Comments on 144,000

By Arthur J. Bugg

The 144,000

There have been so many different opinions and ideas about this subject. Even some have gone so far as to say that nobody knows who they are and that it isn’t important to talk about it. Why such a position some take is a sad thing to my mind. Some of my dear brethren of this wonderful Third Angel’s Message go as far as to say that they don’t worry about being in the 144,000, just since they are saved.

Now my dear brethren, let’s face the facts about this wonder message. First, it is the Sealing Message, which began October 22, 1844, the same message we find in Revelation 7. Also, it the same message we find in Revelation 14, of which there are only two identifications that is being given to those who will be saved and to those who will be lost. The saved will receive the Seal of God and the lost, the Mark of the Beast. Now my beloved one, consider this. Those of us that have been identified in this message have only two choices: Number One, the Seal of God; Number Two, the Mark of the Beast. Now if you are saved, you will receive the Seal of God. Second, if you are sealed, you will be in the 144,000. Third, if you are not sealed, you will receive the Mark of the Beast.

So dear ones, according to the standards set before us, it does matter if you are not in the 144,000. For all that will be saved in this message will be sealed with the Seal of the Living God. Others will receive the Mark of the Beast. So because of this steadfast, unmovable fact, if you are not in the 144,000, you will be lost forever.

Now there are those who contend that those who die before Christ comes won’t be in the 144,000, because they won’t be here on earth to be translated.

Now I’m forced to make a correction of this contention. For according to Daniel 12:1-2, there is a partial resurrection, which will take place during the time of trouble when Michael the Great Prince will stand up to deliver his people, and those righteous who will be resurrected when the graves are open will be those who have died in faith under the Third Angel’s Message, keeping the Sabbath. You will find this statement in the Early Writings, by Sr. Ellen G. White, on page 285, under the subject, “Deliverance of the Saints.”

Now let’s consider the last sentence of the first paragraph. We read, “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.”

Now may I call your attention to the fact that this great event of the resurrection of the ones who had died in faith under the Third Angel’s Message takes place during the sixth plague or just before the seventh plague takes place. Now remember these saints only come up from the grave in their mortal bodies, glorified as Moses was glorified when he came down from Mt. Sinai, when he was through talking with God. These Sabbath keepers will be here walking around waiting for Christ to come to be changed from mortal to immortality and translated with the rest of the 144,000.

Now some of those who died in faith under this message are Brother White and Brother Uriah Smith, Sr. White and others.

For we read, “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 proves the fact that some of the 144,000 will be those who will have been raised from the dead. QSM 25.2

“Notwithstanding these facts in the testimonies presented, it is still urged by some of our brethren that what is said in Great Controversy, page 649, show that the 144,000 will be composed wholly of those who have never died. Now let us see what is said and the conditions under which the statement occurs. Here it is said 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 the second coming of Christ. These are they which come out of great tribulations. They have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, that trouble of the nation will be under the sixth plague and it is at that time, according to Dan. 12:1, that the partial resurrection will take place, bring 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 Experiences and Views, page 29, these plagues enrage the wicked against the righteous. They said that we had brought the Judgment of God upon them and that if they could rid the earth of us the plagues would be stopped. 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 places with the resurrection of 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. QSM 26.1

Of this scene we read in Spiritual Gifts, page 143 [201.1], “I saw a writing, and copies of it 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 them to death . . . Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most High; but Jesus bade His angels watch over them, for God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen around them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, without 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 the ordinary sense, under calm conditions. QSM 27.1

“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. Now 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 in “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” His trouble was the news that Essau was coming with 400 armed men. Unless the Lord should aid him, it looked like death to him and his whole family. QSM 28.1

Now, “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. For they have been delivered, for they have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb . . . they have seen the earth wasted with famine and 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 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 judgment under the seventh plague and are among those delivered from this decree of death. QSM 29.1

My Brother and My Sister in the faith, I’m burdened to make plain the necessity of knowing the full truth of the 144,000, because in knowing the whole truth about this subject, it will cause those of us who are sincere about their salvation to walk closer in the path of righteousness. For it is so true that 144,000 is a very small number that will so shape their lives according to the pattern that God has set before us. In all ages of the church there has been only a small number that was saved. When the message of the flood was preached by Noah there were only eight saved. Noah preached 120 years of the coming destruction of the world by water, and only those were saved who obeyed the Message. Also in Lot’s time when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, cities of about 500,000, just only three were saved that obeyed the Message.

Now my dear brethren, we read in the Book of Luke 12:32, these words, “Fear not little flock for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Oh my God, help us to think upon this close and narrow path and walk therein, for the time is too short for us to ignore the facts of this truth.

We read in Matthew 7:13-14, these words, “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate; and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Now there are those who will say, “What about the thousands of heathens who accept the truth of the Sabbath?” and “Jesus died for them too!” But there will be thousands who accept the Sabbath who will never come into the full knowledge of the Third Angel’s Message. But thank God in His mercy, He has power to save them. But that does not excuse us who have the knowledge of this wonderful message, for where there is much light there is much required.

