Gods Compassion for the 144,000

By John Thiel

Audio MP3

As the people who we want to be standing on the historic advent message, we are destined to be part of the 144,000. We have no other alternative. That is to be us because of the knowledge we have.

Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred 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 whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

The description belongs to us with the knowledge of the three angels’ message.

…strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand. {RH, March 9, 1905 par. 4}

It belongs to us to be among them, and we are to strive with all the power that God has given us. Not our power, but that which God has given us. It becomes ours by His gift. What are we then to strive for in order to be among that number? To be among that number, what is the objective that we should strive for in practical content?

Revelation 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

We have another description of the 144,000 in Revelation 7. John had just seen the great multitude,

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?

He had already learned about the great multitude, whence they came, but where did these come from?

Revelation 7:14 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.

Can we see what we are to be striving for to be among that number? These are the people that come out of great tribulation; they have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. It’s one thing to strive for heaven, something which people don’t quite know what it really means until we see what the condition of those people is. They are without fault before the throne of God. They have washed their robes. That’s the reason why they are without fault, because they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. This is very daunting for people today more than at any other time because the Christians in the past used to believe that you could reach to perfection by Jesus Christ. But today there is a doctrine that is circulating around that it is not possible to be without sin.

With not only the false doctrine that is being circulated, but also with the pressure that comes upon our life today with all that Satan is throwing at us, to come to a point where we are without fault before the throne of God, to have washed our robes of character until they are white, that is daunting today.

It is God’s plan for His people upon this planet to be holy and without sin.

Leviticus 11:45 For I [am] the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I [am] holy.

The sealing of the 144,000 is the people of God who have been brought out of captivity, as the Israelites were from Egypt.

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 language of Leviticus 11:45 applies to those that God has called as His children, Israel. All the tribes of Israel. Many people get hooked up on the concept that this is only of the literal tribes of Israel and they go around teaching this. The 144,000 come from God’s called people which include the Gentiles who have become attached to His Israel. The language to the Christian church is still exactly the same as Leviticus 11:45 because we read it through the words of the apostle Peter. This is what he writes to the Christian church:

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

He is quoting directly from Leviticus.

1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning [here] in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

We have been called by the precious gift of Jesus who shed His blood as a lamb without blemish and without spot so that we can wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb and be without spot and without blemish, white in character. These were the words that Jesus spoke to the disciples after He had just described God’s character:

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The calibre which God’s people, the 144,000, are to attain to is to be holy as God is holy. Without fault, undefiled, pure as Jesus was here on earth. To reach this calibre they wash their robes and make them white. This is comprehended in the words of Colossians.

Colossians 1:19 For it pleased [the Father] that in him [Jesus] should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; … 27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

We may be reconciled to God but for a purpose. Where does the gospel pick us up from? Where do we start? We “that were sometime alienated and enemies in” our minds “by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” God so loved the world, a world that was alienated, enemies to God in their minds. Through Jesus Christ this is where it starts; a people alienated but now to be reconciled by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where does the reconciliation take place? In the study of Jesus’ flesh, in the study of His body. “In the body of his flesh through death,”.

As you study this; He may “present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight”, it is the provision of God in Jesus Christ to take our sins upon Himself and provide a perfect sinless life for us to take on, which is the life of Christ. We are then reconciled and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight because we are covered by Jesus Christ. But it doesn’t stop there.

Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

The ministers are to proclaim to us the message and keep it afloat and going in our mind for us to continue in that faith, grounded and settled. Don’t lose it. Continue with it! Grounded and settled. This is required for a people to stand unblameable and unreprovable in His sight. To take hold of that faith and not to let it go. This is a wonderful mystery:

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Christ in you. Christ, through the gospel of this wonderful mystery, is to become part of us,
Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

If we are continuing in the truth of this gospel it is ultimately a provision through the wisdom that we learn through the gospel so that we can be made perfect under the ministry of those who believe this. Then the very person who is ministering that shows that there is an activity:

Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

The work of God as it was working in Jesus is to be working in us. We are to labour and cooperate with this work of God. God worketh in us mightily and we are to cooperate with that firmly settled in the truth. This is the path of every believer in Jesus Christ; to be covered by His righteousness, to be reconciled to God, to be benefitted by the unblameable character of Jesus that covers us. Not just to say, Now I am covered; but to go on firmly settled and to be ministered unto so that ultimately we will be holy in personal life as well as be covered by the holy life of Christ.

