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THE SEALING & THE 144,000

QUESTION: THE 144,000 Greetings Jeff, I hope all is well in the Lord. I am forwarding this question to you on behalf of HP, who submitted his question on my website, thinking I was you. He has a good question, so when you can email him that would be great. EP. The pioneers believed that only 144,000 are sealed from 1844 until the second coming of Christ. They would be made up of all whom received the third angel’s message. Those who died in the message would be resurrected on the special resurrection of Daniel 12:2 at the seventh plague and EGW in Early Writings says that during this time that there are only 144,000 living saints in numbered when Christ comes. Uriah Smith has a footnote in his 1912 edition 677, 678, commenting on Revelation 14:13. Based on the story of Gideon,

and the shaking in 1844, I think

the pioneers where right. Do you have a comment? I live close to Yosemite close to Fresno, Ca are you scheduled to come sometime close to here? I appreciate your studies thank you. Brother HP.

the

flood, how many where faithful during Christ’s first coming

RESPONSE

Brother EP and HP, My only observation is that I think it is an overstatement to say the pioneers believed. I think it should be stated that some of the pioneers believed. Years ago we ran an article by Loughborrough where he taught that the 144,000 is made up of all the faithful Adventist since 1844, including those who die. His reasoning is used by the SDA Reform movement who hold this view. Once we ran the article we received a wave of input from those who identified that there was no firm consensus by the pioneers on the 144,000. So even though I am not threatened by this brother’s thoughts, I think he is overstating it when he says “the pioneers believed”. Jeff.

HPS REPLY TO JEFF'S RESPONSE

So would you say that Smith was also wrong on this point? Have you read his footnote commentary on Revelation 14:13? Once I tried to put together a line upon line study from the Spirit of Prophesy on last day events and to my surprise according to E.W. there are only 144,000 living saints at Christ’s second coming if you can show me different I would greatly appreciate it. The great multitude of Revelation 7:9, EGW says in The Great Controversy are all the redeemed before the throne of God including the 144,000. Smith agrees. EGW’s vision in Early Writings she is able to enter

before the throne of God including the 144,000. Smith agrees. EGW’s vision in Early Writings she

the temple because she is one of the 144,000. Is the number symbolic? The Bible says they are numbered EGW says 144,000 in number. When did the sealing of 144,000 start? At the special resurrection of Dan12:2. Those who resurrect, who had believed in the third angel’s message, plus those who are alive, total 144,000, see Early Writings. I’d asked Pastor WM and he told me he believed in a literal 144,000. I know there are different opinions and one pastor told me that this would be a sad gospel if only the remnant of last day was 144,000. But I’ve yet to find someone who can prove from the Word of God different than what Smith, Haskel and EGW say. Is this message to hard to swallow, I believe that this is what the church believed before our numbers increased that’s why the footnote in the latter printings of Smith’s book was taken out. Is the study of the 144,000 still sealed message? How do you prove that those who are called out of Babylon are not part of that message? There is only one message for the end time and that is the sealing message. I’m not set on concrete I would only like to know the truth. HP.

RESPONSE

Brother HP, The problem with this reasoning is found in Revelation:

15:2, 3And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord GodAlmighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints The group here mentioned is singing the song of Moses and the Lamb, and it is the 144,000 in the following passage that are singing the song before the throne. 4:14And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders:

and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

The 144,000 are those who sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, and according to Revelation they are those who have gotten the victory over the beast and his image. The beast and image test comes during the Sunday law testing time, and those Adventists who are laid to rest before that time, and who come up in the special resurrection do not go through that testing period and get that special victory. I don’t expect brother H to accept or follow the logic I am suggesting, but part of the problem he is suggesting is that he is placing the sealing of God’s people at the special resurrection when he states, “When did the sealing start of 144,000? At the special resurrection of Daniel 12:2. Those who resurrect who had believed in the third angels’ message plus those who are alive total 144,000, see Early Writings.” There are many passages of inspiration that teach that the sealing begins at the Sunday law in the USA, not at the special resurrection. Sister White states:

“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul-temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost.” Testimonies, volume 5, 214. If we accept brother HP’s ideas then the latter rain falls at the special resurrection, well after the close of probation, and the latter rain is what empowers us to proclaim the last warning message, and the message is proclaimed while probation is still open. Jeff.

1916 JOHN NORTON LOUGHBOROUGH, QUESTIONS ON THE SEALING MESSAGE

Before me are three questions that I am requested to answer:

First: When did the Adventists obtain light on the sealing message?

Second: When did the sealing work begin?

Third: Will any of the people of God who have died since 1848, in the message, be reckoned with the 144,OOO?

work begin? Third : Will any of the people of God who have died since 1848,

FIRST RESPONSE

As to the first question, we note that in 1845, some of the Adventists began the study of the third angel's message of Revelation 14:9-12. They saw clearly that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath was included in the keeping of all the commandments, as set forth in that message. Of the study of the message, we read in a statement from Sister E. G. White, in Testimonies for the Church, volume 1, 78, 79. The statement relates to the situation in 1846, and onward, and reads:

"When we began to present the light on the Sabbath question, we had no clearly defined idea of the third angel's message of Revelation 14:9-12. "The burden of our testimony as we came before the people was, that the great second advent movement was of God, that the first and second messages had gone forth, and that the third was to be given. We saw that the third message closed with the words:

'Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.' And we as clearly saw as we now see (the now was 1868, when volume 1 was first published), that these prophetic words suggested a Sabbath reform; but as to what the worship of the beast mentioned in the message was, or what the image and the mark of the beast were, we had no defined position. "God by His Holy Spirit let light shine forth upon His servants, and the subject gradually opened to their minds. It required much study and anxious care to search it out, link after link. By care, anxiety, and incessant labor has the work moved on until the great truths of our message, a clear, connected, perfect whole, have been given to the world." Although, down to the year 1848, our people had clear light on the different features of the third angel's message, their attention had not been especially called to the sealing message. They did not believe that, according to Revelation 14:1, there would be 144,000 to stand redeemed on Mount Zion. This company was also mentioned by Sister White in her first vision, recorded in Experience and Views, old edition, page 12. But they had not as yet studied the light on the sealing of the 144,000. As we shall see, it was the time of the conflict of the nations of Europe, in the early months of 1848, that light came to this people respecting the sealing message. In a brief consideration of that conflict, its cause and development, we shall see how the light on the message was obtained. In the Library of Universal Knowledge, page 536, we read of that conflict in 1848:

"That revolution was caused by the French people demanding a republican form of government from under Louis Philippe; and for a time, there was republican form, the revolution contagion spreading temporarily over most of the continent of Europe."