Now at this point may we consider another blessing that is pronounced upon those who died in the Lord in this Third Angel’s Message. Now let’s consider this text of Scripture, Rev. 14:13, which reads as follows: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, yea saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” From henceforth must signify from some particular point of time. Then the question will be asked, “What point?”

Without a doubt “from the commencement of this Message. But why are those who die after this point of time blessed? There must be some special reason for pronouncing this benediction upon them. Is it not because they escape the time of fearful peril, which the saints are to encounter as they close their pilgrimage? And while they are thus blessed in common with all the righteous dead, they have an advantage over them in being doubtless that company spoken of in Daniel 12:2, who are raised to everlasting life at the standing up of Michael. Thus escaping the periods through which the rest of the 144,000 pass, they rise, and share with them in their final triumph here, and occupy with them their preeminent place in the kingdom. In this way, we understand their works follow them.” DAR 634.1

Some people, more especially since 1894, have claimed that none will be reckoned among the 144,000 that have passed through the grave. This conclusion is drawn because the testimony we read in Great Controversy, page 649, is taken out of its proper setting and misapplied, not considering why and what reason this testimony was given. God’s prophets never make a statement, then later change it. The prophets of old didn’t do it, and the prophet that God gave the Remnant Church didn’t do it. For Sr. White makes it plain that those that died in faith in the Third Angel’s Message, including herself, would be in the 144,000. I could give testimony upon testimony proving this fact.

But I do pray that all of our believers study the testimonies diligently. The book Early Writingsis a wonderful book to read and study. It will do your soul good. I get happy just reading it.

Now my dear readers, this information about my study and knowledge of the 144,000 will help you. I can truthfully say I have made a study of this subject–I mean a special study for more than 25 years. I have even tried to see it in the light that some teach; but when I compare the teaching of this new light, this new idea of the 144,000 came about since 1894, now the more I compare these facts, I’m more convinced that the facts and proof and testimonies that I have found are steadfast and unmovable. I am sure no student of God’s word and the testimonies would try to prove other than what I have presented on this subject.

There is a special note in Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith, on page 634 (old edition), which reads as follows: “Those who die after having become identified with the Third Angel’s Message are evidently numbered as a part of the 144,000, for this is the same as the Sealing message of Revelations 7, and by this message only 144,000 were Sealed. But there are many who have had their entire religious experience under this message, but have fallen in death. They die in the Lord and hence[forth] are counted as Sealed; for they will be saved. But the message results in the sealing of 144,000; therefore, they must be included in that number, being raised in the special resurrection (Dan. 12:2; Rev. 1:7) which occurs when the voice of God is uttered from the temple at the beginning of the seventh and last plague, Rev. 16:7; Joel 3:16; Heb. 12:26. They pass through the period of that plague and hence may be said to come out of great tribulation, (Rev. 7:14) and being raised from the grave only to mortal life, they take their stand with believers who have not died and with them receive immortality at the last triumph [trump] (1 Cor. 15:52) being then with the others changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Thus though they have passed through the grave, it can be said of them, at least [last], that they are redeemed from among men (Rev 14:4). That is from among the living. For the coming of Christ finds them among the living waiting for the change to immortality, like those who have not died and as if they themselves had never died.”

Sr. White said the angel of the Lord guided Uriah Smith’s hands as he penned the words of Daniel and the Revelation, and if the angel guided him, he made no mistakes.

Now let us consider the justice of God. I’m sure if those of us who give most of their Christian experience in this Message, and fall in death, God would not deprive them of the promised blessing that he is to pronounce upon those that keep His law. Therefore, those that are living in this Message now have no preeminence over them that have died in the Message. For those that have died in the Message will be raised before Christ comes to share with those who have not died, the everlasting covenant and the blessing that God is to pronounce upon all of those that have gotten victory over the Beast and His image. May God help us to live so close to Him that we may receive the Seal of God and be saved in the kingdom of God.

Now if there is still a doubt of the ones who died in the faith in the Third Angel’s Message being in the 144,000, I would like to call your attention to a statement by Elder J. N. Loughbrough, one of the old pioneers of the Message, who died some few years ago. I quote: “At the General Conference in 1909, Elder Irwin had a stenographer to accompany him in a call upon Sr. White. He wished to ask her some questions and have an exact copy of the words of the replies. Among other questions was this one, ‘Will those who have died in the message be among the 144,000?’ In reply, Sr. White said: ‘Oh yes, those who have died in faith will be among the 144,000. I am clear on that matter’.” These were the exact words of the question and answer as Brother Irwin permitted me to copy from his stenographer’s report. QSM 31.1

So you see my dear readers, I’m not the only one who is convinced on the truth of this wonderful subject. There are many who know the truth of this subject. I thank God for this wonderful Message and the knowledge of it. May God help all of us to live close to Him and walk as He walked.

One thought on “Comments on 144,000

  1. Amazing revelation essential to each one of us! This is the one NOT to miss today!!! Thanks for sharing!

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