All true believers who have launched out from being aliens and enemies in the mind come to Jesus and commence the path. They have launched out. There are people who have launched out and were covered by Christ’s righteousness and were learning how to progress. There was one who started out which was the thief on the cross. Did he have time to develop? Did he have time to reach a perfect character? No, he died. But he was covered by Christ’s righteousness and he will be saved. Others have gone a little way and then they have died. Others still lived and gained a full stature of the light for their time and they died. They reached to a point which Apostle Paul testifies of in his own experience.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Apostle Paul remained steadfast to the end. He held on to the redemption that is found in Jesus Christ and he progressed. He has fought the fight. “I also labour,” he said, I have reached that. He came to his death when he was beheaded and he could say this. But that was the kind of righteousness that is still covered over by Christ because there was progressive material for God’s people right to the end and he didn’t reach the end of the world. While he was accounted absolutely righteous and he had reached to the standard for the people of his time, the 144,000 were to reach a higher level.

Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he [is] like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit [as] a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

Those people who are going to live just prior to Christ’s coming are going to be refined as Jesus is going to be sitting as a refiner and purifier of silver. They “have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” They have applied themselves to the work and labour of purification and Jesus is there taking them through. They have come out of great tribulation and made their characters white in the blood of the Lamb.

Here is the meaning of those words of Malachi:

God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth. Christ gave Himself to the world that He might “purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” This refining process is designed to purge the church from all unrighteousness and the spirit of discord and contention, that they may build up instead of tear down, and concentrate their energies on the great work before them. God designs that His people should all come into the unity of the faith. The prayer of the Christ just prior to His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one, even as He was one with the Father, that the world might believe that the Father had sent Him. This most touching and wonderful prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day; for His words were: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.” {4T 17.1}

Here is the whole objective of Jesus, to prepare Himself a people who are going to be pure. It’s going to be a refining process.

[Malachi 3:3, 4 quoted.] In this scripture is portrayed a refining, purifying process, to be carried on in the hearts of men by the Lord of hosts. The process is most trying to the soul, but it is only by this means that the dross can be removed. {4BC 1181.6}

Our dross needs to be removed and it is only by this purifying process, that this can be achieved.

Of necessity we must endure trials; for through these we are brought close to our heavenly Father, in obedience to His will, that we may render to Him an offering in righteousness. . . . {4BC 1181.6}

We will be brought close to the heart of God. In His statement, I want you to be holy as I am holy, He is saying to us, you are coming close to My heart through this trying process.

The Master sees wherein we need to be purified for His heavenly kingdom. He will not leave us in the furnace until we are wholly consumed. As a refiner and purifier of silver, He is beholding His children, watching the process of purification, until He shall discern His image reflected in us. Although we often feel affliction’s flame kindling about us, and at times fear that we shall be utterly consumed, yet the loving-kindness of God is just as great toward us at these times as when we are free in spirit and triumphing in Him. The furnace is to purify and refine, but not to consume and destroy. God in His providence would try us, to purify us as the sons of Levi, that we may offer to Him an offering in righteousness (SW Feb. 7, 1905). {4BC 1182.1}

This is such an important subject that unless we participate in it we will miss the point. It is the 144,000 who are to be these people who are going to stand there. They are being purged and purified until Jesus can see Himself perfectly reflected in them. When He is finished, then He can come.

“When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. {COL 69.1}

This is the reason why ever since the early Adventists standing on the platform of truth have been proclaiming these messages, it has been delayed for so long because Jesus is still waiting for these 144,000. He is waiting for different people to reach that objective and condition of purification so that He can see Himself reflected in His people. He doesn’t want anyone of those numbers to be lost. He is going to wait until the 144,000 have been produced.

Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. {GC 623.1}

Not even by a thought could Jesus be brought to yield to the power of temptation. While thoughts came and tempted Him, He would not submit to them.

This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble. {GC 623.1}

What is the condition? That not even by a thought Jesus would yield to temptation. In other words, these people understand the work of Jesus in developing a perfect character; to deal with the thoughts correctly.

They came to Jesus, but not even by a thought would He say, Oh, yes, I can go and do that. Not even by a thought. He rejected it and repulsed it. This is the condition to which we must attain in our walk with Jesus, that not even by a thought would we mar our character. We will wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. The final culmination is a people standing there without fault before the throne of God. They will stand in that big square of 144,000 with Jesus in the midst of them, according to Revelation 14:1.

