Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
hi, a lot of the early pioneers of the millerite/adventist movement believed that the 144,000 was a literal number, and maybe if Christ had come in the 1880's, when Ellen White began to suggest that Christ's coming has been delayed because of our not fulfilling the mission of the church, it may have been literal, but since then our vision has broadened considerably, maybe the prophecy concerning the 144,000 was conditional upon adventists, maybe God has decided, that the delay will in fact increase the chances of more people being saved. Maybe the ambiguety of the makeup of the 12 tribes, leaves the door open for more people to be part of that number than the early pioneers first envisioned. maybe it's a military number representing completeness, therefore not to be taken literally, I would like to think that when the latter rain falls it will be greater than the day of pentecost, therefore their are more people who will be saved who a not yet members of the adventist church. Maybe the greater part are not yet adventists. that's my picture of God, he is out to save as many as possible, and yes there will be a shaking amongst out people and many will leave out ranks, but I still believe the vast majority, are yet to be saved.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
So so far we can say that the 12 tribes mentioned in the Bible has different applications, we can also say that according to Revelation, this group would have "come out of Babylon" so its looking more and more like a symbolic number rather than a literal number or is there any good reason to suggest that this 144,000 (a remnant) that includes people from the 10 lost tribes is all that would "pass through" the end times. After all, 144,000 out of 6.5 billion people are certainly a very small remnant.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
To add to my last post, should we look at the 144,000 as the remnant or should we look to them as overcomers representing as large group of people?
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The Panda
In reply to this post by Noey
could there be a scenario where the 12 tribes is symbolic but the actual 12000 is literal ?
The Panda
I told my wife that a husband is like a fine wine; he gets better with age. The next day, she locked me in the cellar.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
Can you give an example of how you would see 12,000 being literal? do you mean that in the world, there is somewhere a group of people who is the pure descendant of one of the sons?
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

calderman
I don't think the important part here is who they are but what will they be doing?
This work will be so important in giving the final warning message to the masses who are in the valley of making choices. Remember also that this number will already be seal with the seal of the living God "And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes (forehead), that the Lord's law may be in thy mouth" (Exodus 13:9; Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18).

But this seal or sign with the Fathers name goes even deeper. it's what we all should be striving for because it represent purity in the Word.

 
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
So if I understand you correctly, this group who is already sealed, will have a job of the final warnings to the rest? So at this point we are talking about 2 groups, those that are sealed and those that aren't. So does this mean that eventually there will be 3 groups? the 144,000, those who accept the end time warnings and those who don't? So then there will be 2 groups that have God's seal but distinctly different? one group the 144,000 and the other group the rest who said yes (the great multitude??)

I know its a lot of questions but trying to understand your point.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The Panda
I also believe that we as a church are over estimating how many people will be saved.  There are so many 'small' sins that our churches are going to fall at, so many people who will lose out of heaven due to a hidden sin, haughty pride, gossip, are just some examples.....the eye of the needle is indeed very small
The Panda
I told my wife that a husband is like a fine wine; he gets better with age. The next day, she locked me in the cellar.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

calderman
In reply to this post by Noey
To answer Noey's question directly is yes, there is in a manner three groups at THAT time. If we look at Rev.7  again, it list the timetable of events to follow meaning the great tribulation and the seven last plagues. but that is after the sealing of God's people .Let me just say also that this group would NOT only be the only people who will be preaching the last warning message but they would be like spiritual leaders, the holy spirit will be pour out on the 144000 in the form of the latter rain and evidently the converted will be seal before the great tribulation.
At that stage in time there will be just two groups,one with the seal of God and the other the mark of the beast.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
In reply to this post by The Panda
Panda, your comment doesn't quite sit right with what I understand the Bible has to say on this.
2 Peter 3:9 says The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  

That seems to tell me that God wants ALL of us humans to be saved, He's not looking for a small group that has overcome sin, He's looking for ALL who would accept His free gift, as many as possible, not as least as possible. I don't think salvation is like an obstacle course where most will fall and only the few will pass through, yes we're all sinners and make mistakes but  we triumph through God and it seems that if only the few gets to heaven then God and his agents (us) haven't done a very good job, in fact it would be a terrible job!!!
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Noey
*This message was posted by "The King"*

