Do The 144,000 Ever Die?
“The living saints, 144,000 in number;” we must not conclude that only a part of the whole can constitute the number and yet be true, for the statement made by Inspiration cannot be contradicted for it reads “144,000 in number.” When mention is made of this company, it is at the same time when God makes known the day and hour of Jesus coming. If we can locate at what time of the world’s history God speaks the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, then we may know more about this company. Quoting Early Writings, page 285: “But there was one clear place of settled glory, whence came the voice of God like many waters, shaking the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. The graves were opened, and those who had died in faith under the third angel’s message, keeping the Sabbath, came forth. . . . And as God spoke the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people.”
One may here suppose that the risen and the living make the number, but we do not believe the Spirit of Prophecy would call both companies (the living and the resurrected) living saints. The 144,000 are living saints; the others, resurrected Sabbath keepers. To make it positive, another reference is given, found in Great Controversy, page 637: “Great hailstones, every one ‘about the weight of a talent,’ are doing their work of destruction. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. . . . 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.” This makes it positive that the resurrected Sabbath keepers come forth in the special resurrection of Daniel 12. This is the time when the great hailstones are doing their destructive work (7th plague). “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, . . . And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” Rev. 16:17, 21. The resurrected Sabbath keepers did not live during the time of the plagues, for they were resurrected at the time of the seventh plague, so that they hear the announcement of the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming.
If evidence can be brought to view that the 144,000 (in number) lived before the seventh plague, then we have positive proof that the 144,000 never died. Great Controversy, page 649: “And they sing ‘a new song’ before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the 144,000. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb,—a song of deliverance. None but the 144,000 can learn that song; for it is the song of their experience,–an experience such as no other company have ever had. . . . They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured suffering, hunger, and thirst.” Here is a positive statement that the 144,000 lived in the time of the fourth plague, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat. “And the fourth angel out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.” Rev. 16:8. This is the fourth plague. How could they (144,000) go through the fourth plague if the special resurrection of the Sabbath keepers (those who died under the third angel’s message) did not take place until about the end of the seventh plague? If “they have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence and they themselves have suffered hunger and thirst”, they must have lived through all the plagues.
Again, “They sing a new song”. . . . which no man can learn save the 144,000. . . . for it is the song of their experience,—an experience such as no other company have ever had.” How can it be possible for all to sing the same song if it is a song of their experience except they all have the same experience? Those who had been in the grave would have the experience of death, grave, resurrection, and receiving a new body. But those who never died have seen the fulfillment of Ezekiel 9; Isaiah 63; Isaiah 60; the closing of the third angel’s message, (the loud cry, close of probation), all of the seven last plagues, and they sing this song (of their experience and deliverance) “which no man can learn save the 144,000.”
Will Sister White Be With The 144,000?
Sister White was taken in vision to one of the planets which hadseven moons, where she met good old Enoch. This place was so beautiful and her desire for it so keen, she begged the angel to let her stay. “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’.” See Early Writings, page 40. There is no contradiction in this statement, for the angel told her that she, with the 144,000, meaning she is one with them but not one of them. She will doubtless be with them for she may be termed as the mother of them (being the messenger and founder of this movement), nor can we suppose they will sing the song of Moses and he (Moses) not be there. Because they are the 144,000, a special company with a special experience, is no reason why others could
not travel with them, for undoubtedly Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be with them, being the fathers in type. What objection could be made if others would journey with them? We may suppose that Jesus would give to all the redeemed at least one trip to the other worlds.
Only 144,000 Enter Temple
“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.’ 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. . . . 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.” Early Writings, page 19. It is clear that no others were to enter the holy temple except the 144,000, and again it is clear that she went in, for she says, “The wonderful things I there saw, I cannot describe,” and “after we beheld the glory of the temple, we went out.” She could not see the things inside the temple unless she had gone in, and she could not have come out if she had never entered in.
Some may think that Sister White is one of the 144,000 because she entered this temple, and now that she is dead that part of the 144,000 will be resurrected. There is no cause for confusion here. She could have entered the temple before, or after, or she could have gone right along with them, and still it would not change the thought. We must remember this is only a vision and not the real 144,000. They were not made up at that time, neither was she bodily there. This vision was given for her to make a report and reveal a certain truth. In other words, she was a reporter. What kind of a report could have been given if she had not entered the temple? The command, “only the 144,000 enter here, had no reference to her whether she should stay out or enter. She is one with them, but not one of them.
