the earth when Christ first appears. And that the 144,000 are the ones who will be thus alive, and meet Christ at His second coming, appears from the prophecy where they are next mentioned, that is, Revelation 14:1-5. Here the 144,000 are represented as coming triumphant out of the last religious conflict in this world (Revelation 13:12-18) and as being “redeemed from the earth,” and “redeemed from among men” (Revelation 14:3-4).

Numbered from the remnant church

The hundred and forty-four thousand are said to be from “all the tribes of the children of Israel” (Revelation 7:4). However, this could not be ancient Israel, seeing that we are dealing with the time just prior to the mark of the beast – the universal Sunday decree – to be enforced in our time. Moreover, in the context of the New Testament, Israel is symbolic of true Christians; the Bible explains this symbolism.

Speaking of true Israel, Paul writes: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit” (Romans 2:28,29). “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).

In the general language of the Bible, Israel refers to a special people of God. God told the ancient Israelites, “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Peter later applies that description to the church: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9). Hence James, addressing Christians at the time, when “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” – time to which Rev. 7:1-8 applies – greets them as “the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greetings” (James 5:8; 1:1).

The church of God is symbolised by “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1). The remnant church is a "remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17) – the last generation of Christians who keep the law of God including the Seventh-day Sabbath.

To the Seventh-day Adventists, it was said, in 1893, that, “we need to be enlightened in regard to the plan of salvation. There is not one in one hundred who understands for himself the Bible truth on this subject that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare” {1SM 360.3}. Ah! In 1893 there was less than 1 percent of Seventh-day Adventists who understood the present truth. In other words, more than 99 percent were not ready for Christ. If that was the church’s situation back in 1893, how is it today when the church worships the trinity gods?

Numbered since after 1844

Our Adventist pioneers, with the prophetess Ellen White overseeing, taught that those who, since after 1844, die in the third angel’s message are part of the 144,000. A few quotes from our Adventist pioneers:

RH Johnson: “Among those who shouted victory over the beast and over his image were those who had come forth from their graves in the special resurrection, and were seen on the sea of glass. They were ‘the living saints, 144,000 in number’” (RH July 27, 1905). JN Loughborough, writing in 1916, a year after Ellen White died, as faith of some started to depart from established truth, wrote: “If it be claimed that none will be numbered among the 144,000 but those who live until Christ’s second coming, without tasting death, what about those Sabbath keepers who in 1848 to 1850 were being sealed? There are not a half dozen of those now alive who were then keeping the Sabbath. If they were then sealed, they will be among those resurrected to eternal life at the voice of God” (Questions on the sealing message, 1916, Par 24.3).

This same truth was taught for many years in the standard book edited by Uriah Smith called Daniel and the Revelation (DAR), which book Ellen White unreservedly endorsed as containing “solid, eternal truth for this time” {1MR 61.2}. Ellen White wrote: “The interest in Daniel and the Revelation is to continue as long as probationary time shall last. God used the author [Uriah Smith] of this book as a channel through which to communicate light to direct minds to the truth. Shall we not appreciate this light, which points us to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, our King?” {1MR 63.1}. We read this in DAR:

“Those who die after having become identified with the third angel’s message, are evidently numbered as a part of the 144,000; for this message is the same as the sealing message of Revelation 7, and by that message only 144,000 were sealed. But there are many who have had their entire religious experience under this message, but have fallen in death. They die in the Lord, and hence are counted as sealed; for they will be saved. But the message results in the sealing of only 144,000; therefore these must be included in that number. Being raised in the special resurrection (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 1:7) which occurs when the voice of God is uttered from the temple, at the beginning of the seventh and last plague (Revelation 16:17; Joel 3:16; Hebrews 12:26), they pass through the period of that plague, and hence may be said to come “out of great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14), and being raised from the grave only to mortal life, they take their stand with believers who have not died, and with them receive immortality at the last trump (1 Corinthians 15:52), being then, with the others, changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Thus, though they have passed through the grave, it can be said of them at last, that they are “redeemed from among men” (Revelation 14:4), that is, from among the living; for the coming of Christ finds them among the living, waiting for the change to immortality, like those who have not died, and as if they themselves had never died” {DAR 634.1*}. “Solid eternal truth”!

Revelation 14:13 is significance here. After John saw the work of the third angel, he exclaimed: “Here is the patience of the saints” (verse 12). And then, John heard a voice from heaven command him: “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth;” and the response of the Spirit was, “Yea, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13). “From henceforth” must signify from some particular point of time. This time is marked by the commencement of the third angel’s message. The numbering of the 144,000 started after 1844 when the third angel’s message was first proclaimed by our Adventist pioneers. “From henceforth,” those who die in that message are blessed to be among the 144,000.