From the time of the Reign of Terror in France, the desire of the masses was, to secure for the people a greater control of the government, and to satisfy the craving of the people for national life in fact, to have a true government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Through the working of the papacy, and Bourbon, Louis Philippe, had been placed upon the throne, and it seemed to be an impossibility to induce the pope to submit to any government but that of his own devising. See Robinson's Western Europe. The situation caused animosity not only against Louis Philippe, but also against the pope, who was upholding the Bourbon ruler. At last, the pent up feelings burst forth in a conflict, as sudden in its developments as the bursting forth of a volcano. From facts stated in the public prints of the time, it would seem that Louis was not aware of the intensity of the feeling against his rule; for on the twenty-first of February, 1848, he said to his cabinet, "I was never more firmly seated in the empire of France than I am tonight. "The next day, he had a review of his soldiers. After the parade, the soldiers, with guns stacked, were resting on the ground, when a little lad with a tricolored flag in his hand climbed upon a cannon. He waved the flag in the air, shouting: "Down with the pope! DOWN WITH THE POPE!" Probably this was what he had heard talked at home. The soldiers caught up the same, which, with increasing vigor, was passed up and down the line, and finally with the addition, "and down with the king." Concerning the sudden outbreak of that rebellion, we read in Robinson's Western Europe, chapter forty:

"The gathering discontent, and demand for reform, suddenly showed their full strength and extent. It seemed for a time as if all western Europe was about to undergo as complete a revolution as France had experienced in 1789. With one accord, and as by obeying a preconcerted signal, the liberal parties in France, Italy, Germany, and Austria, during the earlier months of 1848, overthrew or gained control of the government, and proceeded to carry out their program of reform in the same thorough going way in which the National Assembly in France had done its work in 1789. The general movement affected almost every state in central Europe. "On February24, 1848, a mob attacked the Tuileries. The king abdicated in favor of his grandson. But it was too late. He and his whole family were forced to leave the country. The mob invaded the assembly, as in the Reign of Terror, crying: 'Down with the Bourbons, old and new! Long live the republic!'" Of this revolution of 1848, and its sudden checking up, Horace Greeley said, in the New York Tribune, "It was a great wonder to us politicians what started so suddenly that great confusion in Europe; but a greater wonder still, what so suddenly stopped it."

what started so suddenly that great confusion in Europe; but a greater wonder still, what so

I have a copy of a testimony given to Sister White in 1852, in which reference is made to the war of 1848. This was found among Brother Bates' papers, after his death. In it are these words:

"That desire was, to dethrone kings; but that could not be, for kings must reign until Christ begins His reign. I saw in Europe, just as things were moving to accomplish their designs, there would be a slacking up once or twice. Thus the hearts of the wicked would be hardened. But the work will not settle down (only seem to), for the minds of their kings and rulers were intent on overthrowing each other, and the minds of the people to get the ascendancy. I saw all minds intently looking and stretching their thoughts on the impending crisis before them.” There was one slacking up after the revolution of 1848. In the present war, beginning in 1914, is manifest on a still larger scale the determination to overthrow kings and rulers, and still a greater intensity in watching, than in that revolution of 1848. The testimony seems to indicate a second slacking up before the final conflict of the nations shall come. Of that outbreak in Paris, we have read already that Louis Philippe and his entire family fled from France. The fury of the mob was such that he feared for their lives, and accomplished their escape by placing his family in a coach, while he disguised himself in the driver’s clothes, and in the twilight passed unrecognized through the gates of Paris, thus effecting his flight to England. From a pamphlet entitled The Seal of the Living God, published by Elder Joseph Bates, dated January 1, 1849, we gain some facts as to that 1848 revolution, and the reception of the light on the sealing message. On page 45 we read, "The public journals have stated that on the twenty-second of February last, France became disorganized, deposed their king, and burned up his throne, and himself and family fled to England for safety. On page 49, we read of the fury of that conflict: "See what a rushing and struggling has been and is going on among the people to over throw the potentates of Europe; namely, Prussia, Hanover, Sicily, Naples, Venice, Lombardy, Tuscany, Rome, etc. See the account from the Boston Times of October 28, 1848, of the flight of the emperor of Austria from Vienna, the capital of his vast dominions, and of the insurrection and siege of that city for eight days, from the ninth of October; how they, in their work of slaughter, when they became victorious, tore up the railways, and demolished bridges, to stop all further intercourse. See also a similar state of things in Berlin under the king of Prussia." This gives us some idea of the revolt which broke out on the continent of Europe on February 22, 1848.

In the month of March of the same year, in Hydesville, Wayne County, New York, spirit rappings began in the home of the Fox and Fish family, which was moved to Rochester, NewYork, for more public investigation. For a time, these rappings were called "the Rochester knockings.” The First-day Adventists then said, with great zeal: "This conflict in Europe will culminate in the battle of Armageddon, and the Lord is about to come. These spirit rappings are the spirits of devils, going forth to gather the nations to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.” As our people had the light of the third angel's message and the Sabbath, and were confident that this truth must be proclaimed to the world, they could not accept the faith made by the first-day Adventists, that the Lord was about to come. Those people would say to the Sabbath keepers: "You had better give up your Sabbath message. You are too late with it. Join us in warning the world to get ready for the immediate coming of Christ." Such was the situation in the summer of 1848. This led the Seventh-day Adventists to earnest, prayerful study for light. The Lord led their minds to the holding of the winds (wars) and the sealing work, with a determination to find the meaning of the situation. They found, in their study of the Scriptures, that the Seventh-day Sabbath was the sign of the living God, and the seal of His law. This newly received light from the word of God gave still greater force to the Sabbath message, and doubly assured them that this, as the sealing message, must be proclaimed to the world before the actual coming of Christ. In Brother Bates's book, he refers to a meeting held in the home of Brother Otis Nichols, at Dorchester, near Boston, Massachusetts, on November 18, 1848, and says: "A small company of brethren and sisters were assembled in a meeting near Boston, We had made it (the manner of publishing the message) the subject of the prayer at the Topsham conference meeting a little previous, and the way to publish not appearing clear, we (now) therefore resolved unitedly to refer all to God. After some time spent in prayer for light and instruction, God gave Sister White a vision." Then he gives words which she spoke in the vision, which he copied down as she spoke them. From these words we quote the, following:

