Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Vincy
There is another trned of thought that I have heard of.   The 144000 will be those who are righteous..  righteous ... Those who have not defiled themselves,  and will rule with God when the New heaven and new earth comes into being... maybe rule is a strong word.  may be just be guides, God's right hand people...  So the 144000 would be  special, but there will be a multitude that is immeasureable that will enter in eternity.


What do we think of this slant?
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Vincy
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous... Romans 2:13...

Just thought I would share that....
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
Interesting thought Vincy, is there a text or texts that sheds some light on this line of thought, I've heard similar things before but not sure where they originated.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

calderman
In reply to this post by Vincy
I think if we go back to our starting point in Rev 7, we are reminded that the 144,000 was sealed and taken from "men", because they were virgins and no guile was found in their mouth and no fault was found with them.  Yes we could say that they are special because they have a specific job to do, but they will be no more righteous than the other sealed saints.
Here on earth we are all given the commission of relaying the the gospel to others, and by doing right we become righteous but the reward remains the same.
There is no other leader in heaven but the Lord Jesus who is the Son of Righteousness.
Malachi 3: 18 explained this very well "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
                                                                                                                                                                           
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Vincy
In reply to this post by Noey
I have attached the reading from Revelation 7..

If we pay special attaention to Revelation 7:9, this may explain that there is a separate multitude for the 144000.


Revelation 7
 1And 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.

 2And 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,

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

 4And 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.

 5Of 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.

 6Of 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.

 7Of 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.

 8Of 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.

 9After 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;

 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

 11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

 12Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

 13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

 14And 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.

 15Therefore 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.

 16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

 17For 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.


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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
To simplify the verses then and list the events as is, we could read them as:

Rev 7:1        Four angels stand on earth ready to pour out the tribulations at the time of the end

Rev 7:2-3     A fifth angel carrying the seal of God tells the other four angels to hold on until His people        are  sealed

Rev 7:4-8     A total of 144,000 from various tribes are sealed in their foreheads

Rev 7:9-10    In addition, a large multiude, enough that nobody can number, dressed in white and carrying a palm branch saluted God

Rev 7:11-12   All the angels, the elders and the four beasts worshipped God

Rev 7:13      One of the elders asked - who are these people dressed in white? and where did they come from?

Rev 7:14-17  The answer was those that came through great troubles, cleaned their robes so that they are white and now worship God day and night and who would never be hungry or thirsty again



Right so you can possibly say there's two groups but how do you identify them differently in the last few verses or you can say the last few verses refer only to the 144,000 and not to the great multitude. I think we need other verses to clarify.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Vincy
I think the first 144000 are those that have not defiled themselves whereas the multitudes make the majority of us who have gone through troubles and has received Jesus' free salvation and our reward is to live with him eternally in paradise.

I am not sure if there are any other verses to agree or deny this trend of thought as there there not much either to clearly explain the 144000.

The thing is For a loving God that want all of us as sinners to be freed from our sinful nature, surely 144000 is a very small figure.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
I've had a re-read of the verses that you mentioned and I'm thinking that in fact the 144,000 and the great multitude are the same but looking from different perspectives. Maybe the 144,000 are a symbolic representation of the last day sealed people and the great multitude is the literal representative of the last day sealed people. The text calls them both dressed in white, both sealed and both worshiping God so I see no reason to doubt that we're talking about the same group.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

calderman
We must always remember that this was a vision given from God to John, where the complete plan of
salvation was displayed before him. A similar vision was given to him in Rev.4 and 5, where he saw a brief viewing of Heaven and the great multitude was all dress in white and giving worship.
There is only one great multitude of saints which includes the 144,000, the Bible described this vast number as the sea of glass which will be made up from spiritual Israel tribes from a cross section of the tribes of Jacob.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
the 144,000 will have a priestly character in heaven and the new earth, and the great multitude a kingly character, Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Although I personally will be both a king and a priest (joke please laugh!).
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
Without getting too socio-political, aren't "kings" and priests" human constructs for the purpose of making distinctions and clarifications in our understanding? or is God into that as well? Are we making Heaven/new earth into a class structure? I remember back in the days hearing about people wearing crowns with different amount of jewels depending on what we've done!!!, sounds so wrong to me.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
God graciously grants eternal life and heaven to all who believe, yet at the same time we will all reap a reward for the life we have lived here on this earth. that is why we should strive to  be amongst the 144,000, we will all be a royal priesthood in heaven and the new earth, not just me personally, God will be fair we can trust him.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
I will be just so grateful I made it, it wont matter to me what anybody else has, but it will matter to me that my family and friends made it to, that will be heaven.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
OK to you, it doesn't matter as long as you get there, that's fine and should be what most follow but the question still remains. Its a belief for some people.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
being with Jesus and the Father is what is important, rewards are incentives not the reason for our obedience, we should obey because he first loved us and we want to reciprocate, Matt 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: matt 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.  
 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.  
Jesus says we will receive a reward for the life we have lived we should be ok with that and be satisfied that God will deal fairly with all his children, what matters is that we trust God to be fair.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
the reward of the 144,000 is that they are the only one's allowed to enter the temple, early writings pg.18 which is why I said they will be priests, they will have a special experince with God, and follow the lamb withersoever he goeth.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
I'm having a reread of Early Writings especially relating to EGW first vision. So far I have more questions than answers but will get back to you all soon.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
From what I'm reading, it sounds like EGW thought it was a literal number, look at the paragraph below:

As we were traveling along, we met a company who also were gazing at the glories of the place. I noticed red as a border on their garments; their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted
                                                                           19
them, I asked Jesus who they were. He said they were martyrs that had been slain for Him. With them was an innumerable company of little ones; they also had a hem of red on their garments. Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies. And I saw the little ones climb, or, if they chose, use their little wings and fly, to the top of the mountains and pluck the never-fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place: the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate, and the fig tree bowed down with the weight of its timely figs--these made the place all over glorious. And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, "Only the 144,000 enter this place," and we shouted, "Alleluia."  {EW 18.2}  
     This temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls most glorious. The wonderful things I there saw I cannot describe. Oh, that I could talk in the language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the better world. I saw there tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold.

Early Writings p18-19
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
As i said before the early pioneers of the church believed that the 144,000 was a literal number, Ellen White even went so far as to say 144,000 in number in early writings, but she dropted that phrase in later writings and after the 1880's, which suggests a more open view of God and prophecy, many things she said in her early writings matured such as the great controversy theme.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
I suppose that's where some of the conflict with her writings come in, where in vision it seems clear cut and then later on in her life, she mellows some of her statements.

Specifically relating to the 144,000, does anyone have references to this mellowing out as I think it would be worthwhile in this discussion on the 144,000. I'll have a hunt myself but if anyone has info to hand, that would be great.
Noey
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