Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
You will find the statement about the 144,000 in number in her first vision in early writings pg.15, but when she rewrote the great controversy in the four volume spirit of prophecy she dropted the "in number" the church once asked her counsel about who would be in the 144,000 her reply is found in selected messages      f. When There Was No Light: I have no light on the subject [as to just who would constitute the 144,000]. . . . Please tell my brethren that I have nothing presented before me regarding the circumstances concerning which they write, and I can set before them only that which has been presented to me.--Quoted in a letter by C. C. Crisler to E. E. Andross, Dec. 8, 1914. (In White Estate Document File, Number 164.)  {3SM 51.2}  
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
While I have no issue with progressive truth, does the same apply to visions? are visions progressive too? I must admit that reading from the Bible gave me the thought that the 144,000 was symbolic more than literal but then her early writings suggested differently, coming back to your thought, were her early visions reflective of the general thought in those days but then refined once more Bible study was done?
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
i   Had Adventists after the great disappointment in 1844 held fast their faith and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been
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completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward. . . . It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. . . .  {LDE 37.5}  
     For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.--Ev 695, 696 (1883).  {LDE 38.1}  
     Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.--DA 633, 634 (1898).  {LDE 38.2}
 
                     God's Promises Are Conditional

     The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. [See Romans 13:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 7:29; 1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17; Hebrews 10:25; James 5:8, 9; 1 Peter 4:7; Revelation 22:6, 7.] Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the Word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional. [See Jeremiah 18:7-10; Jonah 3:4-10.]. . .  {LDE 38.3}

     We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel, but for Christ's sake His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action.--Ev 695, 696 (1901).  {LDE 39.1} t's not just a case of progressive truth, but conditional prophecy:-
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
just as in the case of moses who failed to reach the promised land but saw death, but was resurrected and taken to the heavenly canaan a better plan, we to have disappointment God but God has made the plan bigger and better in the end. we dare not fail him now! this is my personel opinion, God always does more not less.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
In reply to this post by The King
OK some number crunching:
By the 1870's the Adventist Church membership numbered 60 to 90,000 yet the belief was that we (the SDA)if we had preached the 3 angels message faithfully to the whole world would have seen the return of Christ in their lifetime. By the 1870's, there were no more than a dozen overseas missionaries!! Realistically, how was this achievable? especially as planes weren't invented, telephones were non-existent, in fact, electricity and the light bulb didn't come in until the late 1880's!!!

Jump to 2010, SDA church membership numbers 16,500,000 (with up to 30,000,000 attending church each week) operating out of most countries in the world, we have satellite, TV, radio, phones, internet at our disposal,  the largest private educational system in the world, the largest medical/hospital system in the world yet we haven't been able to reach all in the world, if we struggle to achieve now, how was it ever possible in the 19th century?

I'm mentioning this to say that baring some miracle, we (as people) could never succeed on our own, we couldn't then and we can't now. The visions and testimonies were directed to the people of her day, we can certainly learn from that but need to remember that we are to have progressive truth, realize that sometimes interpretations then were and should be different than interpretations now. This is not to say that they have no value now or that they were not inspired but we should all continue to study God's word, even in the 21st century.
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
the work will not be finished by argument or technology although useful but by the conviction and witnessing power of the holy spirit, the angel of revelation 18: swells the three angels messages to a loud cry, that will be world wide, we could never finish the work otherwise, the task is just as impossible now as it was back then, the new general conference president's emphasis of revival and reformation, a return to true godliness, i think is a step in the right direction, we need more of the holy spirit in our lives and work. the 12 apostles turned the world upside down in there generation, we need that apostolic faith again. there are individuals even now within our ranks who see the need to revive the first century church methodologies, structure, and power, we can learn so much from history, from the early church, and our early adventist movement. if you read our early history we were more in line with the apostolic faith then than now, we had a greater growth rate because we were a dynamic church planting movement, but now we have settled pastors and we have become static in some areas, you are right when you say we need to study, we can learn so much from history, what worked in the past and were we failed, we need to build on the good and stand on the shoulder of giants. with men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

calderman
For many of us, we normally relate to the 144, 000 as pastors and Bible workers who will finish spreading the GospeL and give the final warning to the earth, but God is calling everyone to be of special service to Him, again look at the characteristics (a) Fathers name in foreheads (b) first fruits (c) not defile (d) follow the lamb (e) no guile. This is what we all should be aiming at as ths basis of our faith in God, but unfortunately many of our brethren will lose faith and miss the opportunity of Heaven because they have played along to the tune of the Evil one and hold on to the sins of this world .
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
we should strive to be amongst the 144,000 not in competition but in co-operation, when both laity and clergy unite to finish this work, we will see great things happen, in some parts of the world the church is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, we can learn from them, we need to be open to God's leading.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
This topic hasn't been addressed for a while but just wanted to extend the discussion a bit.

In a recent local revival, the preacher indicated that the 144,000 (assuming literal number maybe) grows into the incorruption state and they get to the point where they don't want to sin anymore or have anything to do with sin. The only thing for Jesus to do is to make them immortal because at that point they are still mortal.

A couple of questions I have here, can humans (literal 144,000) at the end of days become sinless on their own? (achieve absoulute perfection?) and secondly, Is God's grace just about making created being immortal? Is this all he needs to do as humans have achieved a state of sinlessness?

Lets discuss?
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The Panda
Maybe we are transformed into pure energy and then we can travel between the solar systems at will in a thought.......maybe as humans we strive for that and we will evolve into pure thought and that is how we overcome sin......just a thought
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
That is a thought but doesn't the Bible teach us that we cannot overcome sin on our own? Does it not say that we need to rely fully on Jesus?
Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

calderman
I kind of agree with the evangelist here because in Revelation 14: 5 tells us that there was no fault with them, also revelation 7:4 speaks about them (144.000) that are seal, ie seal of the living God, so yes we cannot overcome sin of our own "works", but we can purpose in our heart that we would not sin. This is not an overnight process, but we too can be part of that number.
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

Noey
When we study scriptures, our aim is to try and get a complete understanding of the whole picture, in view of the verses you've quoted, how do you mesh that with 1 John 1:8-10?

New King James Version (NKJV)

 
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Noey
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

The King
our aim is not to achieve sinless perfection but to be like Jesus, we need to refocus our presentations from performance orientated to relationship. 144,000 follow the lamb wheresoever he goeth
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

diemei
In reply to this post by The King
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

liuhuan
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Re: Is the 144000 of revelation a literal number ?

the king
I have know idea what that last two posts has to do with the 144,000. maybe ignorance is bliss.
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