"He (God) was well pleased when His law began to come up in strength. That truth [the Sabbath truth] arises, and is on the increase, stronger and stronger. It's the seal! It's coming up! It arises, coming from the rising of the sun, like the sun, first cold, grows warmer, and sends its rays. When that truth arose, there was but little light in it; but it has been increasing. Oh, the power of these rays!” Next came words that spoiled the claims of the first-day Adventist that “the angels were no longer holding the winds of war and strife, but were letting them blow! The words spoken in vision were:

angels were no longer holding the winds of war and strife, but were letting them blow!

“The angels are holding the winds. It is God that restrains the powers. The angels have not let go, for the saints are not all sealed. The time of trouble has commenced. It has begun. The reason why the four winds are not let go, is because the saints are not sealed. It (the trouble) is on the increase more and more: that trouble will never end until the earth is rid of the wicked. Why, they (the winds) are just ready to blow. There is a check put on because the saints are not all sealed. Yes, publish the things thou hast seen and heard, and the blessing of God will attend.” After coming out of this vision, Sister White said to her husband:

“James, I have a message for you. Begin to print a little paper, small at first. Send it out free. The readers will send you money to print it. It will be a success from the first. I saw from this small beginning it was like streams of light that went clear around the world." In a vision given to Sister White at Rocky Hill, Conneticut, January 5, 1859, she had another view of the sealing work. This view, written by herself, is in Early Writings, old edition, pages 29-31, and reads as follows:

"I saw four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and were on their way to accomplish it. Jesus was clothed with priestly garments. He gazed in pity on the remnant, then raised His hands upward, and with a voice of deep pity cried, 'My blood, Father, My blood, My blood, My blood.' Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from God, who sat upon the great white throne, and was shed all about Jesus. Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, 'Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.'" The explanation made to her by her attending angel was "that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let them go, but while their hands were loosening, and the four winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not sealed, and He raised His hands to the Father, and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them. Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels, and bid them hold, until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God." Being thus fortified with light from the Scriptures, and the testimony of the Spirit of God, those having the light of the third angel's message were shielded from these claims of the First-day Adventists, with their "new time message," and were filled with new energy to press forward with the third angel's message, being confident that the God whom they trusted would clear the way for this, the last message to the world, to accomplish its purpose.

SECOND RESPONSE

When Did the Sealing Work begin? The testimonies already quoted as to the reception of the sealing message by the Seventh-day Adventists is also good proof as to the time when the sealing began. The four winds of war were about to blow when that commotion among the nations of Europe broke out. The four angels had their commission to hold those winds of war, that the work of sealing be not hindered. "A check was put on," so that the sealing might advance. We will note the other Testimonies showing that the sealing work was going on at that time. In Experience and Views, Early Writings, old edition, page 35, speaking of what was then occurring, we read:

"Satan is now using ever device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God's people from the present truth, and cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth, and was pure in heart, was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty." From the same testimony, page 36, we read:

"I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away

God's people, just now in this sealing

where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God's people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. God

has begun to draw this covering over His people, and it will soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter." I will quote from a tract published in 1852, a vision given to Sister White, at the home of Brother Harris, at Centerport, New York, August 24, 1850:

"I saw that Satan will work now more powerfully than ever before, for he knows that his time is short, and that the sealing will soon be over. And he will now work in every insinuation to get the saints off their guard, and get them to sleep upon present truth, and doubting it, so as to prevent their being sealed with the seal of the living God." We read in Early Writings, Experience and Views, page 49, old edition:

“The sealing time is very short, and soon will be over. Now is the time, while the four angels are holding the four winds, to make our calling and election sure." It was because of these plain statements, that our people and ministers, down to 1894, believed and taught that the sealing work had been going on since 1848, and that the 144,000 were being sealed. I do not see how we could draw any other idea, from the testimonies we have quoted, than that the sealing work had begun in 1848-1850.

Satan was trying his every art to hold them

testimonies we have quoted, than that the sealing work had begun in 1848-1850. Satan was trying

THIRD RESPONSE

Will any who have died in the faith since 1848, when that message was received, be reckoned with the 144,000? Some persons, more especially since 1894, have claimed that none will be reckoned among the 144,000 but those who lived until the second coming of Christ; and that this must be so, for according to Revelation 14:3-4, they are "redeemed from among men," and

"from the earth." According to Daniel 12, there is a partial resurrection in the "time of trouble," just before Christ's second coming. We read: “In that time shall Michael stand

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting

life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Surely those who awake to everlasting life will be alive and "among men," when Christ comes. If, in 1848-1850, persons were being sealed, we would naturally expect they would be of those wakened to everlasting life, and so be with the 144,000. Of this resurrection we read in Early Writings, Spiritual Gifts, old edition, page 145:

"There was one clear place of settled glory, whence came the voice of God like many waters, shaking the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. The graves were opened, and those who had died in faith under the third angel's message, keeping the Sabbath, came forth from their dusty beds, glorified, to hear the covenant of peace that God was to make with those who had kept His law." In Spiritual Gifts, 145-146, we read:

"As God spoke the day and the hour of Jesus' coming, and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people, He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth. The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed up wards, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder. It was awfully solemn. At the end of every sentence the saints shouted, Glory! Hallelujah! Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God, and they shone with glory as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai (glorified). The wicked could not look upon them for the glory. And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God, in keeping His Sabbath holy, there was a

mighty shout of victory over the beast and over his image." Of the same we read in Testimonies for the Church, volume 1, page 59:

up,

"Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number (remember that the resurrected Sabbath keepers are then among the living saints), knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spake the time, He poured upon us the Holy Spirit, and our faces began to Light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses' did when he came down from Mount Sinai.

