Archive | December, 2013

The 144,000 Revisited

21 Dec

VisionOfPathFrom1844 As we approach the final days of probation for us as Adventist people, we thought it’d be good to look at one of the primary issues that we as Elijah messengers proclaim–the final sealed ones of God, the 144,000.

In Early Writings, pages 14-20, we know that the prophetess was given her very first vision. The picture above shows her vision. It’s important to note that our Lord started His work with this specific vision. Why? There can be only one reason– IT IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Let us give you a personal history in regards to this issue. Before this author became aware of the Elijah message, he occasionally mentioned or discussed the 144,000 issue. And so was curious about them. But being not really sealed in the forehead with the “sealing message” of Elijah, he took the view that, this number is symbolic.

Listening to people like Doug Bacthelor, Mark Finely, and other SDA leaders, the symbolic idea made sense. But deep down inside it HAD TO make sense because God forbid, there would be only 144,000 that are sealed from the SDA church.

But after learning and accepting the message a slow change came about. At first the truth struck powerfully. Then as time went by a metamorphosis came. You see once we understand the truth in this regard, we go from saying, “No, the 144,000 is not literal but only symbolic because for the obvious reason that with nearly 20 million SDA around the world, it is preposterous to think this.”  To, ” Lord is there really going to be that many?”

Wow, what a change in perspective! Why? Because as we understand the message a change comes over our lives and we begin to really convert to the Lord. A real “born again” process comes. We see sin as He sees it.

So why is it that there are so few? We can look to history of God’s dealing with the people for an example of His past ways. First, we know, “For I am the Lord, I do not change..” (Mal. 3:6). So his dealings with us as the SDA church will be the same as His dealings in times past.

From Noah’s day, how many were saved? Eight people.

From the exodus from Egypt, how many were saved of adults over 20? Two people.

Right now the Lord is searching His SDA people so closely.   “.. I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will he do evil.’ (Zeph. 1:12)

We must examine ourselves closely and remove the “spots or stains”. Ellen White says —

“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. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.”(Test. for the Church, vol. 5,p.214)

Here we see that in order to be found worthy of receiving the “latter rain”, we must not have “one spot or stain upon” us. That means any repetitive sin must be dealt with firmly and eliminated. If we don’t do this, it becomes a spot or stain on our soul. Our prayer, trust,  and faith in the Lord to overcome becomes paramount!

The Lord makes many promises to the 144,000. But if great things are to be accomplished through His servants, can He depend on those who have not “overcome”?

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be His God and he shall be My son.” (Rev.21:7)

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” He feels that he is the purchase of the blood of Christ and bound by the most solemn vows to glorify God in his body and in his spirit, which are God’s. The love of sin and the love of self are subdued in him. He daily asks: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” The true Christian will never complain that the yoke of Christ is galling to the neck. He accounts the service of Jesus as the truest freedom.

The law of God is his delight. Instead of seeking to bring down the divine commands, to accord with his deficiencies, he is constantly striving to rise to the level of their perfection. Such an experience must be ours if we would be prepared to stand in the day of God. (Test. for the Church, p.220)

My brethren,  to be a candidate to be among the 144,000 we have to have courage. Isn’t this Elijah message one of solemn and straight things? Therefore to proclaim it requires us to step out of our comfort zone.

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”(Revelation 21:7)

One thing that stands out here is the very first description of those who don’t make the kingdom–cowardly. If we think about this, could it be that the Lord knew that the Elijah messengers mustn’t shrink back from proclaiming the message because they are afraid?

We can’t think, “Oh the people will not like me if I tell them the straight testimony, I better keep it to myself.” This is exactly what we are told NOT to do!

In closing, the Lord has pulled out all stops and is reaching out greatly in these very last hours to save us. Will we respond? Let us step forward and do our part. Amen.

“Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand. And let us do all that we can to help others to gain heaven.”Review and Herald, March 9, 1905.