Why Does It Say the 144,000 Do Not Taste Death?

THE TIME OF TROUBLE

God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, without their seeing death, the faithful, waiting ones who had so long expected Him. {EW 282.2}

They don’t see death by persecution in the plagues but some will see death since the sealing commenced in 1848 but are raised in the Daniel 12:2 special resurrection.

THE SPECIAL RESURRECTION

Some of the 144,000 who are sleeping are raised during the seventh plague. Only the 144,000 hear the covenant of peace;

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. {EW 285.1}

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. {EW 14.1}

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.” Daniel 12:2. 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” (Revelation 1:7), 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. {GC 637.1}

The great multitude do not hear the covenant of peace but only sealed Sabbath keepers;

The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people. Like peals of loudest thunder His words roll through the earth. The Israel of God stand listening, with their eyes fixed upward. Their countenances are lighted up with His glory, and shine as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked cannot look upon them. And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honored God by keeping His Sabbath holy, there is a mighty shout of victory. {GC 640.2}

The great multitude aren’t raised yet.

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}

Jesus hasn’t come back yet, he’s still coming and the great multitude haven’t been resurrected yet. Then in paragraph two it then says;

Soon appeared the great white cloud, upon which sat the Son of man. When it first appeared in the distance, this cloud looked very small. The angel said that it was the sign of the Son of man. As it drew nearer the earth, we could behold the excellent glory and majesty of Jesus as He rode forth to conquer. {EW 286.2}

The earth mightily shook as the voice of the Son of God called forth the sleeping saints. They responded to the call and came forth clothed with glorious immortality, crying, “Victory, victory, over death and the grave! O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Then the living saints and the risen ones raised their voices in a long, transporting shout of victory. Those bodies that had gone down into the grave bearing the marks of disease and death came up in immortal health and vigor. The living saints are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and caught up with the risen ones, and together they meet their Lord in the air. Oh, what a glorious meeting! Friends whom death had separated were united, never more to part. {EW 287.1}

The Spirit of Prophecy clearly shows two resurrections.

1. Part of the sleeping 144,000 are raised in the plagues

2. The great earthquake occurs

2. The great multitude are raised

IS THIS IN THE BIBLE?

Who’s patient? The 144,000.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

14:13 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.

When are the sleeping ones raised?

Daniel 12:2 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.

WHAT DID THE PIONEERS SAY?

James White:

“Those who die under the third angel’s message are a part of the 144,000; there are not 144,000 in addition to these, but these help make up that number. They are raised to mortal life shortly before Christ comes, and are changed to immortality when Christ appears.” RH Sept 23, 1880.

W. C. White:

“Now to the question: Did Sister White teach that those who died in the message since 1844 and of whom it is said, ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth,’ that they shall be members of the 144,000?

“I can assure you, my brother, that this was the belief and the teaching of Ellen G White. Many times I have heard her make statements to this effect, and I am in possession of a letter to Brother Hastings who is mentioned on page 237 of Life Sketches in which she says plainly that his wife who had recently died would be a member of the 144,000.

“In a letter recently received from a brother in Reno, Nevada, reference is made to a statement in Elder Loughborough’s book found on page 29 in which it is reported that Sister White said: ‘Those who died in the faith will be among the 144,000, I am clear on that matter’

“And I testify, my brother, that that is in perfect harmony with her writings, her sayings and her teachings throughout the years of her ministry.” Letter of W C White, dated April 18, 1929.

Lewis Harrison Christian:

We find this, too, in the life and teachings of Mrs. White. She foresaw and predicted many things. There is in her writings, however, no time prophecies of things to come. Some have tried to discover these by explaining her words that some people present at a conference would be alive when Jesus comes. They forget her other words about a special resurrection. {1947 LHC, FSG 407.2}

Stephen Haskell:

So those who have fallen asleep, having the seal of God, will have a special resurrection, and will be called forth to hear the covenant of peace, and to behold their Lord as He comes in the clouds of heaven. {1905 SNH, SSP 252.1}

Christ Himself came to earth, and claimed the body of Moses. He did not wait until all came from their graves. So those who have fallen asleep, having the seal of God, will have a special resurrection, and will be called forth to hear the covenant of peace, and to behold their Lord as He comes in the clouds of heaven. . {1905 SNH, SSP 252.1}

John N Loughborough:

Some persons, more especially since 1894, have claimed that none will be reckoned among the 144,000 but those who lived until the second coming of Christ; and that this must be so, for according to Rev.14:3,4, they are “redeemed from among men,” and “from the earth.” According to Daniel 12, there is a partial resurrection in the “time of trouble,” just before Christ’s second coming. We read: “At that time shall Michael stand up, . . . 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.” Surely those who awake to everlasting life will be alive and “among men,” when Christ comes. {1916 JNL, QSM 22.1}