Before the general resurrection of all righteous (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), is a special resurrection. “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). The righteous in that special resurrection will be among the 144,000. In this way, “their works do follow them.” These works are held in remembrance, to be rewarded at the Judgment; and the persons receive the same recompense they would have had, if they lived and endured all the perils of the time of trouble.

Those who come up in the special resurrection embrace a limited number of both righteous and wicked (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 1:7). Those who, in this special resurrection, come up to everlasting life (though not then made immortal) are those who belong to the 144,000 because they have died in the third angel’s message; and those who rise to shame and contempt are those who had a part in Christ’s crucifixion. That such a resurrection, embracing these two characters, will take place, the scriptures referred to plainly enough affirm; and the only point where the prophecies make a place for its occurrence is at the time mentioned in Revelation 16:17. This is at the time of the beginning of the seventh plague, when the voice of the Father from the throne utters the solemn words, “It is done”!

That this is the voice of God, not of Christ (for that comes later when Christ calls all righteous to life: 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), we are told: “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 for deliverance day and night till 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 bells, and knew our High Priest was coming out. Then we heard the voice of God [referred to in Revelation 16:17] which shook the heavens and 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 had turned their captivity. And I saw a flaming cloud come where Jesus stood and He laid off His priestly garment and put on His kingly robe, 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 worshiped at the saints feet” {DS March 4, 1846 Par 2}. Notice here, it “took a number of days” between the voice of God and the coming of Christ.

This voice of the Father shakes both heaven and earth, but speaks deliverance to the people of God (Jeremiah 25:30; Joel 3:16; Hebrews 12:26, 28). Of this time, Ellen White, speaks very clearly, as follows: “That voice shakes the heavens and the earth … Graves are opened, and ‘many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth ... awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’ All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. ‘They also which pierced Him,’ those that mocked and derided Christ’s dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory, and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient” (The Great Controversy, 636-637).

Those who have died in third angel’s message are still regarded, in God’s sight, as an integral part of the living 144,000; for when the covenant of peace is spoken to them, those of them who are then in their graves are raised up to hear it with the living. They are raised up glorified; and the living saints are then also glorified; but none of them are made immortal, yet. Of this, speaking of the moment when Christ appears, Ellen White says: “The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ At the voice of God [referred to in Revelation 16:17] they [the living saints] were glorified; now they are made immortal, and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air” (The Great Controversy, 645). Those who were raised at the voice of God to hear the covenant of peace with the living, were also glorified at that time (another point of identity), and made immortal at the same time with the risen saints of a great multitude.

The special resurrects rise at the voice of God, it takes “a number of days” {DS March 14, 1846 Par 2} before Christ appears; they are raised to the plane of mortality only; they take their stand with the living saints, as a part of them, though glorified, not yet made immortal; they are alive on the day of Christ’s appearing in the same condition as the saints who have never died, and then, with them, are made immortal, changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The specially risen are as emphatically “redeemed from the earth,” and “redeemed from among men,” as those living who do not go into the grave at all.

Referring to Mrs Hastings, who had passed away, that she would be in a special resurrection, Ellen White said: “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” {2SM 263.3}. The phrase “with” does not mean in addition, for only 144,000 saints are alive at Christ’s first appearance.

That the 144,000 come “out of great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14) does not exclude those who come up after six plagues are poured (Revelation 16:17). Raised at the beginning of the seventh plague, they pass through the whole period of that judgment, and witness all its accumulated calamities. The plagues are cumulative. The first does not cease when the second begins; but the second adds its horrors to the first, the third adds to the others, and so on to the seventh. For example, under the fifth plague, the people are still suffering from the sores of the first plague (Revelation 16:2, 10-11). In the seventh is found the climax of all the plagues. Whatever degree of suffering that falls to the lot of the saint on account of plagues (though “angels will shield the righteous” {GC 629.2}), those who are raised at the voice of the Father pass through the same as those who have not been through death. The accumulative horrors of the seventh plague will overbalance all the others; and those who are delivered from it are thus said to have come “out of great tribulation,” though having not been at the start of the other six plagues.

They keep the Sabbath holy

Whilst the hundred and forty-four thousand keep the Commandments of God (Revelation 14:12), the majority of the Seventh-day Adventists and the world make void the law of God. The adoption of the trinity doctrine in Adventism destroyed the true keeping of the Sabbath. Many Adventists fulfill this prophesy: “The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it” {1SM 204.2}. The 144,000 do not worship trinity gods, and thus keep the Commandments of God, including the Sabbath.