"The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads were the words 'God,' 'New Jerusalem,' and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground." If it be claimed that none will be numbered among the 144,000 but those who live until Christ's second coming, without tasting death, what about those Sabbath keepers who in 1848 to 1850 were being sealed? There are not a half dozen of those now alive who were then keeping the Sabbath. If they were then sealed, they will be among those resurrected to eternal life at the voice of God. There are some things connected with the case of Sister White that have a bearing on the matter of the 144,000. She is now at rest. But as reported in her first vision, Experience and Views, is an account of what is to take place in the kingdom:

"Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious temple, and about it were

seven of her mountains, on which grew roses 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." It seems, however, that in this view of things to occur in the new earth, she entered that temple; for she said:

"This temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls

most glorious. The wonderful things I there saw, I cannot

I saw there tables of

stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold. After we beheld the glory of the temple we went out, and Jesus left us, and went to the city." From this we would surely conclude that in the new earth, Sister White would be one of the 144,000.* [*The use of "we," "us," and "our" includes Sister White.] On page 33 of Experience and Views, old edition, she speaks of what the angel told her while she was viewing Saturn:

"I begged of my attending angel to let me remain in that place. I could not bear the thought of coming back to this dark world again. Then the angel said, 'You must go back, and if you are faithful, you, with the 144,000, shall have the privilege of visiting all the worlds and viewing the handiwork of God.'" That surely looks like some of the 144,000 being of those who will have been raised from the dead.

of God.'" That surely looks like some of the 144,000 being of those who will have

Notwithstanding these facts in the testimonies presented, it is still urged by some, that what is said in Great Controversy, page 649, shows that the 144,000 will be composed wholly of those who have never died. Let us see what is said, and the condition under which the said statement occurs. Here it is:

"These having been translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as 'the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.' (The Sabbath keepers resurrected to eternal life will surely be among the living at Christ's second coming.) 'These are they which came out of great tribulation;' they have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." That trouble of the nations will be under the sixth plague; and it is at that time, according to Daniel 12:1, that the partial resurrection will take place, bringing up the sealed Sabbath keepers. This will be when the seventh plague is yet to come. Of the situation at that time, we read in Experience and Views, page 29:

"These plagues enrage the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob's trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God." We have already seen that this glorification takes place with the resurrected Sabbath keepers, as well as those who had not died, when God delivers the everlasting covenant on those who had honored Him by keeping His Sabbath. Of this scene we read in Spiritual Gifts, page 143:

"I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty, after a certain time, to put

Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most

them to

High; but Jesus bade His angels watch over them. God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, with out their seeing death, the faithful waiting ones who had so long expected Him." Keeping the law "in the sight of the heathen" was in the sight of these inquisitors who had the decree to put them to death, and not to death in an ordinary sense, under calm conditions. It is from this testimony, "translating, without seeing death," that the claim has been made that none will be among the sealed 144,000 but those who live until Christ's actual second coming. We see that the death they are saved from is the death permitted by the

“papers circulated.” Bear in mind that the resurrected Sabbath keepers are included among the covenantees. So they are to be translated at Christ’s coming, without suffering the

threatened death. By this decree, they are brought into “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” His trouble was the news that Esau was coming with four hundred armed men. Unless the Lord should aid him, it looked like death to him and his whole family. There is another testimony from Great Controversy, page 649, used by those who claim that none who have died in the message will be among the 144,000:

“They have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have 'washed their robes, and made them

white in the blood of the Lamb.'

pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured suffering, hunger, and thirst." This is what is said of the whole of 144,000, and in part will be true of the resurrected Sabbath keepers; for they endure the time of Jacob's trouble. They are raised under the sixth plague, and see the final outpouring of God’s judgments under the seventh plague, and are among those delivered from this decree of death. In Spiritual Gifts, pages 146, 147, we read still further of what will take place with the living resurrected and living Sabbath keepers, after the voice of God declaring the everlasting covenant, when the wicked were enraged against them:

They have seen the earth wasted with famine and

"Soon appeared the great white cloud, upon which sat the Son of man. When it first

appeared in the distance, this cloud looked very small. The angel said that it was the sign of the Son of man. As it drew nearer the earth, we could behold the excellent glory and

majesty of Jesus as He rode forth to

noonday sun, His eyes were as a flame of fire, and His feet had the appearance of fine brass. His voice sounded like many musical instruments. The earth trembled before Him, the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were

moved out of their

faithful children from the earth, now witness the glory of God which rested upon them. And amid all their terror they heard the voices of the saints in joyful strains, saying, 'Lo, this is

our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us.' The earth mightily shook as the voice of the Son of God called forth the sleeping saints. They responded to the call, and came forth clothed with glorious immortality, crying, Victory, victory, over death and the grave! O death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory? Then the living saints and the resurrected ones raised their voices in a long, transporting shout of victory. Those bodies that had gone down into the grave bearing the marks of disease and death, came up in immortal health and vigor. The living saints are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and caught

His countenance was as bright as the

Those who a short time before would have destroyed God's

of an eye, and caught His countenance was as bright as the Those who a short

up with the resurrected ones, and together they meet their Lord in the air. Oh, what a glorious meeting! Friends whom death had separated, were united, never more to part." If there is still a doubt of the resurrected Sabbath keepers' being numbered with the 144,000, consider the following from Sister White's words in 1909. At the general Conference in 1909, Elder Irwin had a stenographer accompany him in a call upon Sister White. He wished to ask her some questions, and have an exact copy of the words of the questions, and the exact words of the replies. Among other questions was this one:

"Will those who have died in the message be among the 144,OOO?” In reply, Sister White said: “Oh, yes, those who have died in the faith will be among the 144,000. I am clear on that matter." These were the exact words of question and answer, as Brother Irwin permitted me to copy from his stenographer's report.