If, in 1848-1850, persons were being sealed, we would naturally expect they would be of those wakened to everlasting life, and so be with the 144,000. Of this resurrection we read in “Early Writings,” “Spiritual Gifts,” old edition, page 145: “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.”  {1916 JNL, QSM 22.2}

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, and Jesus left us, and went to the city.” From this we would surely conclude that in the new earth, Sister White would be one of the 144,000. 1 {1916 JNL, QSM 25.1}

It was because of these plain statements, that our people and ministers, down to 1894, believed and taught that the sealing work had been going on since 1848, and that the 144,000 were being sealed. I do not see how we could draw any other idea, from the testimonies we have quoted, than that the sealing work had begun in 1848-1850. {1916 JNL, QSM 21.1}

“These having been translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as ‘the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.’ (The Sabbath keepers resurrected to eternal life will surely be among the living at Christ’s second coming.) ‘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.” That trouble of the nations will be under the sixth plague; and it is at that time, according to Dan.12:1, that the partial resurrection will take place, bringing up the sealed Sabbath keepers. This will be when the seventh plague is yet to come.  {1916 JNL, QSM 26.1}

If there is still a doubt of the resurrected Sabbath keepers’ being numbered with the 144,000, consider the following from Sister White’s words in 1909. At the general Conference in 1909, Elder Irwin had a stenographer accompany him in a call upon Sister White. He wished to ask her some questions, and have an exact copy of the words of the questions, and the exact words of the replies. Among other questions was this one: “Will those who have died in the message be among the 144,000?” In reply, Sister White said: “Oh, yes, those who have died in the faith will be among the 144,000. I am clear on that matter.” These were the exact words of question and answer, as Brother Irwin permitted me to copy from his stenographer’s report. {1916 JNL, QSM 31.1}

THE query may now arise: “If the sealing message is to go to all the world with a Pentecostal power, and the earth to be lighted with its glory, and if, as recently stated by Brother Blank, it is to result in ‘millions’ being prepared for Christ’s second coming, is not 144,000 a small number to be sealed? It is only a fraction of one million.” In His word the Lord has spoken of those to be saved at His coming as a “little flock.” Luke 12:32. They are also 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.” Dan.12:10. Some translate this “thoroughly tested.” It may be true in this case, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt.22:14. In “Testimonies,” volume 5, page 136, published in 1881, we read, “The great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. {1916 JNL, QSM 32.1}

IS THE NUMBER LITERAL OF SYMBOLIC?

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. {EW 14.1}

Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. {EW 16.2}

The bible does the math’s also. 12,000 + 12,000 and so on… equals 144,000.

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.

7:5 Of the tribe of Juda [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad [were] sealed twelve thousand.

7:6 Of the tribe of Aser [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses [were] sealed twelve thousand.

7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar [were] sealed twelve thousand.

7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin [were] sealed twelve thousand.

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;

REVELATION 20:4 EXPLAINED

Revelation 20:4 is speaking of two groups. The 144,000 and those who were beheaded in the dark ages.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The Exaltation of the Saints. — From the devil in his gloomy confinement, John now directs our attention to the saints in victory and glory, — the saints reigning with Christ — their employment being to assign to the wicked dead the punishment due their evil deeds.

From that general assembly John then selects two classes as worthy of especial attention: first, the martyrs, those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus; and secondly, those who had not worshiped the beast and his image. This class, the ones who refuse the mark of the beast and his image, are of course the ones who hear and obey the third message of Revelation 14; but these are not the ones who are beheaded for the witness of Jesus, as some who claim that the last generation of saints are all to be slain, would have us believe. The word rendered which, in the expression, “and which had not worshiped the beast,” etc., shows that there is another class introduced. The word is the compound relative, [hostis], not merely the simple relative, and is defined by Liddell and Scott, “Whosoever; whichsoever; any one who; anything which;” and by Robinson, “One who; some one who; whosoever; whatsoever.” As one class, John saw the martyrs, and as another, he saw those who had not worshiped the beast and his image. p. 692, Para. 2.

Lest any one should say that if we render the passage “and whosoever had not worshiped the beast,” we thereby include millions of heathen and sinners who have not worshiped the beast, and promise them a reign with Christ of a thousand years, we would call attention to the fact that the preceding chapter states that the wicked had all been slain, and the seal of death had been set upon them for a thousand years; and John is viewing only the righteous company who have part in the first resurrection. p. 693, Para. 2.

To avoid the doctrine of two resurrections, some claim that the passage, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished,” is an interpolation, not found in the original, and hence not genuine. Even if this were so, it would not disprove the main proposition that the righteous dead are raised by themselves, in a “first resurrection,” and that there is a second resurrection a thousand years later, in which all the wicked are brought from their graves. But the criticism is not true. All scholarship is against it. The Revised Version retains the passage. p. 693, Para. 3. Daniel and the Revelation – Uriah Smith

WHEN DID THE SEALING COMMENCE?