if you focus on sins you end up with a small God, but if you focus on God's ability to save you end up with an awesome God, who can save to the uttermost and the guttermost, I know many Roman Catholics who are sincere and living up to the light they have, and have a better work ethic and integrity about their work than a lot of Adventists. If we set an example of faithfulness to biblical principles such as the Sabbath at work we will influence a lot of our work collegues in the end, because they will already know that its is a serious matter to break the Law of God. our message is to fear God and give glory to him, this means to take God seriously, he is not only a loving father he is the judge of all the earth. the 144,000 represent a group who follow the lamb withersoever he goeth, there are many of other demoninations who know the lamb, better than Adventists, we know the law and the 23 psalm etc. but they know the shepherd and many will join our ranks and proclaim our message with the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe the 144,000 represent the remnant of rev.12:17, who not only keep the comandments, but have the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prohecy, Ellen White while she was alive continually tried to broaden our vision and mission, she says the work will close with a greater manisfestation of the Holy Spirit the on the day of Pentecost. Think Big!
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
In reply to this post by calderman
A few weeks ago, our Wednesday night group did a program on the millennium where we looked at end time events and specifically the timeline. I've attached a picture of the time line as it would be good to get the picture in our minds as to what follows what. Click the following link to view Adventist_eschatology_timeline.gif The traditional view is that probation closes then we have the "time of trouble" quickly followed by the return of Jesus. So are you saying that the 144,000 (special leaders) proclaim the Gospel and do their special work before the time of trouble?
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
This post was updated on .
*This message was posted by "The King"*

the 144,000 represent those who will be alive when Jesus comes and will be translated, and the innumerable multitude represent those who have died from the time of Adam to the end time. If we look at Elijahs life we will see that he was a man of like passionsw as we are, he suffered from depression, he ran away from trouble he had many faults to overcome, yet he was translated, he thought that he would be the only one, but God said he had preserved 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to baal, and I think the same will happen at the end of time, there will be some who think that they wiill be the only one true to God (144,000) but God will have preserved many more who will be translated. 144,000 represent a group who have proclaimed the three angels messages and have passed through the time of trouble and have washed there robes white in the blood of the lamb. It just seems a bit arrogant to me to think that just a few special adventists will be saved in the end and translated. 144,000 is one group (representing many), and the innumerable host who have died and will be resurrected is another.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
so you subscribe to a three group scenario where you have the 144,000, the great multitude and those not saved. I think in terms of the gospel , it becomes complicated to explaining more than two groups, those that accept God's gift and those that don't is plain and easy, educated and non-educated can get that concept. Explaining groups within a group or other groups with differing functions (while its true) becomes a bit of a mission. Is there an easy way to explain this?
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
the innuerable host will be resurrected after the close of probation, when Jesus actually comes the second time they will not take part in the time of trouble or the seven last plagues, however to complicate matters even more there will be a special ressurection during the sixth plague, when all those who have died believing in the three angels messages will be resurrected before the general resurrection of all the saved. so thats another subgroup who with the 144,000 witness the coming of Christ. there are many complicated things in the bible, thats why it takes years of studying, we should study to show ourselves approved unto God. however i take your point i know there are some who teach the 144,000 and the innuerabel multitude are one and the same.

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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

calderman
In reply to this post by Noey
I personally dont buy into that timetable of events given, if you look carefully at that,  probation seems to have been cut off before the "Sunday law" and others, which is in fact now.
Probation is very much open for all now and will be until the time of the great tribulation "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 shall be found written in the book" (Daniel 12:1). Notice that when the great tribulation begins, the cases of all people will have been forever decided.
  The door of salvation and grace will close for the world - just as the door on the ark closed seven days before the Flood began. At that time Jesus will declare, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:11, 12).
     For the first time in the world's history, God's Spirit will be completely withdrawn from the lost. The unsaved will be given wholly over to demonic control. The saved will be forever sealed and the lost forever lost. No more changing teams!

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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
I don't think the diagram is very clear, but if i remember correctly i was there at the prayer meeting and we said the close of probation is just before the seven last plagues.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
So we're pretty much agreed that the close of probation is just before the time of trouble so does the function of the 144,000 change during this time? or do they continue to proclaim the Gospel as they've done previously?
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

calderman
good leaders roles do not change due to any circumstances, they will always lead and encourage at all times, the 144,000 and all the countless number would be singing a new song which is about glory and honor to God even when there will be complete destruction everwhere.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
So coming back to the original question, are we all more comfortable in saying that the 144,000 is symbolic rather than literal? Most of the references doesn't suggest a literal number although the Panda referred to the realization that we may miss out on Heaven because of the small things we ignore (possibly suggesting that we over estimate how many will go to Heaven)

A good summary may be:

Scripture portrays the 144,000 as God's special end time church.
According to Rev 7 they are able "to stand" when Jesus returns.
They are called "first fruits" which indicates that a larger harvest will be gathered and that they are not the only ones to be saved.
Since they have followed the Lamb wherever it went and since they have not joined false worship they will be with Jesus on Mt. Zion and before the throne of God in his heavenly sanctuary.

We may not be able to solve all the questions related to the 144,000 and probably this is not so important either. More important is to live in such a way that we may be counted among them.
Noey
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