"After 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;
"And one of the elders answered saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
"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." Revelation 7:9, 13, 14.
The Great Multitude
Resurrected or Translated Saints?
"There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation." Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 35.
". . .Great truths that have lain unheeded and unseen since the day of Pentecost, are to shine from God's word in their native purity. To those who truly love God the Holy Spirit will reveal truths that have faded from the mind, and will also reveal truths that are entirely new. . . ." Review & Herald Aug. 17, 1897.
"Precious truths that have long been in obscurity are to be revealed in a light that will make manifest their sacred worth; for God will glorify His Word, that it may appear in a light in which we have never before beheld it." Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, p. 62.
"...And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure...." Great Controversy p. 522.
"In searching the Scriptures you are not to endeavor to interpret their utterances so as to agree with your preconceived ideas, but come as a learner to understand the foundation principles of the faith of Christ. With eager interest, with fervent prayer, come to the Word of God, that you may know what is truth, manifesting the same spirit as did Nathanael when he earnestly besought the Lord that he might know the truth." Testimonies on Sabbath School Work pp. 62,63
A BRIEF REVIEW OF BOOKLETS #1 & 2.
In booklet #1, we found that the judgment is in two sections, first the judgment for the dead (which began in 1844), then the judgment for the living. Only when the judgment for the dead is completed can the judgment for the living begin (See: 1 Selected Messages p. 125). Just as the judgment for the dead dealt with the professed people of God, so also the judgment for the living begins with the professed people of God (His remnant church). See Great Controversy pp. 428, 480.
"Let the ministers awake, let them take in the situation. The work of judgment begins at the sanctuary." Testimonies to Ministers p. 431, see also 1 Peter 4:17, and Great Controversy pp. 428, 480.
The 144,000 are sealed in God's remnant church, but they are ONLY THE FIRST FRUITS (Rev. 14:4), the first one's to be judged in the FINAL HARVEST when the JUDGMENT FOR THE LIVING BEGINS. This is why they are called FIRST FRUITS, they are the first one's judged in the second section of the judgment, when the judgment for the living begins.
In booklet #2, the truth was clearly borne out that the 144,000 are living translated saints (See: Great Controversy p. 649). They are sealed just before the mark of the beast is imposed upon us.
"The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast. We came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only the threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done,(the dealing of the 144,000) and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. That will be a decisive time for God's children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 152. (Statement within parentheses ours.)
The angels that are holding back the four winds are told: "...Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." Rev. 7-3.
Thus we see the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy clearly show us that the 144,000 are sealed before the four winds are loosed. The angels holding back the four winds, is their holding back the mark of the beast. Plain it is then that the sealing of the 144,000, first fruits, is completed just before the mark of the beast is imposed upon us. The mark of the beast is set up at the commencement of the time of trouble. Thus we see that the judgment for the living and the completion of the sealing for the 144,000, begins about the time of the mark of the beast.
"Just before we entered it [the time of trouble], we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds." 7 Bible Commentary 968, E . G . White .
Has probation closed for the world, when the four winds are loosed and the image of the beast if formed?
"The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided." 2 Selected Messages p. 81.
The people of God referred to in this quotation must be those that will come out of Babylon during the Loud Cry.
"Notwithstanding the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that exist in the churches which constitute Babylon, the Great body of Christ's true followers are still to be found in their communion. There are many of these who have never seen the special truths for this time. Not a few are dissatisfied with their present condition and are longing for clearer light.
"Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6-12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. . . .then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in Babylon will heed the call: "Come out of her, My people" (Revelation 18:4)." Great Controversy p. 390.
Thus far we have found that the 144,000 are already sealed at the commencement of the time of trouble, or the mark of the beast, and yet we are told that probation is still open. The only conclusion one can come to is that the sealing is completed for those in the church (sealing of the 144,000), while probation is still open for those out in Babylon, for those who have never heard the truth before.
"The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people." Testimonies, Vol. 3 p. 266.
" . . . the living righteous will receive the seal of God prior to the close of probation; also that these will enjoy special honors in the kingdom of God." 1 Selected Messages p. 66.
"The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. . . . In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 81.
"The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out--the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place." 2 Selected Messages p. 380.
"The time of God's destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter. Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time (R&H July 5, 1906)." 7 Bible Commentary, 979 E. G. White.