THE NUMBER OF THE SEALED

The query may now arise: "If the sealing message is to go to all the world with a Pentecostal power, and the earth to be lighted with its glory, and if, as recently stated by Brother Blank, it is to result in 'millions' being prepared for Christ's second coming, is not 144,000 a small number to be sealed? It is only a fraction of one million. "In His word the Lord has spoken of those to be saved at His coming as a "little flock." Luke 12:32. They are also a people who have been subject to a very rigid test. The prophet Daniel speaks of them:

"Many shall be purified, and made white and tried." Daniel 12:10. Some translate this "thoroughly tested." It may be true in this case, "Many are called, but few are chosen."Matthew22:14. In Testimonies volume 5, 136, published in 1881, we read, "The great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal" On pages 213-214, we read: "Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master’s will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works… By their lack of devotion and piety, and their failure to reach a high religious standard, they make other souls contended with their position… Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost." On page 136 of the same volume we read: "Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the opposers.”

In Spirit of Prophecy, volume 4 page 426, we read: “As the storm approaches, a large

class who have professed faith in the third message, but have not been sanctified through it, abandon their position, and take refuge under the banner of the powers of darkness. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls.” The same is in Great Controversy, 609 In Testimonies, volume 5, 216, we read: "The seal of God will never be placed upon

the forehead of

the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God-- candidates for heaven." On page 81 we read: "Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy, will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat" In volume 6, pages 400-401, we read: "As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare, will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us. Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and will depart from the faith." Whatever may be true of the millions that will hear the third angel's message, the 144,000 seem to be a peculiar group, with peculiar characteristics, gathered in groups of 12,000 each, bearing the names of the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel," without guile in their mouths," "without fault before the throne of God." They are not all Americans, nor all users of the English language; but they are "without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." If, as lately expressed by Elder Blank, the preaching of the message "prepares millions to be saved at the coming of Christ," and the Lord in compassion pardons the sins of ignorance in the converted heathens who have not had the opportunities of those more enlightened, praise to His name. That does not excuse us who have had greater light, and

might attain to one of the twelve groups of the sealed 144,000. In the Review of May 22, 1889, Sister White said: "In a little while, everyone who is a child of God will have His seal placed upon him. O that it may be placed upon our foreheads! Who can bear the thought of being forever passed by when the angel goes forth to seal the servants of God in their foreheads?"

End of Article.

the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon

of God in their foreheads?" End of Article. the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will

QUESTION: PURIFICATION OF THE CHURCH

My husband was in San Antonio, Texas a while back and received some information that does not match up with what I have been taught all my life. He got this information at a big event that the Texas Conference was putting on. I have always been taught that the purification of the church comes at the Sunday Law. The information that he got says that it comes before the Sunday Law and that the 144,00 are then developed and that all Seventh- day Adventists who are not in the 144,000 will be literally slaughtered at the time before the Sunday Law. I am very confused by all of this and I have not ever heard you preach anything that did not sound exactly right so I am sending you a check tomorrow for the Purification Series.

RESPONSE

The main error that leads to applying the prophecies in the fashion you identified is in attempting to apply the prophecies at the end in a literal fashion. The primary group in Adventism who use this false prophetic technique, particularly in reference to Ezekiel, is the Shepherd’s Rod and their various branch offs, (there have been several since Victor Hoteff started pushing these concepts). They are not the only ones to apply the prophecies literally, but they emphasize the purification of the church as a literal event. Victor Hoteff was not simply an erroneous teacherhe was a false prophet. He claimed the position of a prophet. He made several predictions that never came to pass, and he openly opposed some parts of Scripture and some passages from the Spirit of Prophecy. It’s unfortunate that the Texas Conference would promote such error. They should look at the work that was done by a couple General Conference committees that addressed Hoteff’s ideas. They were clear that his prophetic analysis was erroneous, and they did their work for the purpose of identifying the churches position in relation to Hoteff’s nonsense. That was years ago, so perhaps the left hand no longer knows or remembers the work of the right hand? I will mail you a Purification set with notes today, but I will also send you The Judgment of the Living series, where this subject is also addressed.

QUESTION: THE CLOSE OF PROBATION

Hope and pray this message finds you and your family happy and well. I’m in the process of looking into the subject of when probation closes. I know of at least two schools of thought. ONE: Probation closes when the death decree is enforced. TWO: Probation closes for Adventists at the Sunday law, while there is time for the unchurched to be saved.

Of course I’m not speaking of the time of death when that person’s probation closes. I’m speaking of those who are alive when probation closes, something like in the days of Noah. When the door of the Ark was shut, probation closes for those out side of the Ark. People were still living when their probation closed, but did not know it. I’m still doing research in the E. G. White database to find out what I can. I know how busy you are with your studies. When you get a moment please give me what you can, even if it’s off the top of your head. Thank you for your time.

RESPONSE

One: I do not know of a proof text that positively identifies the death decree with the time when Michael stands up and human probation closes, but the context of the information available certainly implies that to me. Two: Probation closes progressively, beginning with the church and then proceeding unto those outside the church. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the

righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1 Peter 4:17

18

It also closes progressively in a geographical sense, for it begins in the USA and then every country on the globe follows the example of the USA. “As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the Papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 18 “Foreign nations will follow the example of the United States. Though she leads out, yet the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world.” Ibid., 395 I would recommend our study titled, The Judgment of the Living. In that series we deal with these concepts. My favorite quote dealing with this teaches that the world, (those outside Adventism) can only be warned be seeing people who are “sealed”. The sealing takes place prophetically at the Sunday law. The world can only be warned by seeing those who believe the truth sanctified through the truth, acting upon high and holy principles, showing in a high, elevated sense, the line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and whose who trample them under their feet. The sanctification of the Spirit signalizes the difference between those who have the seal of God and those who keep a spurious rest day.

of the Spirit signalizes the difference between those who have the seal of God and those

“When the test comes, it will be clearly shown what the mark of the beast is. It is the keeping of Sunday. Those who, after having heard the truth, continue to regard this day as holy bear the signature of the man of sin, who thought to change times and laws “ The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 980 “Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 214

QUESTION: CAN I BE APART OF THE 144,000?

I would like to know what are your findings on the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation. Is it symbolic or is it literal and if literal do I have a chance of being in that number or they are already decided.