What Kind of Seal Is It?
Reference is made in Testimonies to Ministers, page 445. The subject is about the sealing of Revelation 7, the 144,000. We quote: “This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision.” Now if the sealing of the 144,000 of Revelation 7, is the same as Ezekiel 9, in order to find the kind of sealing it is, and the time of its beginning, we must study Ezekiel 9:1-9: “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. 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. 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; 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. 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: 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. 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. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great.” It is positive that the sealing of the 144,000 is Ezekiel 9,—the separation (sifting in the church—the godly from the ungodly). Volume 1, page 181: “I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans.” Read the entire page. Note the shaking begins after the straight testimony of the “True Witness” is come.
The Two Seals
Is the Sabbath the seal of the 144,000? First of all it will be noticed that the definition of “seal” is: An instrument which is used to seal, fasten up, or enclose securely; to establish or settle beyond question; to point out and determine; designate. An effort will be made to bring forth enough Bible evidence to satisfy anyone believing in the Scriptures that all who were saved in the ages past as well as those who are to be saved now must have the seal of God. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians said that they were to be sealed. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Eph. 4:30. The grace of sanctification wrought in the soul by the Holy Ghost is the seal and assurance of one’s redemption to come, of a joyful resurrection. The use and end of this sealing is the sacredness and safety of the thing sealed from the eyes of curiosity and hands of violence, which otherwise would be abused by strangers and enemies; thus the children of God are past the censure of the wicked world. They are preserved as precious things for God’s own use, to be with Him in heaven. Quoting 2 Tim. 2:19, written to the Corinthians: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.” “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Cor. 1:22.
We read in Revelation 8 and 9, of the seven angels with the seven trumpets. These seven trumpets indicate the principal political and warlike events which were to transpire during the time of the gospel church. The sealing of the 144,000 belongs to the time of the sixth trumpet. Beginning with Rev. 9:1, we read about the angel with the fifth trumpet. Verse 4 of this chapter we quote: “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” Here we see that many years before the third angel’s message ever began to be preached, the saints of God were sealed with the seal of God, just the same as the ones under the third angel’s message are to be sealed.
According to these scriptures which are plainly stated, we must conclude that the saints of God are sealed with present truth in all ages, and whatever that present truth is, that is the seal. Present truth under the third’ angel’s message is Sabbath truth, therefore, the Sabbath is a seal which seals the people who are obedient to it. Quoting Great Controversy, page 452: “The seal of God’s law is found in the fourth commandment. . . . When the Sabbath was changed by the papal power, the seal was taken from the law.” Early Writings, page 58: “The sealing time is very short, and will soon be over.”
Those who died under the third angel’s message, keeping the Sabbath, are sealed with the Sabbath truth, but the 144,000 never die. While they must keep Sabbath and have that seal, they must sigh and cry for the abominations that are in the church, for otherwise they can not receive the mark by the angel with the writer’s inkhorn of Ezekiel 9, which is the seal according to Testimonies to Ministers, page 445; Volume 5, pages 210-16; Volume 3, pages 266-7. The sealing of the 144,000 is the separation of the faithful from the disloyal ones; the purification of the church. Those who do not keep the truth, and indulge in the sins and abominations, who try to throw a cloak over the existing evils, will fall under the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel 9.
The Sabbath has been present truth since 1845, and being the seal of the law of God has been sealing the law among the people of God ever since that year. Isa. 8:16 “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” This has been the work of the third angel, and for this reason the third angel has no seal, for the seal is in the law, but the angel of Revelation 7, has a seal in his hand. Ezekiel calls him the man with the writer’s inkhorn who is to set a mark upon the men who sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof (the church). This is the seal of the 144,000, but all the saved under the third angel are sealed with the Sabbath seal. The 144,000 having this seal are also marked (sealed) by the angel of Revelation 7, which is the same as the one of Ezekiel 9. In other words, it may be termed a double seal.” — Shepherds Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 22-30