"But I speak not my own words when I say that God's Spirit will pass by those who have had their day of test and opportunity, but who have not distinguished the voice of God or appreciated the movings of His Spirit. Then thousands in the eleventh hour will see and acknowledge the truth." 2 Selected Messages p. 16.
The last section of the final harvest which is to be reaped from Babylon is reaped within one symbolic hour, from the eleventh to the twelfth hour.
Remember, Babylon only reigns for one hour (Rev. 18:10,19) from the eleventh to the twelfth and then God delivers His people at midnight. (See: Great Controversy p. 636)
"And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." John 10:16.
"There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of the third angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast." Evangelism pp. 234, 235.
". . .when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath,(during the loud cry) then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. . . .And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive "the mark of the beast." Great Controversy p. 449. (Statement within parentheses ours)
If the 144,000 are sealed before the blowing of the four winds which represents the Mark of the Beast or the Time of Trouble and yet we are told that probation is still open (2 Selected Messages p. 81) when the image of the beast is formed, then it must be that probation has closed (sealing of the 144,000 completed) for those in our church before probation closes for those out in Babylon. Plain it is then that another harvest is brought in during this time, which is called the Loud cry, when the final call is made to come out of Babylon (See: Rev. 18:1-4).
It must be that two groups are harvested in the earth's final harvest, the 144,000, First Fruits and the Great Multitude of Revelation 7: 9.
THE SECOND FRUITS OF THE LIVING.
"After 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; . . .And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 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. . . .They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat." Revelation 7:9,13,14,16.
After John saw the sealing of the 144,000, first fruits, (Rev. 7:1-8,14:4) that came from the 12 tribes of the children of Israel, he was privileged to behold another group of saints that was so vast that they could not be numbered. This un-numbered host of saints did not come from Israel like the previous group (the 144,000) but they came from every nation, kindred, people and tongues. The clothing of the great multitude is described as "having white robes and palms in their hands."
"The palms signify that they have gained the victory, and the white robes that they have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ." 7 Bible Commentary, 970 E.G. White.
It is interesting to note that in Rev. 7, the clothing of the 144,000 is not described. However the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that they wore a mantle like Elijah and had crowns.
"Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns. And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet." Life Sketches pp. 66,67.
One of the elders from the judgment scene (Rev. 4:4, 10, 5:8, 9), asks the question concerning the Great Multitude, "What are these arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?" Rev. 7: 13.
The answer was, "These are they which came out of great tribulation." Rev. 7:14. This shows us plainly that the Great Multitude will come into God's church during the time of trouble.
We found in 7 Bible Commentary p. 968 and in Volume 5 of
the Testimonies p. 152 that the 144,000 are sealed just before the time of trouble commences. Thus it is crystal clear that the 144,000 are sealed before the time of trouble commences while the Great Multitude are sealed during the time of trouble or while the four winds are blowing.
"The message of the renewing power of God's grace will be carried to every country and clime, until the truth shall belt the world. Of the number of them that shall be sealed will be those who have come from every nation and kindred and tongue and people. From every country will be gathered men and women who will stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb, crying, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Revelation 7:10. But before this work can be accomplished, we must experience here in our own country the work of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts." Counsels to Parents and Teachers p. 532.
This statement from the Spirit of Prophecy must be referring to the Great Multitude which come out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people. (Rev. 7:9), as the 144,000 come Only from the 12 tribes of the children of Israel. (Rev . 7:4-8).
Here we see that not only 144,000 are sealed, but also a great multitude. It must be that two groups are sealed in the earth's final harvest. But before the great multitude are brought into God's Purified Church, the Holy Spirit must be poured out upon the 144,000, God's Pure True Sanctified Ministry, to enable them to bring in the final harvest, the second fruits of the harvest for the living.
"The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain. . . ." Selected Messages Book 3 p. 385.
It must be that the 144,000 are God's purified ministry that goes to every nation, kindred, tongue and people to bring in the great multitude during the Loud Cry into God's remnant church.
It is during the blowing of the four winds (mark of the beast), which is the beginning of the time of trouble that the Loud Cry goes forward, when the call is made to "those other sheep which are not of this fold", to come out of Babylon.
There are omens in the world today that show us that the time of trouble is right upon us.
"When we look abroad to other nations, and see them looking to this country for food: and then look at the scarcity, and rising price of food in our own nation, we cannot doubt but that the 'Time of Trouble such as never was,' Is fast coming upon the nations of the earth." By James White from, A Word To The Little Flock p. 1 par. 3.