RESPONSE

For Seventh-day Adventists today salvation is not enough. Part of the “present truth” for today is that probation is about to close. This means that among other things our calling is not simply to be saved, but to be among those who make up the 144,000. We have been counseled to “strive” to be among that number:

“Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand.” Maranatha, 241 We are commanded to strive to be among them, and therefore this is our calling at this time period. Not only do you have a chance, but it is your responsibility to work out this calling with “fear and trembling”. Remember: “His commands and promises are identical.” Review and Herald, January 14, 1890

QUESTION: CLOSE OF PROBATION AT THE SUNDAY LAW

I want to thank you for the material on the prophecies in Daniel that you recently sent out to me. I am also grateful for the monthly tapes and newsletters you send that are so full of information on the times in which we live. They are great for sharing as well and have opened the eyes of several friends. I pray the Lord will continue to bless the work you are doing.

I have a question in regard to Jeff’s comment that probation closes for Adventists when the Sunday law is issued. Does he mean the Sunday law, which requires Sunday worship on Saturday? I know the Sunday laws will be progressive till they reach the point where we are persecuted for worshiping on Sabbath even though we are not working on Sunday and using Sunday for missionary type work. What is your understandings on this point and what information is it based on? Yours in Christ, MS.

RESPONSE

[Editors note: The Sunday law that is the dividing line for Adventism, is two-fold in nature. It forces worship on Sunday and persecutes for upholding the seventh day Sabbath] "A time is coming when the law of God is, in a special sense, to be made void in our land. The rulers of our nation will, by legislative enactments, enforce the Sunday law, and thus God's people be brought into great peril. When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will, to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin." Review and Herald, December 18, 1888. "The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty; for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve him not. While the observance of the false Sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of an allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God." The Great Controversy, 605.

QUESTION: PERFECTION OF CHARACTER

HiJeff:

I am reading through your sermon notes and I am puzzled by one quote which states: “Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every All who receive the seal must be without spot before Godcandidates for heaven.Testimonies, volume 5, 214216.

who receive the seal must be without spot before God — candidates for heaven. ” Testimonies

This to me sounds hopeless as I don’t see me ever being without spot or stain unless the Lord totally changes my life. I am willing; I desire it, but I don’t see it happening. Please explain this to me. N.

RESPONSE

Dear N,

This quotation is similar to many in inspiration. I have used this quotation a great deal in our presentations for it nails down a few prophetic points. It comes from the chapter titled The Seal of God.

In the passage you can recognize that before the latter rain is poured out, we must receive the seal. You can also use this passage as evidence that the sealing of God’s people arrives at the Sunday law, which in the passage Sister White calls simply, “the decree”. Therefore I use the passage to identify that first we are sealed, then the latter rain is poured out. We finished a prophecy school here in our little fellowship recently. We started on Friday night, then all afternoon Sabbath and then a half day Sunday. The only day we missed in the three weekends was Christmas day. In the last Sabbath meeting we were joined by a pastor and his wife that I have interacted with for several years now. I am aware of several points where they and I are in disagreement. One of the points which they attempted to push during the final question and answer period I have dialogued with them on for years. They are of a group in Adventism which believes everyone is sealed at the same time. The final work of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary is to blot out the record of sins and seal His people. This passage is one of many that clearly identifies the fallacy of that position. If we are sealed before the latter rain, and we are if we have prepared our character for that event, then the latter rain empowers us to proclaim the final warning message and stand during the time of trouble. If everyone were sealed simultaneously, and then we received the latter rain, the passages where we are informed that the latter rain is what empowers the final warning message becomesmeaningless. Perhaps the latter rain would strengthen us to stand through the great time of trouble, but if everyone receives the seal at the same time then there is no one left to warn. In Germany last year I read this quotation and a few people walked out of the church. In Southern California this year I had a brother interrupt in a very agitated fashion and ask me if I had just said that “it is left with us to remedy our defects of character”? I responded, “No. Sister White stated, ‘it is left with us to remedy our defects in character’”.

What I am saying is that this is a hot-button quotation. Liberal Adventism cannot accept this passage at face value. One of the main attacks is the question, “What does without spot or stain mean?” The response to that question is in the following sentence when it states, “It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement.” Without spot or stain means to cleanse thesoultempleofeverydefilement”.Howhardisthat? Disregarding those who wrest this quotation in order to meet their own private interpretations of prophecy, and those who reject the high calling of the everlasting gospel on those who are destined to make up the 144,000, I believe your question is not denying the truth of the passage, but pointing out the fearful magnitude of the demands upon our lives which this passage is setting forth. The passage is causing you anxiety, but you are not attempting to avoid the obvious meaning. I am certain that one of the necessities to actually bring this passage into our lives is an honest heart. It seems as though you have that, so from my limited human perspective you should take encouragement from that attitude. You asked for an explanation. I believetheexplanationis in thechapteritself:

THE SEAL OF GOD

"He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand." “And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house." Jesus is about to leave the mercy seat of the heavenly sanctuary to put on garments of vengeance and pour out His wrath in judgments upon those who have not responded to the light God has given them. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Instead of being softened by the patience and long forbearance that the Lord has exercised toward them, those who fear not God and love not the truth strengthen their hearts in their evil course. But there are limits even to the forbearance of God, and many are exceeding these boundaries. They have overrun the limits of grace, and therefore God must interfere and vindicate His own honor.

these boundaries. They have overrun the limits of grace, and therefore God must interfere and vindicate

