Where are the 144,000 First Spoken of?

By H. R. Johnson

Review and Herald, July 27 and August 3, 1905

  1. Where are the 144,000 first spoken of?

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

  1. How are they designated? As “the servants of our God.” Verse 3.
  2. What is said of them? — They were sealed. Verses 3, 4.
  3. With what were they sealed? — With the “seal of the living God.” Verse 2.
  4. What is the seal, or sign?

Romans 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed upon them also:), of God?

“The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God.” — “Great Controversy,” page 640.

Exodus 31:13, 17 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. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

  1. What is inseparably connected with the seal? — The Father’s name.

Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and lo a lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

  1. When did this sealing work begin? — When the angel came with the seal of God.

Revelation 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,

  1. When did the angel come with the Sabbath seal? — At the time “the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament” (chapter 11:19), and the Sabbath reform began.

After Oct. 22, 1844.

  1. What other angels did John see at this same sealing time?

Revelation 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.

  1. What did the angel with the seal command the four angels to do?

Revelation 7:2, 3 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, 3 Saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

  1. When did this special command go forth? — As the nations became more angry, which is true since 1844. Chapter 11:18, 19. See “Early Writings,” pages 29-31 [EW 36-38]

In 1848, a violent storm of revolutions ripped through Europe. The torrent all but swept away the conservative order that had kept peace on the continent since Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815—but which in many countries had also suppressed dreams of national freedom. Political events so dramatic had not been seen in Europe since the French Revolution, and they would not be witnessed again until 1989, with the revolutions in Eastern and Central Europe.

In 1848, historian Mike Rapport examines the roots of the ferment and then, with breathtaking pace, chronicles the explosive spread of violence across Europe. A vivid narrative of a complex chain of interconnected revolutions, 1848 tells the exhilarating story of Europe’s violent “Spring of Nations” and traces its reverberations to the present day.” http://www.amazon.com/1848-Year-Revolution-Mike-Rapport/dp/0465020674

Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets and to the saints and them that fear thy name, small and grea: and shouldn’t destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there lightening’s and voices, and thundering’s and an earthquake, and great hail.

I saw that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead were separate and distinct, one following the other, also that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced. The nations are now getting angry, but when our High Priest has finished His work in the sanctuary, He will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out. {EW 36.1}

   I saw four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and were on their way to accomplish it. Jesus was clothed with priestly garments. He gazed in pity on the remnant, then raised His hands, and with a voice of deep pity cried, “My blood, Father, My blood, My blood, My blood!” Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from God, who sat upon the great white throne, and was shed all about Jesus. Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, “Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.” {EW 38.1}

     I asked my accompanying angel the meaning of what I heard, and what the four angels were about to do. He said to me that it was God that restrained the powers, and that He gave His angels charge over things on the earth; that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let them go; but while their hands were loosening, and the four winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not sealed, and He raised His hands to the Father and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them. Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels and bid them hold, until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads. {EW 38.2}

  1. Is the sealing work going on at the present time? — Yes.

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

“Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from present truth, and to cause them to waver.” “The sealing time is very short, and soon will be over.” — “Early Writings”, pages 35, 49. [EW 43, 58].

  1. What does the prophet Isaiah say about this work?

Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

  1. Where is the sealed law to be put?

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people;

  1. As long as impurity is cherished in the heart can the spiritual law of God be written there? — No! “

If the mind is filled with other things, present truth is shut out, and there is no place in our foreheads for the seal of the living God.” “Now is the time for the law of God to be written in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts.” — “Early Writings,” pages 48, 49 [EW 58].

Isaiah 51:7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revelling’s.

  1. What is a reliable testimony of true sanctification? — Holy Sabbath keeping.

Exodus 31:13 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.

  1. Are not they who are walking by the power of the Holy Spirit in all of God’s commands, being sealed with the seal of the living God? — Yes.

“They had upon their foreheads the seal of the living God, and he said: ‘Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ “ — “Testimonies,” vol. VI, page 15. “Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts.” “Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth.” — “Early Writings,” page 48, 35 [EW 58, 43].

  1. How many will be sealed?

Revelation 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.

“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united.” — Ibid., page 11. [EW 15].

  1. To what are we called? — To be sealed with the seal of the living God, and be numbered with the 144,000.
  2. In view of this fact what ought we to do?

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

“Let us strive with all the power God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand.” — Mrs. E. G. White, in Review and Herald, March 9, 1905. “We may learn the song of victory that is to be sung on Mount Zion.” “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.” — Ibid., March 9, 1889. “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! Who can endure the thought of being passed by when the angel goes forth to seal the servants of God in their foreheads?” — Ibid., May 28, 1889.

  1. Will all who have the sealed law, containing the Father’s name, ‘in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts,” live till Jesus comes?

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

  1. When and by whom will they be raised?

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that should be found written in the book. 2 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.

“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 from their dusty beds, glorified, to hear the covenant of peace that God was to make with those who had kept His law. . . . 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.’ — “Early Writings,” pages 145, 146 [EW 285].

  1. Who understood the words of the voice of God?

“The wicked could not understand the words of the voice of God.” — Ibid., page 146. “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.” — Ibid., page 11 [EW 15].

(Bear in mind that the time of these words of the voice of God is after the special resurrection. All this special company of Sabbath-keepers are now “living”).