"I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time God's chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us." Early Writings p. 33. (Nominal Adventist are the first-day Adventists, see appendix of Early Writings p. 299)
"'The commencement of that time of trouble,' here mentioned does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the "latter rain," or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel,. . .Early Writings pp. 85, 86.
"In the time of confusion and trouble before us, a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation, the uplifted Saviour will be presented to the people in all lands, that all who look to Him in faith may live." Testimonies, Vol. 8 p. 50.
"A time of trouble is before us, and every honest soul who has not had the light of truth will then take a stand for Christ." Testimonies to Ministers p. 248.
"Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power--all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these." Great Controversy p. 606.
"As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers. . . .Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God. Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths." Great Controversy p. 607.
"The Spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings, and, casting off all man's machinery, his binding rules and cautious methods, they will declare the truth with the might of the Spirit's power. Multitudes will receive the faith and join the armies of the Lord." Evangelism p. 700.
"God rebukes His people for their sins, that He may humble them, and lead them to seek His face. As they reform, and His love reviews in their hearts, His loving answers will come to their requests. He will strengthen them in reformatory action, lifting up for them a standard against the enemy. His rich blessing will rest upon them, and in bright rays they will reflect the light of heaven. Then a multitude not of their faith, seeing that God is with His people, will unite with them in serving the Redeemer." Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902, Christ Our Righteousness p . 123.
In the following quotation we have a picture of the work of the 144,000 During the Loud Cry.
"Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand....
" . . . Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord's side." Great Controversy p. 612.
Joel, chapter 2, also gives us a beautiful picture of God's pure true sanctified ministry, proclaiming the Loud Cry.
". . . a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, (much fruit to be harvested) and behind them a desolate wilderness; (after the fruit is harvested, nothing but wilderness left) yea, and nothing shall escape them. (Statements within parentheses ours) The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" Joel 2:2-11.
"When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation eighteen, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field (MS 175, 1899)." 7 Bible Commentary p. 983, E.G. White.
"Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. "Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer." Prophets and Kings p. 725.
". . .The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844. The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel's message as it swells to a loud cry. And the people of God are thus prepared to stand in the hour of temptation, which they are soon to meet. I saw a great light resting upon them, and they united to fearlessly proclaim the third angel's message.
"...This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel's message in 1844. The glory of God rested upon the patient, waiting saints, and they fearlessly gave the last solemn warning, proclaiming the fall of Babylon and calling upon God's people to come out of her that they might escape her fearful doom.
"...Mighty miracles were wrought, the sick were healed, and signs and wonders followed the believers. God was in the work, and every saint, fearless of consequences, followed the convictions of his own conscience and united with those who were keeping all the commandments of God; and with power they sounded abroad the third message. I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry." Early Writings pp. 277-278, See also Great Controversy pp. 389-390.
"I saw that God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant." Early Writings p. 261.
"Before the final visitation of God's judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord's second coming. The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God's special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world." Great Controversy p. 464.
GREAT MULTITUDE, RESURRECTED OR TRANSLATED SAINTS?
We have found in our study thus far that the great multitude come into God's church during the time of trouble (mark of the beast), so let w continue to search the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to find out whether the great multitude are resurrected, or translated saints?
John the Revelator, tells us they are still here during the plague of heat.
"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat." Revelation 7:16.
"And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat,..." Revelation 16:8,9.
Here we are clearly shown that the great multitude are still here during the fourth plague, the plague of heat.
"The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish. That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied. While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants. To him that "walketh righteously" is the promise: "Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."' Great Controversy p. 629.
"Yet to human sight it will appear that the people of God must soon seal their testimony with their blood as did the martyrs before them. They themselves begin to fear that the Lord has left them to fall by the hand of their enemies." Great Controversy p. 630.
"...Yet for the elect's sake the time of trouble will be shortened. "Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him? . . . I tell you that He will avenge them speedily." Luke 18:7, 8. The end will come more quickly than men expect...." Great Controversy p. 631.
"The heavenly sentinels, faithful to their trust, continue their watch. Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war." Great Controversy p. 631
"The eye of God, looking down the ages, was fixed upon the crisis which His people are to meet, when earthly powers shall be arrayed against them. Like the captive exile, they will be in fear of death by starvation or by violence. But the Holy One who divided the Red Sea before Israel, will manifest His mighty power and turn their captivity. . . .If the blood of Christ's faithful witnesses were shed at this time, it would not, like the blood of the martyrs, be as seed sown to yield a harvest for God. Their fidelity would not be a testimony to convince others of the truth; for the obdurate heart has beaten back the waves of mercy until they return no more. If the righteous were now left to fall a prey to their enemies, it would be a triumph for the prince of darkness." Great Controversy p. 634.