As we accept this truth, many will still carry a heavy burden of conscious unworthiness. We see that God is purifying us but as He is doing that, the question who is going to stand is going to be a question that will be upon the lips of God’s people at the very time when Jesus is coming and searches them through and through with those eyes of fire.

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}

That experience of conscious unworthiness is upon these 144,000. But they are practicing the purification of their life. At every step along this process, they will never have a sense that they have reached perfection.

The life of Christ’s disciples is to be like His, a series of uninterrupted victories, not seen to be such here, but recognized as such in the great hereafter. {6T 307.1}

It is a series of purification, washing our robes in the blood of the Lamb until Jesus can see Himself perfectly reflected in us because He has been purging us in the fiery furnace. These 144,000 need the comfort of God.

The rainbow about the throne is an assurance that God is true. . . . We have sinned against Him and are undeserving of His favor; yet He Himself has put into our lips that most wonderful of pleas: “Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.” Jeremiah 14:21. {FLB 42.6}

It is the sense of unworthiness that affects them. And this sense of unworthiness leads them to express something that God has put into their lips. because He has made them aware of their unworthiness. He places these words upon their lips, “Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.”

He has pledged Himself to give heed to our cry when we come to Him confessing our unworthiness and sin. The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His Word to us. {FLB 42.6}

The honour of His throne. If we are crying to God with the deep sense of our unworthiness, God’s compassion is upon these people who are to be pure, who are striving to reach that purity and who don’t feel that they are pure. These people Jesus comforts. He says, Look, just keep on confessing that. Just keep on confessing and asking Me not to abhor you because of your unworthiness. Keep on crying to Me, because the honour of My throne is staked on the fulfilment of My word that I am not going to abhor you. I am going to continue to work with you. I am taking you through the furnace, as unpleasant as that is, and you are going to come through. This is the comfort for the 144,000.

The process of our purification is to be intelligently engaged in the work of washing our robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb. An intelligent application of the beauty of the atonement of Jesus Christ. As we have come to know that atonement and we have seen all its blood-worthiness that is taking place through Christ’s sacrifice, as we engage in that, we are being purified. It is an engaging exercise in the gift and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

We are to strive with all our hearts to be among the 144,000.

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. We are to have an intense interest in Christ Jesus; {RH, March 9, 1905 par. 4}

What sort of an interest? The lessons of the atonement should become an intense interest to us.

We are to have an intense interest in Christ Jesus; for he is our Saviour. He came to this world to be tempted in all points as we are, to prove to the universe that in this world of sin human beings can live lives that God will approve. {RH, March 9, 1905 par. 4}

Think of how much it cost Christ to leave the heavenly courts, and take his position at the head of humanity. {RH, March 9, 1905 par. 5}

Think what it cost. This is what we must do. And we are to continue to do that, to be firmly established in the meditation of the atonement.
Why did he do this?–Because he was the only one who could redeem the fallen race. {RH, March 9, 1905 par. 5}
Because He was divine. No angel could do it.

There was not a human being in the world who was without sin. The Son of God stepped down from his heavenly throne, laid off his royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed his divinity with humanity. He came to die for us, to lie in the tomb as human beings must, and to be raised for our justification. He came to become acquainted with all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He rose from the grave, and proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” One equal with God passed through death in our behalf. He tasted death for every man, that through him every man might be a partaker of eternal life. {RH, March 9, 1905 par. 5}

This is connected with those words, “Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand.” The subject of the atonement is the lifeline for the 144,000. Unless we take an intense interest in that subject we will not find our way through. It is this that will produce in us, as we are settled in that truth and as we firmly establish ourselves. And don’t give up on that gospel! Don’t give up on it by false thinking and false theories. But stand fully on that pure message.

These people who do that will be among the 144,000. Here is the reason why in reaching for perfection all may rejoice in tribulation rather than stress unto a withering hopelessness.
If we look at the misery of our experience and the sense of our unworthiness, we will be severely tempted as Jesus was and we will fall unless we embrace this beautiful knowledge. This knowledge that the furnace of affliction that Jesus went through is the furnace of affliction that we are going through and that we will come through successfully if we hold on to this beautiful and living truth of Jesus.

Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

May we continue in the comfort of our Lord and Saviour and in the compassion that is in His heart for these 144,000. It is my prayer that we will not forget.

Amen.

Posted on December 8, 2014, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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