  1. When the never-ending blessing was pronounced on the “Israel of God” (Ibid. page 146) [EW 286], what did they shout? — “And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God, in keeping the Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the beast and over his image.” — Ibid., page 146 [EW 286].
  2. Where did John see this company?

Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are they works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are they ways, thou King of saints.

  1. What does the testimony of Jesus say on this point?

“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united.” “Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square.” — “Early Writings,” pages 11, 12 [EW 15, 16]. (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.” — Ibid., page 11) [EW 15].

  1. “When God spoke the time,” what did He pour upon them? and how did it effect them?

“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.” — Ibid.

  1. What did the synagogue of Satan now know?

“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.” — Ibid.

  1. What takes place soon after this?

“Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer, and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man.” — Ibid.

  1. Who raises the righteous dead at the first general resurrection?

“The voice of the Son of God called forth the sleeping saints, clothed with a glorious immortality.” — “Early Writings,” page 28 [EW 35].

  1. What change comes upon the 144,000, which includes those who are raised in the special resurrection, at this same time?

“The living saints were changed in a moment, and were caught up with them into the cloudy chariot.” Ibid. “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.” — Ibid., page 12 [EW 16]. “The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal, and with the risen saints are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.” — “Great Controversy,” page 645.

  1. Is this company of 144,000 different from the rest of the redeemed?

Revelation 14:1-5 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on mount Sion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 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: 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. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins, These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

“And the remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but honored. A ‘fair mitre’ is set upon their heads. They are to be as kings and priests unto God. While Satan was urging his accusations, and seeking to destroy this company, holy angels, unseen, were passing to and fro, placing upon them the seal of the living God. These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the Father’s name written in their foreheads. They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. ‘These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God.’ “ — “Testimonies,” vol. V, pages 475, 476.

  1. Where were they finally seen? — In the temple (Rev. 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.); on Mount Zion (Chapter 14:1 And I looked and lo, a lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousands, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads); on the sea of glass. Chapter 15:2. “Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious 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.” — “Early Writings,” page 14 [EW 19]. “On the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square.” — Ibid., page 12 [EW 16].
  2. Being different from the rest of the blood-washed, what question did one of the elders, whom John saw in vision, ask? and what was the final answer?

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? 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. 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. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more: neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 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.

(As at least some of the plagues will be local, so the experience of each in this company can not be the same, but these, as “the faithful, tried company” — see “Early Writings,” page 134 [EW 273] — will have the experience spoken of in Rev. 7:13-17, — “an experience such as no other company have ever had. . . . They have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God’s judgements.” — “Great Controversy,” page 649. “Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but a few.” — “Early Writings,” page 12 [EW 16].

  1. In emphasizing the question where this wonderful company had come from, what answer is given? — They “were redeemed from the earth’. (In fact, all who will be saved will be redeemed from this earth, out “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.”

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:

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Luke 21:35 For as snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

All will readily see that there is something very significant in the answer: These “were redeemed from the earth.”)

  1. Now allowing that they “were redeemed from the earth,” from what class of beings could they have come? — “These were redeemed from among men.” Physically and morally these have once been among the weakest, for they have come out of all the last nations and tongues and peoples living on the earth. They have also come from all kinds of organizations, and from all classes of beliefs and unbelief’s. They have cheerfully accepted the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and through obedience thereto by the power of the Spirit of God, have become so settled and grounded in the truth, that they are “of the same mind in the Lord”. (Read with care on page 11 of “Early Writings,” and remember that this is speaking of things after the special resurrection, and before Jesus comes in glory.) Who has ever witnessed such a company? No wonder the question, “Whence came they?”

More study:

https://sabbathsermons.com/category/the-144000/

Early Writings Page 15

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.  {EW 15.1}

Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man. His hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders; and upon His head were many crowns. His feet had the appearance of fire; in His right hand was a sharp sickle; in His left, a silver trumpet. His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, “Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?” Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke: “Those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall be able to stand; My grace is sufficient for you.” At this our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sang again, while the cloud drew still nearer the earth.  {EW 15.2}
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.  {EW 16.1}

Posted on August 19, 2009, in The 144000 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I noticed that your study attempted to show that the seal of the 144,000 is the Sabbath. Humbly I submit that this seems in conflict with the SOP based on the following statement.

    “This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown Ezekiel in vision. John also had been witness of this most startling revelation.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445.2

    The only seal or mark found in the 48 chapters of the book of Ezekiel is in the ninth chapter which inspiration tells us we are to read (3T 266, 267). The seal for the 144,000 is a special seal to distinguish between the wheat and tares within the SDA church. All SDA’s are sealed with the Sabbath truth, but not all are “sighing and crying for the abominations” done in the church. Inspiration clearly discusses the sealing of the 144,000 in 3T pp. 266, 267; 5T 211; TM 431, etc.

    • not all are settled into a full platform of truth. many SDA’s today have not heard all the testing truth’s for our time, if they die before the close of probation, they go into the great multitude but will not be among the 144k, they do not receive the seal of God as EGW states above its only those who are settled into the full truth.

  2. Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God. {DA 638.2}

  3. Please add me to your mailing list. Thank you.

    • Hello, would love to but I don’t understand this website very well. I don’t how people can subscribe to my posts. Are you on facebook?

  1. Pingback: What the Adventist Church once Believed and Taught on the 144,000 | Sabbath Sermons

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