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 (Manna 3)
The Truth about the 144,000
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            “Then I looked, and lo, on MountZion stood the lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” (Rev 14:1, RSV)

In Rev 7:2, it is recorded that John saw an angel coming up from the place of the rising of the sun. The angel was holding the Seal of the Living God. He commanded the four angels not to hurt the earth, the sea and the trees, until they had sealed the servants of God on their foreheads. John also heard the number of people of the tribes of Israel that were sealed. It was one hundred and forty-four thousand.

Who Are They?

A view, commonly held by many Bible expositors, is that the church will be caught up into the upper air before the Great Tribulation but the rest of mankind will remain on earth throughout this period of woe. Of those remaining, these premillennialists believe that the 144,0(X) to be sealed, are specially chosen by God from among the literal Nation of Israel.

However, according to the Bible, the “true Israelites” in the New Testament era are from the various races, nationalities and cultures of the world, not from Israel alone! Paul said, “For you were baptised into union with Christ and so have taken upon yourselves the qualities of Christ himself. So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and freemen. between men and women: you are all one in union with Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are the descendants of Abraham, and will receive what God has promised” (Gal 3:27-29, TEV).

In Revelations itself, it is stated that the 144,0()() had been “purchase from the earth” (Rev 14:3, NASB). But Christ has “purchased for God with (his) blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9, NASB). Without more, clearly the premillennialists’ view is erroneous and not supportable by the Bible.

The 144,000 have the Seal of the Living God. This Seal denotes the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14). They are those chosen by the Lord during the days of the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit. One hundred and forty-four thousand is twelve times of twelve thousand. Twelve being a complete number, the 144,000 will then represent the Complete number of people whom God has predestined to be saved.

They Stood With The Lamb

The 144,000 and the Lamb stood on MountZion. Mount Zion is a type of the spiritual church. In Hebrews, it is written, “But you have come to Mount Zion.... the general assembly and church of the first-born. …“ (Heb 12:22-23). The Lamb represents Jesus Christ. As the Lamb stood on MountZion, the True Church of God will have the Lord with her.

The Sound Of Many Waters And Of Loud Thunder

John heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. That is actually the tremendous din made by the 144,000 during their prayers. The same pheno­menon occurred when the Holy Spirit descended on the Day of Pentecost. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke in tongues. The noise thus created aroused the curiosity of the Jews and the proselytes in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-6).

A brief survey of the Bible would reveal that when the Holy Spirit comes upon a person, he will speak in tongues (Acts 10:44-46; 19: 1-7). The “speaking of tongues” in prayer is spiritual communication with God. It cannot be understood by the ordinary man because that person who prays speaks mysteries in the spirit (1 Cor 14:2).

John also heard that the voice was like the sound of harpers playing on their harps. Prayers in the spirit can similarly be as melodious and pleasant as the sound of the harp. This possible when Christians are perfect in spirit and their “glossalalio” becomes fluent.

The “new song” is the spiritual song as the unknown tongue is the “new tongue” (cf Mk 16:17). The spiritual song they sing is extraordinarily pleasant and the melody enchanting.

They Were Redeemed

The 144,000 were “purchased from the earth” (Rev 14:3). According to Paul, the Church was purchased with God’s own blood (Acts 20:28). Jesus died for us on the cross. If we believe and accept the washing by His blood, our sins will he remitted. We shall be saved by the Lord and obtain the privilege of becoming the children of God (Acts 2:38.

They Have The Seal Of The Living God

Paul said that after hearing the gospel of salvation and believing in Christ, one may then he sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13). This Seal signifies that we are the children of God (Rom 8:16).

They Were Holy

“It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste” (Rev 14:4). Chastity implies holiness or purity. It certainly does not imply celibacy. If it were physical virginity these 144,000 would consist of males only because of the preceding clause “.... these who have not defiled themselves with women..”. Taking it in the spiritual sense therefore, it means that they are believers who have spurned the temptations of Satan and subjugated their carnality. As Paul said to the church at Corinth, “I betrothed you to Christ to present you (denoting the whole congregation) as a pure bride to her one husband” (2 Cor 11:2).

Marriage is a holy union instituted by God and should he respected. God has never looked on those who were married as unclean and thus they are not excluded from the 144,000 (cf Mk 10:6-9; Heb. 13:4).

They Were Obedient

“These people followed the Lamb wherever He went” (Rev 14:4). They are absolutely obedient and loyal, even to the point of death. They are like Christ. If it is God’s will, they will he unflinching, even if they have to bear the cross all the way to Golgotha (Rev 12:11; Phil 2:8). In their everyday life, they often make decisions but always with due reverence to Jesus as the highest authority.

They Were Honest

“And in their mouth no lie was found” (Rev 14:5). “The Devil is the father of lies” said Jesus (Jn 8:44). He also said, “Just say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, anything else you have to say comes from the Evil One” (Mt 5:37 TEV). No lies were heard from their mouth; they were absolutely honest. Their hearts were not influenced by the devil.

The Bible said, “If any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also” (Jas 3:2). Some are of the opinion that lying is a negligible sin which can be winked at. But Rev 21:s says. “As for ... all liars, their lot shall be in the lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death”.

They Were Perfect

“For they were spotless” (Rev 14:5). Jesus said, “You therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). To be perfect like our heavenly Father is the highest goal of all Christians. The 144,000 attained it.

They Have The Name Of The Lord On Their Foreheads

The 144,000 have the name of the Lamb and the name of the Father on their foreheads (Rev 14:1). The name ‘Jesus’ is the name of the Father which has been given to the Son. Jesus himself said; “… Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me …” (Jn 17:11, NASB).

Before the Ascension, Jesus commanded his disciples to baptise in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19). However, on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples baptised the people in the name of Jesus instead (Acts 2:38). This was because they understood that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not three distinct persons in one Godhead but the same Eternal God; not coexisting but the same being whose name is Jesus.

Plainly, to have the name of the Lamb and the Father on their foreheads is to have the name ‘Jesus’ there. It implies that they bear the image of Jesus; they are god-like (cf Eph 4:23-24).

Incidentally, the True Church of God, the gathering of all God’s people, should bear the name ‘Jesus’. The Psalmist declares;  in the name of our God we will set up our banners” (Ps 20:5).

You may join them.

You too may qualify to be 144,000. Only, are you willing to conform to their standards?

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