"God would not suffer the wicked to destroy those who were expecting translation and who would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark. I saw that if the wicked were permitted to slay the saints, Satan and all his evil host, and all who hate God, would be gratified. And oh, what a triumph it would be for his satanic majesty to have power, in the last closing struggle, over those who had so long waited to behold Him whom they loved! Those who have mocked at the idea of the saints' going up will witness the care of God for His people and behold their glorious deliverance." Early Writings p. 284.
"But in the midst of the time of trouble that is coming,--a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation,--God's chosen people will stand unmoved. Satan and his host cannot destroy them, for angels that excel in strength will protect them." Testimonies, Vol. 9, p.17.
Is it not the 144,000 who are expecting translation, and are not the great multitude among those saints that will not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark? It must be that both groups, the 144,000 and the great multitude will be protected by the angels of God, during the time of trouble.
Vol. 5 of the Testimonies page 152 has shown us that the 144,000, first fruits are sealed before the mark of the beast is set up, and Rev. 7:14 and many kindred quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy has shown us that the great multitude of Rev. 7:9, join God's remnant church during the time of the mark of the beast. Logically the saints referred to in Early Writings page 284 that "would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark" would include the great multitude.
"...But when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. . .And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive "the mark of the beast."' Great Controversy p. 449.
Thus we can clearly see that not only 144,000 are translated ("those that are expecting translation"), but also the great multitude ("those who would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark").
It is interesting to note that only two men have been translated from this earth without seeing death, Enoch and Elijah.
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;" Heb. 11:5.
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." 2 Kings 2:11.
Can we be so foolish as to suppose that it was just a coincidence that only two men have been translated from this earth without seeing death, or did the Lord have a specific purpose and reason?
It has been said, "Where there is no type there is no truth." How true this is in this case.
"For His own wise purpose the Lord veils spiritual truths in figures and symbols. . . .In parables and comparisons He found the best method of communicating divine truth." Fundamentals of Christian Education p. 236.
The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that both of these men, Enoch and Elijah, represents the saints which are to be translated from this earth at the Lord's second coming.
"...Elijah, representing those who at the close of earth's history will be changed from mortal to immortal and be translated to heaven without seeing death." Prophets and Kings p. 227.
"As Enoch was translated to heaven before the destruction of the world by water, so the living righteous will be translated from the earth before its destruction by fire." Patriarchs and Prophets p. 89.
It would not be logical nor reasonable to assume that both men,
Elijah and Enoch, would typify the same group of saints to be translated.
Elijah was an Israelite. His mantle was recognized as part of his clothing (2 Kings 2:8).
"As Elijah, divinely directed in seeking a successor, passed the field in which Elisha was plowing, he cast upon the young man's shoulders the mantle of consecration. During the famine the family of Shaphat had become familiar with the work and mission of Elijah, and now the Spirit of God impressed Elisha's heart as to the meaning of the prophet's act. To him it was the signal that God had called him to be the successor of Elijah." Prophets and Kings pp. 219,220.
The 144,000 are also Israelites (Rev. 7:4-8), and they are described as having white mantles as a part of their dress.
"Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square....And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet." Life Sketches pp. 66,67.
Elijah must typify the 144,000 translated saints.
If Elijah's mantle represented consecration, then in order to be consistent we would conclude that since the 144,000 all wear mantles, it would suggest that they are also especially consecrated to the service of God.
"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."' Early Writings p. 19.
Since the 144,000 are the only ones permitted to enter the Holy temple in the new earth, it would suggest the possibility of their officiating as priests of the Lord.
Enoch was not an Israelite.
"Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. There I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated. On his right arm he bore a glorious palm, and on each leaf was written 'Victory.'" Early Writings p . 40.
"After 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 Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;" Rev. 7:9.
Enoch would logically represent the great multitude, who are also translated saints.
Now let us compare the characteristics of the 144,000 as compared with the great multitude.
We know that both groups must be harvested while the Judgment is in session as the four beasts, twenty-four elders, and the Lamb are still officiating in the Sanctuary. See: Rev. 4:5: 7:11,13,17.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE 144,000.