“Of the Amorites the Lord said: "In the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." Although this nation was conspicuous because of its idolatry and corruption, it had not yet filled up the cup of its iniquity, and God would not give command for its utter destruction. The people were to see the divine power manifested in a marked manner, that they might be left without excuse. The compassionate Creator was willing to bear with their iniquity until the fourth generation. Then, if no change was seen for the better, His judgments were to fall upon them. With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps an account with all nations. While His mercy is tendered with calls to repentance, this account will remain open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath commences. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading of mercy in their behalf. “The prophet, looking down the ages, had this time presented before his vision. The nations of this age have been the recipients of unprecedented mercies. The choicest of heaven's blessings have been given them, but increased pride, covetousness, idolatry, contempt of God, and base ingratitude are written against them. They are fast closing up their account with God. “But that which causes me to tremble is the fact that those who have had the greatest light and privileges have become contaminated by the prevailing iniquity. Influenced by the unrighteous around them, many, even of those who profess the truth, have grown cold and are borne down by the strong current of evil. The universal scorn thrown upon true piety and holiness leads those who do not connect closely with God to lose their reverence for His law. If they were following the light and obeying the truth from the heart, this holy law would seem even more precious to them when thus despised and set aside. As the disrespect for God's law becomes more manifest, the line of demarcation between its observers and the world becomes more distinct. Love for the divine precepts increases with one class according as contempt for them increases with another class. “The crisis is fast approaching. The rapidly swelling figures show that the time for God's visitation has about come. Although loath to punish, nevertheless He will punish, and that speedily. Those who walk in the light will see signs of the approaching peril; but they are not to sit in quiet, unconcerned expectancy of the ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that God will shelter His people in the day of visitation. Far from it. They should realize that it is their duty to labor diligently to save others, looking with strong faith to God for help. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

“The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its power. At the time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in behalf of the church because its members are doing after the manner of the world. “The earnest prayers of this faithful few will not be in vain. When the Lord comes forth as an avenger, He will also come as a protector of all those who have preserved the faith in its purity and kept themselves unspotted from the world. It is at this time that God has promised to avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them. “The command is: "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, counseled, and entreated. Some who had been dishonoring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God's honor and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonored, the truth made of none effect. The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: "Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house."

man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the

“Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus "Peace and safety" is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together. “The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed. The great Searcher of hearts knoweth every sin committed in secret by the workers of iniquity. These persons come to feel secure in their deceptions and, because of His long-suffering, say that the Lord seeth not, and then act as though He had forsaken the earth. But He will detect their hypocrisy and will open before others those sins which they were so careful to hide. “No superiority of rank, dignity, or worldly wisdom, no position in sacred office, will preserve men from sacrificing principle when left to their own deceitful hearts. Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ring-leaders in apostasy and examples in indifference and in the abuse of God's mercies. Their wicked course He will tolerate no longer, and in His wrath He deals with them without mercy. “It is with reluctance that the Lord withdraws His presence from those who have been blessed with great light and who have felt the power of the word in ministering to others. They were once His faithful servants, favored with His presence and guidance; but they departed from Him and led others into error, and therefore are brought under the divine displeasure. “The day of God's vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. "The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God or be cut down by the destroying weapons. Already a few drops of God's wrath have fallen upon the earth; but when the seven last plagues shall be poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, then it will be forever too late to repent and find shelter. No atoning blood will then wash away the stains of sin.

"And 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, everyone that shall be found written in the book." When this time of trouble comes, every case is decided; there is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent. The seal of the living God is upon His people. This small remnant, unable to defend themselves in the deadly conflict with the powers of earth that are marshaled by the dragon host, make God their defense. The decree has been passed by the highest earthly authority that they shall worship the beast and receive his mark under pain of persecution and death. May God help His people now, for what can they then do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance! Courage, fortitude, faith, and implicit trust in God's power to save do not come in a moment. These heavenly graces are acquired by the experience of years. By a life of holy endeavor and firm adherence to the right the children of God were sealing their destiny. Beset with temptations without number, they knew they must resist firmly or be conquered. They felt that they had a great work to do, and at any hour they might be called to lay off their armor; and should they come to the close of life with their work undone, it would be an eternal loss. They eagerly accepted the light from heaven, as did the first disciples from the lips of Jesus. When those early Christians were exiled to mountains and deserts, when left in dungeons to die with hunger, cold, and torture, when martyrdom seemed the only way out of their distress, they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ, who was crucified for them. Their worthy example will be a comfort and encouragement to the people of God who will be brought into the time of trouble such as never was. Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master's will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works. These who were so familiar with prophecy and the treasures of divine wisdom should have acted their faith. They should have commanded their households after them, that by a well-ordered family they might present to the world the influence of the truth upon the human heart. “By their lack of devotion and piety, and their failure to reach a high religious standard, they make other souls contented with their position. Men of finite judgment cannot see that in patterning after these men who have so often opened to them the treasures of God's word, they will surely endanger their souls. Jesus is the only true pattern. Everyone must now search the Bible for himself upon his knees before God, with the humble, teachable heart of a child, if he would know what the Lord requires of him.

upon his knees before God, with the humble, teachable heart of a child, if he would

However high any minister may have stood in the favor of God, if he neglects to follow out the light given him of God, if he refuses to be taught as a little child, he will go into darkness and satanic delusions and will lead others in the same path. Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. We are too easily satisfied with our attainments. We feel rich and increased with goods and know not that we are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Now is the time to heed the admonition of the True Witness: "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." “In this life we must meet fiery trials and make costly sacrifices, but the peace of Christ is the reward. There has been so little self-denial, so little suffering for Christ's sake, that the cross is almost entirely forgotten. We must be partakers with Christ of His sufferings if we would sit down in triumph with Him on His throne. So long as we choose the easy path of self-indulgence and are frightened at self-denial, our faith will never become firm, and we cannot know the peace of Jesus nor the joy that comes through conscious victory. The most exalted of the redeemed host that stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, clad in white, know the conflict of overcoming, for they have come up through great tribulation. Those who have yielded to circumstances rather than engage in this conflict will not know how to stand in that day when anguish will be upon every soul, when, though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land, they could save neither son nor daughter, for everyone must deliver his soul by his own righteousness. No one need say that his case is hopeless, that he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample provision is made by the death of Christ for every soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need. Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised to hear and answer your petitions. Oh, for a living, active faith! We need it; we must have it, or we shall faint and fail in the day of trial. The darkness that will then rest upon our path must not discourage us or drive us to despair. It is the veil with which God covers His glory when He comes to impart rich blessings. We should know this by our past experience. In that day when God has a controversy with His people this experience will be a source of comfort and hope.