The sealing, as described in the seventh chapter of Revelation, is going forward while the beast and his image, the ruling powers of earth, are striving to gain the recognition of all.  The interest of heaven centres in those few who receive the mark of the great Jehovah.  John, in the opening verse of chapter fourteen, sees them as they gather about the Saviour on Mount Zion. Gods Word traces their history minutely. In the year 1848 the four angels of the seventh chapter of Revelation took their stand upon the four corners of the earth, to hold the winds of strife until the servants of God were sealed.  Between 1798 and the close of time, the wound of the beast is fully healed, and he renews his work of oppression through the powers of the earth. Christ himself came to earth, and claimed the body of Moses.  He did not wait until all came from their graves.  So those who have fallen asleep, having the seal of God, will have a special resurrection, and will be called forth. These men were redeemed form the earth among men,-the first fruits unto God and the lamb.  They have been snatched as brands from the burning.  The prophet Isaiah, in describing the condition of the churches in the days when the sealing work is in progress says;

“In that day seven women shall take hold of one man saying, we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.”  Isa 4:1.

In 1848 occurred one of the greatest upheavals in the national affairs of Europe that had been for many centuries. Decided changes were made in some of the leading nations. In a brief period of time, many of the crowned heads of Europe submitted themselves to the people. It looked as if universal war was inevitable. In the midst of the turmoil and strife, came a sudden calm. No man could assign any reason for it, but the student of prophecy knew that the angels were holding the winds until the servants of God could be sealed in their foreheads. The one hundred and forty-four thousand are redeemed from the earth–from among men. (Rev. 14:3,4) They are alive upon the earth when the Saviour comes, and will be translated, together with the innumerable host who will come from their dusty beds, clad in glorious immortality, when Christ comes in the clouds of heaven. (1 Thess. 4:16,17)

“Just before we entered it (the time of trouble), we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds.” 7 B.C. 968

Evidently the mark of the beast is the beginning of the time of trouble.

The 144,000 are also called the firstfruits, but they are the firstfruits of the living.

“These, having been translated from the earth, from among the living are counted as ‘the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.'” Great Controversy p. 649

Just as Jesus and those resurrected with Him (being the first group to be resurrected from the dead) pointed forward to another harvest of resurrected saints at His second coming, so the 144,000 (first fruits of the living) must point forward to another living harvest to be harvested just before Christ’s second coming, a second fruits.

Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.” Vol. 1. Testimonies p. 187

That they are called first fruits because they are the first one’s to be harvested.

“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 144,000? This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question.” Manu 26, 1901 Vol. 1 SM p. 174

According to the last sentence of the above quotation, the time would come when the subject would be crystal clear, as there would be no question as to the identity of the 144,000. It is true that we are not able to pick out certain individuals and say: “this one is to be one of the 144,000 and that one will not be” as God only knows who has the seal.”  By Stephen Haskell.

Posted on April 30, 2010, in The 144000 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Great study. May God bless you in your work.

  2. ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. spalms 115 and spalms 135 thier IDOLS are FALSE cant speak can’t hear cant smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move can’……t speak can’t move must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to them they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their own authority what will you do when your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be the son of man.‎1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifiable

  3. james Claude Mutyaba

    Thank you for that elaborative research on 144,000.
    God bless you and peace be with you.
    James Claude Mutyaba
    Medical Missionary
    IMS -Uganda

  4. Why do 144,000 stay on earth while the church is raptured out of the Great Tribulation to heaven in Rev. 7:9-14? Lets find out.

    What is this event? The woman (Israel) flees to a refuge prepared by God to escape the persecution of Satan (Rev. 12:6-7, 13). The Devil will not be able to touch her for 1260 days; the second half of the 70th week (Rev. 12:6, 14).

    Who is involved? The twelve stars on the woman’s head represent 144,000 men from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 12:1; 7:4; 14:1). When the Deliverer returns to earth at the end of the 70th week, He will save the first fruits redeemed from Israel (144,000) (Rom. 11:25-27, Is. 63:1-2, Dan. 9:24, Rev. 10:1-7; 14:1-4).

    Where will it happen? The woman (144,000) will flee to the wilderness in Edom (Jordan) prepared by God (Rev. 12:6, 14, Is. 63:1-3). This is where the Messiah will physically return at the end of the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27, Rev. 10:1-7, Rom. 11:25-27).

    When will it happen? The woman will be protected the entire second half (1260 days) of the 70th week (2520 days) (Rev. 12:6, Dan. 9:24-27). When the times of the Gentiles ends (end of the 70th week) the 144,000 will be redeemed by the Messiah (Luke 21:24, Rev. 10:1-7; 14:1-4).

    Why will it happen? God made an eternal covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-7, Rom. 11:25-27). During the five days between the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles, the Messiah will fulfill the mystery of God, the salvation of Israel (Rev. 10:7). When the believing remnant of Israel see the Lord they will say, “The Lord is my God.” (Zech. 13:9) And Jesus will say, “This is My people.”

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