144,000 are sealed before the four winds are let loose, or put another way before the time of trouble commences, and before the image of the beast is enforced. See: Rev. 7:1-4, 7 Bible Commentary p. 968, Test. Vol. 5 p. 152, Testimonies to Ministers pp. 444,445. Refer to chart on pages 14,15.
The 144,000 are called first fruits. Rev. 14:4.
The 144,000 are arrayed in white mantles, the same apparel as that of Elijah. See: 2 Kings 2:13,14, Life Sketches pp. 66,67.
Elijah, an Israelite represents those to be translated. Prophets and Kings p. 227, Desire of Ages p. 421.
"God would not suffer the wicked to destroy those who were expecting translation, and who would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark." Early Writings p. 284, Testimonies, Vol. 9 p. 17, Great Controversy pp. 634, 649.
The 144,000 are without guile, are faultless. Rev. 14:5, Testimonies, Vol. 5 pp. 214, 216, Zeph. 3:13.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GREAT MULTITUDE.
John sees the great multitude coming in after the 144,000 are sealed. Rev. 7:9. The great multitude come into God's church during the time of trouble. Rev. 7:9,13,14. Testimonies, Vol. 8 p. 50, Early Writings pp. 33,85.
The great multitude are from all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. Rev. 7:9, Testimonies, Vol. 8 p. 50, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students p. 532, Christ Our Righteousness p. 123. They come into God's church out of Babylon while Sunday observance is being enforced by law. Great Controversy pp. 449,450, Evangelism p. 234, Sons and Daughters of God p. 363.
The great multitude must be second fruits as John saw them after he saw the sealing of the 144,000 which are called first fruits. Rev. 7:9; 14:4.
The word "first fruits", designates there must be "second fruits".
The great multitude's apparel is described as having white robes and palms in their hands. Rev. 7:9. Enoch also is described as having a palm in his hand. Early Writings p. 40.
Enoch, not an Israelite represents those to be translated. Patriarchs and Prophets pp . 88, 89 .
"God would not suffer the wicked to destroy those who were expecting translation, and who would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark." Early Writings p. 284, Testimonies, Vol. 9 p. 17, Great Controversy p. 634, Evangelism p. 234.
The great multitude are faultless. Counsels on Health p. 264, Education p. 309.
"Among earth's inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law. . . .in the hour of deepest apostasy, when Satan's supreme effort is made to cause "all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond," to receive, under penalty of death, the sign of allegiance to a false rest day, these faithful ones, "blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke," will "shine as lights in the world." Revelation 13:16; Philippians 2:15. The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine.
"What strange work Elijah would have done in numbering Israel at the time when God's judgments were falling upon the backsliding people! He could count only one on the Lord's side. But when he said, "I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life," the word of the Lord surprised him, "Yet I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal." 1 Kings 19:14, 18.
"Then let no man attempt to number Israel today, but let everyone have a heart of flesh, a heart of tender sympathy, a heart that, like the heart of Christ, reaches out for the salvation of a lost world." Prophets and Kings pp. 188,189.
How encouraging and marvelous it is to know that the Lord will harvest not only 144,000 living saints (first fruits), but also such a vast multitude of living saints, that they cannot be numbered. Rev. 7:9.
In closing we would like to quote from an article in the "Signs of the Times", May 3, 1927 entitled, "The 144,000 Their Triumphs and Reward", By Taylor G. Bunch, page 12.
"Just before the world harvest is gathered and when it is 'white already to harvest, a 'first-fruits' sheaf will be gathered and presented to the Priest of the heavenly sanctuary to be dedicated to His service. The 'first-fruits' of the antitypical harvest are plainly declared to be the 144,000; this will be the FIRST SHEAF ONLY OF THE ENTIRE GOSPEL CROP."
This same author again wrote on the same subject in the "Signs of the Times", June 20, 1950 in an article entitled, "First Fruits of Redemption's Harvest" page 13.
"The 144,000 are the first to be brought to perfection of character in the gospel harvest of the last generation. They reach mature spiritual growth and are sealed and given the Holy Spirit in 'latter rain' showers, the purpose of which is to call the innumerable company of God's people out of spiritual Babylon before God's wrath is poured out upon the rejecters of His grace in the seven last plagues." See Revelation 7: 9.
See diagram depicting the last events of this world's history.
It is our earnest and deepest desire that the reader of this booklet may be among "those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation." Testimonies, Vol. 1 p. 187.