It is now that we must keep ourselves and our children unspotted from the world. It is now that we must wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is now that we must overcome pride, passion, and spiritual slothfulness. It is now that we must awake and make determined effort for symmetry of character. "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." We are in a most trying position, waiting, watching for our Lord's appearing. The world is in darkness. "But ye, brethren," says Paul, "are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." It is ever God's purpose to bring light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, and rest out of weariness for the waiting, longing soul. “What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity. Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God--candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.” Testimonies, Volume 5, 207- 216.

Dear N,

You stated, “This to me sounds hopeless as I don’t see me ever being without spot or stain unless the Lord totally changes my life. I am willing; I desire it, but I don’t see it happening. Please explain this to me.” I believe the answer was clearly set forth in the chapter. It stated among other things that “No one need say that his case is hopeless, that he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample provision is made by the death of Christ for every soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need. Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised to hear and answer your petitions.” We are living in a time-period where genuine Christianity is very rarely seen. This reality has desensitized us to the high calling of the gospel, and subtly taught us that this high calling is either incorrect or unattainable. But to live without a spot or stain, which is to cleanse and maintain ourselves from every defilement is nothing more or less than to live the life of a Christian.

is to cleanse and maintain ourselves from every defilement is nothing more or less than to

I have had the privilege to share Bible prophecy for a few years. In doing so many have taken upon themselves to ask for spiritual counsel on this and other subjects. I am not sure that I posses the qualifications of a good counselor on the subjects, but I can share my own personal convictions. If I had an actual practical recommendation for Seventh-day Adventists who were seeking to bring their life and experience up to the high calling of the 144,000 at this time period, I would tell them to increase their Bible study, but to also return to the Testimonies. I believe it is time to carefully return to the nine volumes of the Testimonies for the Church and allow the Holy Spirit to identify the areas in our lives that need to be polished and refined. I believe the Testimonies have the practical counsel along with the intellectual information that God’s people need at this point in history. There is more that we can accomplish in cleansing our soul temples from every defilement, but the Bible and the Testimonies will identify those things much clearer than I ever could. Hope this is helpful. Jeff.

“Christians are Christ’s jewels. They are to shine brightly for Him, shedding forth the light of His loveliness. Their luster depends on the polishing they receive. They may choose to be polished or to remain unpolished. But everyone who is pronounced worthy of a place in the Lord’s temple must submit to the polishing process. Without the polishing that the Lord gives, they can reflect no more light than a common pebble. Christ says to man, You are mine. I have bought you. You are now only a rough stone; but if you will place yourself in My hands, I will polish you, and the luster with which you shall shine will bring honor to My name. No man shall pluck you out of My hand. I will make you My peculiar treasure. On My coronation day, you will be a jewel in My crown of rejoicing.” In Heavenly Places, 267.

QUESTION: SILENCE ON THE TOPIC OF THE 144,000

Dear Jeff, Recently M&BC came to visit us. After seeing a couple of your videos, my wife and I have decided to purchase one of the many sets that you have. We have seen some of the Blythe meetings but would like your recommendation as to which would be most appropriate for us. I have looked at your material and see that it is quite extensive, our pockets are not so deep that we can afford all of them but one set would be viable and workable for us, though I am sure we would enjoy them all but financial constraints do not allow this. So your recommendation would be appreciated. We have been asking some of our church members if they know anything about the 2,520 year prophecy and they are numbly surprised and in short actually know nothing. My wife and I have been Seventh-day Adventists for only 10 years and the last 6 have been as missionaries in China. Our Father has brought us back it seemsthough we are trying to

continue our work in China from here. So we know about prophecy, but only as it has been generally taught. Much of what you have said I find myself in complete agreement with. I must be truthful about one item and that is 144,000. I do not disagree that there may very well be a group of 144,000 that spreads the gospel. Yet, I feel impressed to share with you the experience that I have had in China and in the United States as an outsider looking into the surprised and in short actually know nothing. My wife and I have been Seventh-day Adventist Church. I have noticed that the earmarks of “movements” usually have something that attracts people. Most of the material that you have speaks volumes but the 144,000 and any emphasis on it will attract a group of people that will feel that they are more important than others. I can tell you right now without any doubt in my mind if I were to share the information directly about the 144,000 and its importance, there would be groups springing up throughout China claiming they are the 144,000. Our brothers in China have serious challenges, if this were to be brought up as a point of focus some would take this and run with it and it would bring reprisals upon the church in China very quickly, aside from creating other havoc within the church. Furthermore, I believe the same will happen here in the United States as well. Even though I sincerely believe your intentions are of the highest nature, yet we need to recognize that whoever they might be, the 144,000 will know who they are and it is not up to us to bring to much light upon the subject. DB also believes as you, do but has not pushed the issue. I know that you are excited, and in short so am I about this wonderful information our Father has revealed to you. Please forgive me if I have been too forward in this. It is just my experience and the emotions of people that are not grounded will run with this in ways that could carry what you are trying to share with people in sad direction. You I am sure will be getting enough flack from many corners it may be prudent to work with this aspect in a more gentle fashion. I look forward to your recommendations. God Bless. In our Master’s Service. RM. “And I saw Jesus rise up in the Holiest, and as he came out we heard the tinkling of bells, and knew our High Priest was coming out. Then we heard the voice of God which shook the heavens and earth, and gave the 144,000 the day and hour of Jesus’ coming.” Day Star, March 14, 1846.

shook the heavens and earth, and gave the 144,000 the day and hour of Jesus’ coming.”

RESPONSE

Dear RM, We have been sharing the prophetic message publicly for 15 years, in every continent of the world, and have always shared our understanding of the 144,000 when it was part of the particular message. I have never witnessed, nor heard second- hand of any person or group becoming unbalanced in any way, by our emphasis of the 144,000. Your experience may be accurate, but my experience does not agree with your reasoning at all. The pioneers of Adventism never avoided a biblical topic; for fear that some may become unbalanced because they do not react to the information correctly. Brother the 144,000 is in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy states that we are to “strive” to be among that number. Silence on this truth is certainly not what I understand the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy to be suggesting. We are at the end of time, and during that time period, the book of Revelation teaches that God will raise up that number, whether it be literal or symbolic, and it doesn’t seem reasonable to be silent on a subject that is most definitely a subject of end-time Bible prophecy. Jeff.