Of all the commandments, it is the Sabbath that points us back to creation and to the Creator. The trinity destroys that truth, pointing us to “a unity of three coeternal persons” – a committee of gods – as our Creator. But the Bible is clear that it is “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9). Who created all things? God; how? “by Jesus Christ.” God made the world, by His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). Source of creation is the Father; the means of creation is His Son. “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him” (1 Corinthians 8:6).

Only two Beings were involved in creation, Father and Son. At Mount Sinai, the Son spoke His Father’s words (Deuteronomy 18:18-19), even speaking the Sabbath. As the Sabbath point to all that is created through Jesus, Jesus could say, “the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day” (Matthew 12:8).

The Sabbath points to the Creator, whom we should worship. All honour given to Jesus goes to the Father. All the worship that goes to the Father is through Jesus. “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). The One God, the Father, who created all things by His Son, says, “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which sent Him” (John 5:23). “And again when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, And let the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:6). When Christ receives worship, for through Him and by Him God created all things, for which creation the Sabbath points to, He does not so receive for His own glory. He said, “I seek not Mine own glory” (John 8:50).

The Sabbath is also a sign of sanctification. “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you” (Exodus 31:13). Notice that it is the One God, the Father, JEHOVAH, who sanctifies us.

Jesus prayed to His Father, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (John 17:17); and as He is the Divine Word He also said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). “This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent” (John 6:29). It is not per se that the more we read the Bible we become sanctified; No! The Bible is the written word, but it is the author of the Bible, Jesus, through who God sanctifies us. The Jews searched the scripture for sanctification, ignoring Christ and killing Him to retain their written word. But Jesus said to them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). He who truly knows Christ knows the truth, for it is life of Christ in him.

God sanctifies us through Christ. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). To have Christ is sanctification, which lead to keeping the Sabbath as a sign of the Father’s sanctification through Jesus.

The Sabbath points to the One God who created us through His Son. The trinity says we were created by “a unity of three coeternal persons” – a committee of gods. The Sabbath points to the One God who sanctifies us through His Son. The trinity says we are sanctified through someone else. To keep the Sabbath, the 144,000 reject the trinity.

Not Defiled with Women

John saw that the hundred and forty-four thousand “were not defiled with women; for they are virgins” (Revelation 14:4). In the Bible, a woman is a symbol of a church. “Say unto Zion, Thou art my people” (Isaiah 51:16) and “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman” (Jeremiah 6:2). The 144,000 profess a pure faith.

The hundred and forty-four thousand humbly obey the duty: “Both in public and in private worship it is our duty to bow on our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him (Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 312). “Jesus, our example, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Luke 22:41. Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Acts 9:40. Paul declared, ‘I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 3:14. In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. See Ezra 9:5. Daniel ‘kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.’ Daniel 6:10” (Prophets and Kings, p. 48).

Believe three angels’ messages

Those who are part of the 144,000 are absorbed in the grand thought of helping to call out a sufficient number to join them in the sealing message to make the 144,000. They reject trinity gods to believe three angels’ messages. The first angel calls “with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7). The One God we are to fear and worship is the Creator, who created through His Son. It is a call to worship One God, not a trinity.

This One God is whom the apostles praised and prayed to: “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, Thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is” (Acts 4:24). This One God is whom His Son Jesus praised: “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (Luke 10:21).

The God that the first angel calls us to worship is not “a unity of three coeternal persons.” Your understanding of God determines who you worship and ultimately whether you be among the 144,000. The three angels’ messages are to correct worship. If you do not get it right with the first angel, as who to worship, then no need to go to the second and third angels’ messages. The first angel calls us to worship the One God who created through His Son. The trinity calls us to worship “a unity of three coeternal” gods that “made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” None can be among the 144,000 whilst they believe in the trinity, which doctrine destroys the three angels’ messages.

Delivered by the voice of God

After the seven plagues were poured out: “These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous, and they thought that we had brought them down upon them, and if they could rid the earth of us, then the plagues would 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. Then the 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God” {RH August 1, 1849 Par 14}.

“It was at midnight that God chose to deliver His people” {EW 285.1}. In that hour, after the specially resurrected saints are together with the living, making up the 144,000, God made known the day and hour of Christ’s coming: “And as God spoke the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people, He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth. The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upward, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder. It was awfully solemn. At the end of every sentence the saints shouted, ‘Glory! Hallelujah!’ Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God, and they shone with glory as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked could not look upon them for the glory. And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honoured God in keeping His Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the beast and over his image” {EW 285.2}. "Awfully solemn"!

Conclusion

While probation lingers, we are told, “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 Par 5}. “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 Par 6}.

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